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 NAMEUNITCOMPANYGRAVECOUNTRYCOUNTYTOWN/CITY           
Ahern, Daniel170 New York InfantryF4382IrelandCork
Atkinson, Patrick22 Michigan InfantryC2461IrelandLimerick
Baldoe, LouisBaldue/Baldac. Louis56 Massachusetts InfantryI5175Ireland
Ballantine, Robert16 Connecticut InfantryA8018IrelandTyroneGlenlark
Bartlett, Richard164 New York InfantryF11612Ireland
Bass, George63 New York InfantryA8217IrelandDublin
Bergin, Luke25 Massachusetts InfantryG7134IrelandKilkenny
Boyle, Patrick63 New York InfantryA10Ireland
Boyle, Thomas16 New York CavalryL11974Ireland
Bracken, Denis59 Massachusetts InfantryGIrelandOffalyReynagh, Gallen
Bradley, John69 New York InfantryK5232Ireland
Brannigan, Michael17 Massachusetts InfantryE3587IrelandMonaghan
Breen, AndrewMoriarty, Andrew2 United States InfantryFIrelandKerry
Brogan, James N.16 New York Heavy ArtilleryBUnited States [Irish Father]OnatarioCanadice
Brown, David18 Massachusetts InfantryK6057Ireland
Browne, James170 New York InfantryK6691Ireland
Burke, John M.69 New York InfantryK5196Canada [Irish Parents]
Burke, Joseph H.2 Massachusetts CavalryM1251Ireland
Burns, John99 New York InfantryHIreland
Burns, Owen13 Pennsylvania CavalryL2026IrelandMonaghanMagheracloone
Byrne, James69 New York InfantryA9790Ireland
Callaghan, ThomasMcCarthy, ThomasUSS HousatonicN/AIrelandCorkBallyfeard, Novohal, Kinsale
Callihan, Robert57 Massachusetts InfantryA3158IrelandKerry
Carey, Thomas65 New York InfantryEIrelandCork
Carroll, James69 New York InfantryA4139Ireland
Carroll, WilliamCurran, William42 New York InfantryBIrelandDublin
Cary, ThomasCurry, Thomas83 New York InfantryD10872IrelandCavan
Caveney, MichaelMonahan, Martin83 New York InfantryL11640IrelandMayoBallina
Clancey, RobertClancy, Robert164 New York InfantryE3449Ireland
Clinton, Thomas102 New York InfantryD12471Ireland
Cochran, John126 New York InfantryK7992Ireland
Coleman, Patrick2 New York Heavy ArtilleryI10553Ireland
Collins, Michael101 Pennsylvania InfantryK8121Ireland
Condon, Thomas22 New York CavalryF3509Ireland
Conlon, John125 New York InfantryKIreland
Connelly, William H.55 Pennsylvania InfantryC6395IrelandLimerick
Connolly, Patrick164 New York InfantryG5528Ireland
Connor, Dennis17 Massachusetts InfantryH12844IrelandAntrimBelfast
Connor, Thomas9 Massachusetts InfantryE11575Ireland?
