The Andersonville Irish

In the region of 250,000 Irish American men fought for the Union during the American Civil War. Some 180,000 of them had been born in Ireland; 70,000 more to Irish parents in Britain, Canada and the United States. Tens of thousands of them died. Many are interred in National Cemeteries up and down the United States, but there is one in particular where hundreds of them lie. It is in Andersonville, Georgia. The National Cemetery there almost certainly contains more Irish casualties from the American Civil War than any other location in the United States. The primary aim of this crowd-sourced project is to gather information on the identities and origins of the Irish Americans interred at Andersonville National Cemetery. By so doing, it hopes to bring the story of these men and their families to the fore, and gain further insight into the impact of the Civil War on Ireland and Irish America.

Camp Sumter—commonly known as Andersonville—was the largest military prison of the American Civil War and was that conflict’s deadliest location. The first prisoners did not arrive there until February 1864, but 45,000 men passed through its gates before it finally closed in May 1865. It operated at its greatest—and deadliest—capacity between February 1864 and the Federal occupation of Atlanta the following September. Originally encompassing 16.5 acres of land enclosed by a 15-foot stockade, in June it was enlarged to 26.5 acres. In that month, 26,000 prisoners were being held in a stockade designed to hold just 10,000. By August 1864 there were 33,000 men in the camp, which had few facilities and little shelter. Of those who crossed the “deadline” into Andersonville, almost 13,000 never came out. Hundreds were Irish Americans.  

Project Aims

The project intends to compile an extensive database of Irish American men interred at Andersonville. In addition it aims to publish on some of their stories, both through the website and in print form. It is also hoped that in the future an appropriate memorial to the Irish Americans interred at Andersonville can be established, and to that end we are beginning discussions with friends including Dr. Nicholas Allen of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia, the National Park Service staff at Andersonville National Historic Siteand the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. While the research element of the project is being run through Irish in the American Civil War, it is being supported by Nicholas and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, to whom I am extremely grateful. Thanks are also due to the National Park Service staff at Andersonville National Historic Site and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs for their encouragement, advice and engagement to date.

This page consists of three elements. The Ireland Map displays known locations in Ireland associated with men interred at Andersonville National Cemetery. Where a precise location is known it has been marked, while for men where only a county of origin has been established, they are assigned to the relevant county town. Where possible, an image of the man’s gravestone at Andersonville National Cemetery has been included (the majority of which were taken by Kevin Frye of the Descendants of Andersonville Prison group and posted to Find A Grave). The Database below it contains the full current list of men of known Irish American origin at Andersonville National Cemetery, listed alphabetically. This initial list, the starting point for the project, currently contains just under 170 names. The final element of the page are blog posts that explore the stories of Irish Americans at Andersonville, and these will be added to as the project progresses.

How You Can Help

We are keen to hear from anyone who can add to the database and map, or who can offer suggested amendments (information that is suspected but not confirmed is followed by a “?” on the map and database). It is hoped that through public engagement the database of Irish American men will grow significantly in the months to come. If you have any information regarding Irish Americans interred at Andersonville, the dedicated project email for submissions is andersonvilleirish[at]gmail.com. In order for an individual to be fully confirmed as Irish American, we will need a basis for inclusion that is supported by documentary evidence, or extremely compelling circumstantial evidence. This might include information from a regimental history, census return, compiled military service record or pension file. It is intended that a regular update of the database and map will occur as the project proceeds. I hope you enjoy this resource, and please share it far and wide to see can we gain a greater understanding of just how many Irish Americans are interred at this important and poignant site.

The Ireland Map

You can examine the map below to see details of where some of the Irish Americans interred at Andersonville National Cemetery came from. Simply click on the map to begin exploring. If you have further information on where in Ireland a man who died at Andersonville may have been from, please contact us at andersonvilleirish[at]gmail.com.

*The map runs using WebGL. Google Chrome sometimes requires that you enable WebGL in your Google Chrome settings (instructions here). Alternatively explore the map using a different browser such as Firefox or Safari.

