Although American Civil War Roundtables are widespread in the United States, they are much thinner on the ground across the Atlantic. Somewhat surprisingly, despite the scale of Irish involvement in the conflict, there is no dedicated group in Ireland that explores the Civil War. But this is not the case in the UK. The American Civil War Roundtable UK has been in operation there since 1953, with a vibrant membership and calendar of events. As well as exploring the war in general terms, the UK Roundtable also does a great job examining British and Irish connections to the conflict. Indeed, if you are a reader in Ireland with an interest in the conflict, we would encourage you to explore membership of the Roundtable (which you can do here).

Among the Roundtable’s outputs is the magazine Crossfire. Not long ago, the Roundtable approached Professor David Gleeson (the leading historian of the Irish in the South and the Confederacy) and us here at Irish in the American Civil War to see if we would be interested in guest editing a special Irish issue of Crossfire. We were delighted to do so, and to be joined by some of the leading scholars of the Irish experience of the conflict. With the permission of the Roundtable we can now share the special issue with readers (you can also catch it over at the Civil War Bluejackets Project page). You can read and download the issue below – we are extremely grateful to all those who gave their time to contribute. To give you a flavour of what you will find in it’s pages, here is a list of the pieces inside:

Special Issue: The Irish in the Civil War – David T. Gleeson & Damian Shiels

The Place, Performance and Production of Irish American Civil War Songs – Catherine Bateson

Fenianism in History & Memory – Ryan W. Keating

Reverend Thomas Scully, Chaplain of the 9th Massachusetts – William Kurtz & Fr. David Endres

Father Sheeran’s Lost Cause: A Civil War Chaplain Finds a Home – Patrick J. Hayes

Denizens of Pandemonium: Wilson’s Zouaves at the Battle of Santa Rosa Island – Brendan Hamilton

The Civil War Bluejackets Project: New Insights into Irish, British & African American Sailors – David T. Gleeson & Damian Shiels

Captain John Dooley of Richmond – David T. Gleeson

Irish Louisianians in the Army of Northern Virginia – David T. Gleeson

An Irish Geordie in the American Civil War & Tyneside’s Memorial Day Remembrance – Damian Shiels