Coyle, Hugh8 Pennsylvania CavalryF2399IrelandDonegalMuineagh, Fanad
Crosby, John90 Illinois InfantryC12433Ireland
Crossin, Eugene9 Massachusetts InfantryC5248United States [Irish Parents]
Cullen, John2 Maryland Potomac Home BrigadeD2012IrelandWicklow
Cunningham, James170 New York InfantryE5476IrelandCorkBandon
Curley, Michael11 New Jersey InfantryA715IrelandGalway
Dagnan, Charles16 Connecticut InfantryK5446Ireland
Daley, John28 Massachusetts InfantryF787Ireland
Delaney, Patrick83 Pennsylvania InfantryERAIDERIreland
Dennison, John155 New York InfantryI12257Ireland
Densmore, WilliamDinsmore, William9 Massachusetts InfantryF7848IrelandAntrimBallymoney
Devlin, Charles35 Indiana InfantryB4021IrelandTyroneGortin
Digman, LukeDignan, Luke35 Indiana InfantryB10446Ireland
Doherty, Thomas8 Maine InfantryG5615IrelandDonegalCarndonagh
Dougherty, Thomas90 Pennsylvania InfantryC8579IrelandDonegalArdara
Dowd, Daniel155 New York InfantryI2809IrelandKerryDingle
Dowdle, Robert101 Pennsylvania InfantryA4786Ireland
Downey, John85 New York InfantryH5705IrelandDerry
Doyle, Hugh164 New York InfantryBIrelandWexfordKilmyshall
Duffie, JamesDuffy, James52 Pennsylvania InfantryF9191Ireland
Duffy, James18 Massachusetts InfantryA1512IrelandWexford
Duffy, John2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryH9251IrelandDonegal
Dunn, Peter2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryH4471IrelandTyrone
Elliot, James69 Pennsylvania InfantryD2794IrelandFermanaghDrummarraght
Emmet, William16 Connecticut InfantryK11608Ireland
Empey, Robert25 Massachusetts InfantryE3300IrelandKilkenny
Evatt, Evalyn10 Ohio CavalryM341IrelandMonaghan
Fahey, Michael69 Pennsylvania InfantryC11261Ireland?
Fahy, John13 Pennsylvania CavalryB7579Ireland?
Farrell, James12 United States InfantryA1509IrelandLimerick
Finley, Thomas [Fenelly]143 Pennsylvania InfantryG6694IrelandTipperary
Fitzpatrick, Patrick38 Illinois InfantryC2210IrelandCavan
Fletcher, EdwardFlesh, Edward57 New York InfantryBIrelandMeathWoodpole
Flynn, Miles13 Pennsylvania CavalryM4586United States [Irish Parents]
Folliard, Michael1 New Jersey CavalryK3938IrelandRoscommon
Gallagher, Fanigle [Farrigle/Fearghal]13 Pennsylvania CavalryB2060IrelandDonegal
Galligan, Patrick18 Massachusetts InfantryB9227IrelandCavan
Gardiner, Robert F.155 New York InfantryK5251Ireland
Gibbons, JamesGibney, James99 Pennsylvania InfantryH9884IrelandCavan?Parish Belle McCrea'
Gibbons, Michael6 Michigan CavalryC2928Ireland
Graney, Thomas2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryG9471Ireland
Grenehan, John85 New York InfantryG6651Ireland
Hackett, James12 New York CavalryF2623IrelandWaterfordAglish
Halpin, Patrick5 United States ArtilleryI1547IrelandLimerick
Halpin, Peter63 New York InfantryF9253Ireland
Hamilton, Thomas Alexander6 New York Heavy ArtilleryL6601IrelandCavanRyefield
Hannon, John164 New York InfantryI7929Ireland
Harrington, Owen30 Indiana InfantryE9933IrelandCorkRosscarbery
Harris, John63 New York Infantry5550IrelandDown
Hartnett, Maurice34 Massachusetts InfantryI6923IrelandCorkMidleton
Harvey, Thomas10 New Jersey InfantryB10212Ireland
Haughty, JohnHaughey, John69 Pennsylvania InfantryD9904Ireland
Hennessey, Michael3 New York Heavy ArtilleryA8336Ireland
Henry, James2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryH4604IrelandMayo
Hester, John38 Illinois InfantryC1906Ireland
Hogan, John63 New York InfantryF11317Ireland
Holland, Patrick11 Massachusetts InfantryC905IrelandCork
Howden, Thomas28 Massachusetts InfantryB7416IrelandCavan
Hurley, Denis8 Maine InfantryG4703IrelandCorkBandon?
Hyde, Garrett42 New York InfantryC11083Ireland
Ivers, Thomas P106 New York InfantryBIreland
James, Alexander4 Pennsylvania CavalryIIrelandDonegal
Johnson, Robert111 New York InfantryA8054Ireland
Kane, Hugh90 Illinois InfantryA12052IrelandDublin
Keating, Thomas83 New York InfantryD4484IrelandUnited States [Irish Parents]
Keegan, Joseph183 Pennsylvania InfantryAIrelandWicklowBray
Kehoe, Thomas155 New York InfantryE11756Ireland
Kelly, John16 United States InfantryCEngland [Irish Parents]
Kelly, Mark2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryH8983IrelandGalway
Kelly, Thomas13 Pennsylvania CavalryH5443Ireland?