The Database

The database contains the current list of men with known (or strongly suspected) Irish American connections. Only men either born in Ireland or born abroad to Irish parents are included. The database is fully searchable and you can order the information in any way you please. 40 entries at a time are displayed, to move on the page click “Next” at the bottom of the table. If you have details of men who should be added to this list, please email us at andersonvilleirish[at]gmail.com.

SERVICE NAMEREAL NAMEUNITGRAVECOUNTRYCOUNTYTOWN/CITY           
Ahern, Daniel170 New York Infantry4382IrelandCork
Atkinson, Patrick22 Michigan Infantry2461IrelandLimerick
Baldoe, LouisBaldue/Baldac, Louis56 Massachusetts Infantry5175Ireland
Ball, Patrick48 Pennsylvania Infantry7347IrelandDublin
Ballantine, Robert16 Connecticut Infantry8018IrelandTyrone Glenlark
Bartlett, Richard164 New York Infantry11612Ireland
Bass, George63 New York Infantry8217IrelandDublin
Bergin, Luke25 Massachusetts Infantry7134IrelandKilkenny
Boyle, Patrick63 New York Infantry10Ireland
Boyle, Thomas16 New York Cavalry11974Ireland
Bracken, Denis59 Massachusetts InfantryIrelandOffaly Reynagh, Gallen
Bradley, John69 New York Infantry5232Ireland
Brannigan, Michael17 Massachusetts Infantry3587IrelandMonaghan
Breen, AndrewMoriarty, Andrew2 United States InfantryIrelandKerry
Brogan, James N.16 New York Heavy ArtilleryUnited States [Irish Father]OnatarioCanadice
Brown, David18 Massachusetts Infantry6057Ireland
Browne, James170 New York Infantry6691Ireland
Burke, John M.69 New York Infantry5196Canada [Irish Parents]
Burke, Joseph H.2 Massachusetts Cavalry1251Ireland
Burns, John99 New York InfantryIreland
Burns, Owen13 Pennsylvania Cavalry2026IrelandMonaghan Magheracloone
Byrne, James69 New York Infantry9790Ireland
Callaghan, ThomasMcCarthy, ThomasUSS HousatonicIrelandCork Ballyfeard, Novohal, Kinsale
Callihan, Robert57 Massachusetts Infantry3158IrelandKerry
Carey, Thomas65 New York InfantryIrelandCork
Carroll, James69 New York Infantry4139Ireland
Carroll, WilliamCurran, William42 New York Infantry12015IrelandDublin
Cary, ThomasCurry, Thomas83 New York Infantry10872IrelandCavan
Caveny, MichaelMonahan, Martin83 New York Infantry11640IrelandMayoBallina
Clancey, RobertClancy, Robert164 New York Infantry3449Ireland
Clinton, Thomas102 New York Infantry12471Ireland
Cochran, John126 New York Infantry7992Ireland
Coleman, Patrick2 New York Heavy Artillery10553Ireland
Collins, Michael 101 Pennsylvania Infantry8121Ireland
Condon, Thomas22 New York Cavalry3509Ireland
Conlan, Daniel5 New York Infantry10699Ireland
Conlon, John125 New York InfantryIreland
Connelly, William H.55 Pennsylvania Infantry6395IrelandLimerick
Connolly, Patrick164 New York Infantry5528Ireland
Connor, Dennis17 Massachusetts Infantry12844IrelandAntrim Belfast
Connor, Thomas9 Massachusetts Infantry11575Ireland?
Coyle, Hugh8 Pennsylvania Cavalry2399IrelandDonegal Muineagh, Fanad
Crosby, John90 Illinois Infantry12433Ireland
Crossin, Eugene9 Massachusetts Infantry5248United States [Irish Parents]
Crowley, Charles2 New York Heavy Artillery11297IrelandCork
Cullen, John2 Maryland Potomac Home Brigade2012IrelandWicklow
Cunningham, James170 New York Infantry5476IrelandCorkBandon
Curley, Michael11 New Jersey Infantry715IrelandGalway
Curley, Patrick125 New York Infantry1204Ireland
Dagnan, Charles16 Connecticut Infantry5446Ireland
Daley, John28 Massachusetts Infantry787Ireland
Delaney, Cornelius52 New York Infantry11206Ireland
Delaney, Patrick83 Pennsylvania InfantryRAIDERIreland
Dennison, John155 New York Infantry12257Ireland
Densmore, WilliamDinsmore, William9 Massachusetts Infantry7848IrelandAntrim Ballymoney
Devlin, Charles35 Indiana Infantry4021IrelandTyrone Gortin
Digman, LukeDignan, Luke35 Indiana Infantry10446Ireland
Doherty, Thomas8 Maine Infantry5615IrelandDonegal Carndonagh
Donnell, William4 New York Heavy Artillery12718Ireland
Dougherty, Thomas90 Pennsylvania Infantry8579IrelandDonegalArdara
Dowd, Daniel155 New York Infantry2809IrelandKerry Dingle
Dowdle, Robert101 Pennsylvania Infantry4786Ireland
Downey, John85 New York Infantry5705IrelandDerry
Doyle, Hugh164 New York InfantryIrelandWexfordKilmyshall
Drun, ThaddeusDrum, Thaddeus155 New York Infantry2826Ireland
Duffie, JamesDuffy, James52 Pennsylvania Infantry9191Ireland
Duffy, James18 Massachusetts Infantry1512IrelandWexford
Duffy, John2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery9251IrelandDonegal
Dumphrey, Dennis100 New York Infantry3063Ireland
Dunn, James40 New York Infantry7621Ireland
Dunn, James99 New York Infantry1695England [Irish Parents]SligoKilmactigue
Dunn, Michael99 New York Infantry3234England [Irish Parents]SligoKilmactigue
Dunn, Owen126 New York Infantry919IrelandKildare
Dunn, Peter2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery4471IrelandTyrone
Eagan, John125 New York Infantry2728IrelandOffaly Ferbane
Elliot, James69 Pennsylvania Infantry2794IrelandFermanaghDrummarraght
Emmet, William16 Connecticut Infantry11608Ireland
Empey, Robert25 Massachusetts Infantry3300IrelandKilkenny
Evatt, Evalyn10 Ohio Cavalry341IrelandMonaghan
Fahey, Michael69 Pennsylvania Infantry11261Ireland?
Fahy, John13 Pennsylvania Cavalry7579Ireland?
Farrell, James12 United States Infantry1509IrelandLimerick
Finley, Thomas [Fenelly]143 Pennsylvania Infantry6694IrelandTipperary
Finnerly, PeterFinnerty, Peter155 New York Infantry12507IrelandWestmeathBallymore
Fitgerald, Nicholas111 New York Infantry3569IrelandKerryKillahan
Fitzpatrick, Patrick38 Illinois Infantry2210IrelandCavan
Fitzpatrick, Patrick10 New York CavalryIreland
Fletcher, EdwardFlesh, Edward57 New York InfantryIrelandMeathWoodpole
Flynn, Miles13 Pennsylvania Cavalry4586United States [Irish Parents]
Folliard, Michael1 New Jersey Cavalry3938IrelandRoscommon
Gallagher, Fanigle [Farrigle/Fearghal]13 Pennsylvania Cavalry2060IrelandDonegal
Galligan, Patrick18 Massachusetts Infantry9227IrelandCavan
Gardiner, Robert F.155 New York Infantry5251Ireland
Gavin, Patrick34 Massachusetts InfantryIrelandTyrone
Gibbons, JamesGibney, James99 Pennsylvania Infantry9884IrelandCavan? Parish Belle McCrea'
Gibbons, Michael6 Michigan Cavalry2928Ireland
Gillespie, Patrick36 Massachusetts Infantry7110IrelandCavan
Graney, Thomas2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery9471Ireland
Grenehan, John85 New York Infantry6651Ireland
Hackett, James12 New York Cavalry2623IrelandWaterford Aglish
Halpin, Patrick5 United States Artillery1547IrelandLimerick
Halpin, Peter63 New York Infantry9253Ireland
Hamilton, Thomas Alexander6 New York Heavy Artillery6601IrelandCavanRyefield
Hannon, John164 New York Infantry7929Ireland
Harrington, Owen30 Indiana Infantry9933IrelandCork Rosscarbery
Harris, John63 New York Infantry5550IrelandDown
Hartnett, Maurice34 Massachusetts Infantry6923IrelandCorkMidleton
Harvey, Thomas10 New Jersey Infantry10212Ireland
Haughty, JohnHaughey, John69 Pennsylvania Infantry9904Ireland
Heffernan, Daniel132 New York Infantry3155Ireland
Hennessey, Michael3 New York Heavy Artillery8336Ireland
Henry, James2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery4604IrelandMayo
Hester, John38 Illinois Infantry1906Ireland
Hogan, John63 New York Infantry11317Ireland
Holland, Patrick11 Massachusetts Infantry905IrelandCork
Howden, Thomas28 Massachusetts Infantry7416IrelandCavan
Hurley, Denis8 Maine Infantry4703IrelandCork Bandon?
Hyde, Garrett42 New York Infantry11083Ireland
Ivers, Thomas P106 New York InfantryIreland
James, Alexander4 Pennsylvania CavalryIrelandDonegal
Johnson, Robert111 New York Infantry8054Ireland
Kane, Hugh90 Illinois Infantry12052IrelandDublin