Kennedy, Michael38 Illinois InfantryC5518IrelandKilkenny
Kennedy, MichaelFoley, Michael5 Rhode Island Heavy ArtilleryAIreland
Kenny, Luke99 New York InfantryB239Ireland
Kiley, William2 New York Heavy ArtilleryLIreland
Kinnney, Michael42 New York InfantryC11558IrelandGalwayGalway City
Lahiff, Denis82 New York InfantryE12775IrelandKerryBallylongford
Lanigan, Michael13 Pennsylvania CavalryL3369Ireland?
Leahy, DavidLeahy, Daniel82 New York InfantryI41Ireland
Lennan, Michael13 Pennsylvania CavalryD753IrelandWaterfordCappoquin
Logan, BernardGroogan, Bernard90 Pennsylvania InfantryB3489IrelandDerryMaghera
Lynch, Daniel164 New York InfantryA5772Ireland
Lynch, Peter38 Illinois InfantryC11467IrelandCavan
Mackerel, James14 Pennsylvania CavalryK4635England [Irish Parents]
Mangan, James24 Wisconsin InfantryH1752Ireland
Matthews, Henry12 New York CavalryA4472IrelandArmaghTamhnach Mór (Tannaghmore West)
McArdle, Patrick16 Connecticut InfantryG3516IrelandTyroneAuchnacloy
McArty, PatrickMcCarthy, Patrick132 New York InfantryK1035Ireland
McBride, Patrick2 Delaware InfantryF12407Ireland
McCabe, James3 Pennsylvania CavalryL2409Ireland
McCabe, James88 New York InfantryE4508Ireland
McCabe, John12 New York CavalryF3233IrelandLongford
McCabe, Patrick12 New York CavalryF2517Ireland
McCarthy, Dennis101 Pennsylvania InfantryK5415Ireland
McCarty, JohnMcCarthy, John69 New York InfantryK4759Ireland
McCarty, MichaelMcCarthy, Michael69 New York InfantryA8354Ireland
McCormick, Hugh69 New York InfantryK6697Ireland
McDermott, John2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryH6162IrelandGalway
McDermott, Peter164 New York InfantryH6912Ireland
McDevitt, William25 Massachusetts InfantryE4409IrelandDonegal
McDonough, Patrick25 Massachusetts InfantryE7459IrelandSligo
McElroy, William13 Pennsylvania CavalryH10155Ireland?
McFadden, Hugh1 Wisconsin CavalryL5163Ireland
McFadden, James39 New York InfantryF4001IrelandDonegalFahan
McGinley, James7 Maine InfantryA9538United States [Irish Parents]Parents from Castle Hill, Burt, Donegal
McGinn, John170 New York InfantryB12478Ireland
McGovern, James22 Massachusetts InfantryK1984Ireland
McGowan, Frank170 New York InfantryH8225Ireland
McHenry, James2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryG6460IrelandTipperary
McKenna, John3 Rhode Island Heavy ArtilleryK8305Ireland
McKenney, Bernard34 Massachusetts InfantryAIrelandLouthCooley
McKeown, James69 Pennsylvania InfantryG11909Ireland
McKone, John7 Connecticut InfantryHIrelandGalwayClonfert
McLaughlin, Bernard90 Illinois InfantryIIreland
McLaughlin, Edward9 Massachusetts InfantryC3174IrelandDonegalDesertegney
McNutty, MartinMcNulty, Martin85 New York InfantryE5406Ireland
McSorley, James20 New York CavalryM8899Ireland
McWilliams, William17 Massachusetts InfantryD5194Scotland [Irish Parents]
Meehan, Bernard2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryH5808IrelandGalway
Milan, JohnMoylan, John2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryH8631IrelandGalway
Milan, Thomas12 New York CavalryA6202IrelandTipperaryBallywilliam (Burgesbeg Parish)
Moan, JamesMohan, James101 Pennsylvania InfantryK4546Ireland
Monahan, John85 New York InfantryC4441Ireland
Moore, Thomas69 Pennsylvania InfantryA7175Ireland?