Keating, Thomas83 New York Infantry4484IrelandUnited States [Irish Parents]
Keegan, Joseph183 Pennsylvania InfantryIrelandWicklow Bray
Kehoe, Thomas155 New York Infantry11756Ireland
Kelly, James40 New York Infantry6997Ireland
Kelly, John16 United States InfantryEngland [Irish Parents]
Kelly, Mark2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery8983IrelandGalway
Kelly, Thomas13 Pennsylvania Cavalry5443Ireland?
Kennedy, Michael38 Illinois Infantry5518IrelandKilkenny
Kennedy, MichaelFoley, Michael5 Rhode Island Heavy ArtilleryIreland
Kenny, Luke99 New York Infantry239Ireland
Kiley, William2 New York Heavy ArtilleryIreland
Kinnney, Michael42 New York Infantry11558IrelandGalway Galway City
Lahiff, Denis82 New York Infantry12775IrelandKerry Ballylongford
Lanigan, Michael13 Pennsylvania Cavalry3369Ireland?
Leahy, DavidLeahy, Daniel82 New York Infantry41Ireland
Lennan, Michael13 Pennsylvania Cavalry753IrelandWaterford Cappoquin
Logan, BernardGroogan, Bernard90 Pennsylvania Infantry3489IrelandDerry Maghera
Lynch, Daniel164 New York Infantry5772Ireland
Lynch, Peter38 Illinois Infantry11467IrelandCavan
Mackerel, James14 Pennsylvania Cavalry4635England [Irish Parents]
Mangan, James24 Wisconsin Infantry1752Ireland
Matthews, Henry12 New York Cavalry4472IrelandArmaghTamhnach Mór (Tannaghmore West)
McArdle, Patrick16 Connecticut Infantry3516IrelandTyrone Auchnacloy
McArty, PatrickMcCarthy, Patrick132 New York Infantry1035Ireland
McBride, Patrick2 Delaware Infantry12407Ireland
McCabe, James3 Pennsylvania Cavalry2409Ireland
McCabe, James88 New York Infantry4508Ireland
McCabe, John12 New York Cavalry3233IrelandLongford
McCabe, Patrick12 New York Cavalry2517Ireland
McCarthy, Dennis101 Pennsylvania Infantry5415Ireland
McCarty, JohnMcCarthy, John69 New York Infantry4759Ireland
McCarty, MichaelMcCarthy, Michael69 New York Infantry8354Ireland
McCormick, Hugh69 New York Infantry6697Ireland
McDermott, John2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery6162IrelandGalway
McDermott, Peter164 New York Infantry6912Ireland
McDevitt, William25 Massachusetts Infantry4409IrelandDonegal
McDonough, Patrick25 Massachusetts Infantry7459IrelandSligo
McElroy, William13 Pennsylvania Cavalry10155Ireland?
McFadden, Hugh1 Wisconsin Cavalry5163Ireland
McFadden, James39 New York Infantry4001IrelandDonegal Fahan
McGinley, James7 Maine Infantry9538United States [Irish Parents]Parents from Castle Hill, Burt, Donegal
McGinn, John170 New York Infantry12478Ireland
McGovern, James22 Massachusetts Infantry1984Ireland
McGowan, Frank170 New York Infantry8225Ireland
McGuire, Owen2 Missouri Infantry12754Ireland
McHenry, James2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery6460IrelandTipperary
McKenna, John3 Rhode Island Heavy Artillery8305Ireland
McKenney, Bernard34 Massachusetts InfantryIrelandLouth Cooley
McKeown, James69 Pennsylvania Infantry11909Ireland
McKone, John7 Connecticut InfantryIrelandGalway Clonfert
McLaughlin, Bernard90 Illinois InfantryIreland
McLaughlin, Edward9 Massachusetts Infantry3174IrelandDonegalDesertegney
McMohan, JamesMcMahon, James73 Pennsylvania Infantry1139Ireland
McNulty, Peter J2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery11381Ireland
McNutty, MartinMcNulty, Martin85 New York Infantry5406Ireland
McSorley, James20 New York Cavalry8899Ireland
McWilliams, William17 Massachusetts Infantry5194Scotland [Irish Parents]
Meehan, Bernard2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery5808IrelandGalway
Milan, JohnMoylan, John2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery8631IrelandGalway
Milan, Thomas12 New York Cavalry6202IrelandTipperaryBallywilliam (Burgesbeg Parish)
Moan, JamesMohan, James101 Pennsylvania Infantry4546Ireland
Monahan, John85 New York Infantry4441Ireland
Moore, Thomas69 Pennsylvania Infantry7175Ireland?
Morris, Edmund7 New York Heavy Artillery4686Ireland
Morris, Robert28 Massachusetts Infantry1004IrelandWaterford
Morton, John34 Massachusetts Infantry5360IrelandDownPortaferry
Mulcahee, ThomasMulcahy, Thomas35 Indiana Infantry3884Ireland
Mulcahy, David89 Illinois Infantry2834IrelandLimerick Murroe & Boher
Mulcahy, William42 New York Infantry11466IrelandCork
Mulholland, Arthur69 Pennsylvania InfantryIreland
Mullaly, Michael5 New York Heavy ArtilleryIreland
Murley, Daniel9 Massachusetts Infantry321Massachusetts (Irish Parents)
Murphy, Lawrence170 New York Infantry5918IrelandWexford
Murphy, Martin2 New York Cavalry10199IrelandClare
Murphy, William16 Connecticut Infantry11487IrelandLimerickBruff
Murray, John13 Pennsylvania Cavalry1460IrelandMayoCastlebar
Murray, ThomasMulligan, Thomas1 United States Light Artillery1332IrelandLongford
Nolan, Patrick88 New York Infantry11356Ireland
O'Brien, James2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryIrelandCork Curraheen
O'Brien, Jeremiah63 New York Infantry5439IrelandCorkButtevant
O'Brien, John37 Massachusetts Infantry2509IrelandLimerick [Married Kilkenny]
O'Brien, Patrick13 Pennsylvania Cavalry1318Ireland?
O'Brien, William1 Vermont Cavalry704Ireland
O'Carroll, Timothy69 New York Infantry6270Ireland
O'Connell, James9 Massachusetts Infantry5116Ireland
O'Connell, John J.15 Massachusetts Infantry12189Ireland
O'Connor, William29 Massachusetts Infantry11080IrelandMayo
O'Hara, Michael101 Pennsylvania Infantry5339IrelandAntrim Ballycastle
O'Mira, Daniel J.9 Illinois Cavalry10279IrelandCarlow
O'Neil, Dennis16 Illinois Cavalry12911Ireland
O'Neil, EdwardO'Neill, Edward164 New York Infantry8208Ireland
O'Neil, John69 Pennsylvania Infantry1897Ireland?
O'Reiley, PatrickO'Reilly, Patrick164 New York Infantry9122Ireland
O'Sullivan, Patrick155 New York Infantry7728IrelandKerryKillarney
Pendleton, John69 New York Infantry2763Ireland
Percill, PatrickPurcell, Patrick101 Pennsylvania Infantry8877Ireland
Rafferty, John2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery4875IrelandArmaghKeady
Regan, Christopher27 Massachusetts Infantry12094IrelandCork Barrymore
Reynolds, Owen155 New York Infantry8209Ireland
Robbins, Robert69 Pennsylvania Infantry3270Ireland
Roberts, James H.18 Massachusetts Infantry11552Ireland
Roe, WilliamRowe, William2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery5659IrelandGalway
Rooney, Michael132 New York Infantry9102IrelandSligo
Roper, Hugh16 Connecticut Infantry8662Ireland
Ryan, Martin35 Indiana Infantry1440Ireland
Sarsfield, JohnSarsfield, James140 New York InfantryRAIDERIreland
Sheehan, John170 New York InfantryIrelandLimerick
Sheridan, Michael103 Pennsylvania Infantry12676IrelandCavan Drumbade
Shortly, Robert164 New York Infantry5755Ireland
Skiddy, John2 Vermont Infantry6199Ireland
Smith, WilliamKenny, Michael42 New York InfantryIrelandGalway
Steele, James C.164 New York Infantry4193Ireland
Sullivan, Dennis101 Pennsylvania Infantry1105Ireland
Sullivan, George2 Massachusetts Heavy Artillery7401IrelandKerryDingle
Sullivan, JohnUSS Underwriter2010IrelandCork Blackrock (vicinity of)
Sullivan, Michael69 New York Infantry6048IrelandKerry Kenmare
Sullivan, Patrick15 Massachusetts Infantry10792IrelandKerry
Sullivan, Patrick9 Massachusetts Infantry8203Ireland
Sweeney, William P.13 Pennsylvania Cavalry9898Ireland?
Tobin, Patrick164 New York Infantry10727Ireland
Toland, Bernard13 Pennsylvania Cavalry785Ireland?
Toner, Peter90 Pennsylvania Infantry1153IrelandDonegalLetterkenny
Twomay, JohnTwomey, John28 Massachusetts Infantry3549IrelandKerry
Ward, Patrick88 New York Infantry10543Ireland
Welch, FrankO'Herrin, James17 Massachusetts InfantryIrelandCork
Welch, Thomas20 Maine Infantry5942Ireland
Wilson, Robert34 Massachusetts Infantry6769IrelandDerry Coleraine
Wolf, T.Wolfe, Patrick88 New York Infantry11821Ireland

The Blog Posts

This portion of the project page looks at some of the posts that have focused on the Irish at Andersonville over the years, and will also gather together the new posts that are created as a result of the project. If you have suggestions for an area of the Irish American experience at Andersonville that you think would make an interesting addition, please contact us at andersonvilleirish[at]gmail.com.


Andersonville Irish Spotlight. Grave 1139. James McMahon & His Widow Annie, “A Perfectly Abandoned Character”

One of the aims of the Andersonville Irish Project is to use the men identified within the National Cemetery as a vehicle for exploring the wider social story of 1860s Irish America. Just such an opportunity surrounds the case of Irish immigrant James McMahon, who rests within Grave 1139. James’s death in 1864 played havoc…

Andersonville Irish Spotlight. Grave 7401. George Sullivan, Dingle, Co. Kerry

George was born around 1845 in Dingle. He had been enrolled at Lynn, Massachusetts on 3rd December 1863, becoming a private in Company H of the 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, a unit with a heavy Irish American contingent. At the time he was described as an 18-year-old laborer, who was 5 feet 5 inches tall…

Andersonville Irish: New Map & Database Update

The latest update to the Andersonville Irish project has just been uploaded. The database now contains the details of 225 Irish Americans who lost their lives at the Prison Camp- you can access it on the project page here. The interactive Ireland map has also had numerous additions, something which you can explore via the…

Andersonville Irish Spotlight: The Irish Relief Fund Donors who Died at Andersonville

A great many of the men interred at Andersonville National Cemetery died of illnesses associated with starvation and exposure. For those Irish within the camp who had endured the Great Famine, many of the ailments they saw must have seemed brutally familiar. Among them were causes like dropsy, dysentery, diarrhoea. It is a sad irony…

Andersonville Irish Spotlight: Grave 9102. Michael Rooney, Sligo & Rossinver, Leitrim

As the new Andersonville Irish Project gathers steam, the site will be sharing stories and information about some of the Irish American men who died there, as well as news on the database and map as they are updated. In the first of these “spotlight” posts, we are taking a look at the man interred…

The Andersonville Irish Project

I’m pleased to let readers know of the official launch the Andersonville Irish Project here on Irish in the American Civil War. We’re seeking public help to ID Irish interred at Andersonville, the cemetery that likely contains more Irish casualties from the American Civil War than any other. I’ve teamed up with Nicholas Allen, Director…

Europe’s Graveyard: Andersonville’s European Legacy of Loss

As regular readers will be aware, Andersonville Prison and Andersonville National Cemetery are regularly featured on this site. It is almost certainly the National Cemetery that contains more Irish American dead from the Civil War than any other in the United States. I have been working towards establishing a formal project examining the Irish and…

Video: The Story of a Donegal Islander in the American Civil War

A couple of weeks ago I began my holidays on beautiful Arranmore Island, off the coast of Co. Donegal. Aside from being a great place to visit, I was also there to meet local historians Seamus Bonner and Patrick Gallagher. We had been corresponding for a long time about a former resident of the island–…

A Newly Uncovered Letter from the “Angel of Andersonville”

On 26th October 1861 Kerry native Andy Moriarty made his way to Fort Leavenworth to join the United States Regulars. The 26-year-old had been making his home in Kansas Territory’s Davis County, where he ran a small farm. But now Andy had taken the decision to leave his wife and two small children behind to…

"We Irish had a Hard Time of it in Those Days": An Irish Veteran Remembers Andersonville

In 1877 The National Tribune newspaper was founded. Aimed at Union veterans and their families, over the course of the following decades it provided many insights into not only veterans issues, but also their experiences of the American Civil War. There is much of relevance to those interested in the Irish experience of the conflict to be…

Paddy Bawn Brosnan & the American Civil War: The Famed Gaelic Footballer’s Links to Kerry’s Greatest Conflict

On 14th September 1947, New York witnessed a unique sporting occasion. In front of more than 30,000 people at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, the Gaelic footballers of Kerry and Cavan did battle in what remains the only All-Ireland Football Championship Final ever to be held outside of Ireland. Among the men who donned the…

The Keegans of Bray: Reconstructing the Story of A Famine-Era Emigrant Family

Regular readers will be aware that I have become captivated by using Widow and Dependent Pension Files to reconstruct the stories of mid-19th century Irish emigrant families. Naturally, given the material available, these stories can never be more than partial, incomplete windows into aspects of their lives, and need to be treated as such. Nonetheless,…

'The Flag that Has Given Protection to Persecuted Countrymen': An Irishman's Service to Union & Parents

Perhaps one of the best known of all Irishmen to serve during the American Civil War was Buster Kilrain of the 20th Maine Infantry. Buster plays a major role in Michael Shaara’s novel The Killer Angels, and was portrayed by actor Kevin Conway in the film Gettysburg. Kilrain, a loyal soldier and confidant of Joshua…

Edward Wellington Boate: The Andersonville POW Who Came to the Defence of Henry Wirz

Waterford’s Edward Wellington Boate belongs to the large cohort of Irish journalists who ended up fighting, or in someway participating, in the American Civil War. His story is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating. A member of the Tammany regiment, the 42nd New York, his capture and incarceration as a POW set him on a path…

Remembering Chickamauga: Researching the Fate of Six 35th Indiana 'First Irish' Soldiers and their Families

On 19th and 20th September, 150 years ago, the Battle of Chickamauga was fought. The titanic clash resulted in a resounding Confederate victory, sending William Starke Rosecrans’ Federal troops reeling back to Chattanooga. One of the Union regiments engaged during the fight was the 35th Indiana Infantry, otherwise known as the ‘First Irish.’ The 35th…

Medal of Honor: Private Michael Dougherty, 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry

On 10th December 1864, Michael Dougherty made the following entry in his diary: I feel no better. My diary is full; it is too bad, but cannot get any more. Good bye all; I did not think it would hold out so long when I commenced. Yours sufferingly, Michael Dougherty, Co. B, 13th Pa. Volunteer…