Morris, Edmund7 New York Heavy ArtilleryK4686Ireland
Morris, Robert28 Massachusetts InfantryF1004IrelandWaterford
Mulcahee, ThomasMulcahy, Thomas35 Indiana InfantryA3884Ireland
Mulcahy, David89 Illinois InfantryD2834IrelandLimerickMurroe & Boher
Mulcahy, William42 New York Infantry11466IrelandCork
Mulholland, Arthur69 Pennsylvania InfantryFIreland
Mullaly, Michael5 New York Heavy ArtilleryCIreland
Murley, Daniel9 Massachusetts InfantryB321Massachusetts (Irish Parents)
Murphy, Lawrence170 New York InfantryE5918IrelandWexford
Murphy, Martin2 New York CavalryD10199IrelandClare
Murphy, William16 Connecticut InfantryF11487IrelandLimerickBruff
Murphy, William16 Connecticut InfantryF11487IrelandLimerickBruff
Murray, John13 Pennsylvania CavalryE1460IrelandMayoCastlebar
Murray, ThomasMulligan, Thomas1 United States Light ArtilleryK1332IrelandLongford
Nolan, Patrick88 New York InfantryE11356Ireland
O'Brien, James2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryCIrelandCorkCurraheen
O'Brien, Jeremiah63 New York InfantryF5439IrelandCorkButtevant
O'Brien, John37 Massachusetts InfantryK2509IrelandLimerick [Married Kilkenny]
O'Brien, Patrick13 Pennsylvania CavalryA1318Ireland?
O'Brien, William1 Vermont CavalryH704Ireland
O'Carroll, Timothy69 New York InfantryA6270Ireland
O'Connell, James9 Massachusetts InfantryH5116Ireland
O'Connell, John J.15 Massachusetts InfantryH12189Ireland
O'Connor, William29 Massachusetts InfantryH11080IrelandMayo
O'Hara, Michael101 Pennsylvania InfantryE5339IrelandAntrimBallycastle
O'Mira, Daniel J.9 Illinois CavalryE10279IrelandCarlow
O'Neil, Dennis16 Illinois CavalryK12911Ireland
O'Neil, EdwardO'Neill, Edward164 New York InfantryB8208Ireland
O'Neil, John69 Pennsylvania InfantryF1897Ireland?
O'Reiley, PatrickO'Reilly, Patrick164 New York InfantryK9122Ireland
O'Sullivan, Patrick155 New York InfantryE7728IrelandKerryKillarney
Pendleton, John69 New York InfantryF2763Ireland
Percill, PatrickPurcell, Patrick101 Pennsylvania InfantryK8877Ireland
Regan, Christopher27 Massachusetts InfantryH12094IrelandCorkBarrymore
Reynolds, Owen155 New York InfantryE8209Ireland
Robbins, Robert69 Pennsylvania InfantryF3270Ireland
Roberts, James H.18 Massachusetts InfantryI11552Ireland
Roe, WilliamRowe, William2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryH5659IrelandGalway
Rooney, Michael132 New York InfantryF9102IrelandSligo
Roper, Hugh16 Connecticut InfantryG8662Ireland
Ryan, Martin35 Indiana InfantryB1440Ireland
Sarsfield, JohnSarsfield, James140 New York InfantryCRAIDERIreland
Sheehan, John170 New York InfantryFIrelandLimerick
Sheridan, Michael103 Pennsylvania InfantryK12676IrelandCavanDrumbade
Shortly, Robert164 New York InfantryB5755Ireland
Skiddy, John2 Vermont InfantryK6199Ireland
Smith, WilliamKenny, Michael42 New York InfantryCIrelandGalway
Steele, James C.164 New York InfantryE4193Ireland
Sullivan, Dennis101 Pennsylvania InfantryK1105Ireland
Sullivan, George2 Massachusetts Heavy ArtilleryH7401IrelandKerryDingle
Sullivan, JohnUSS UnderwriterN/A2010IrelandCorkBlackrock (vicinity of)
Sullivan, Michael69 New York InfantryK6048IrelandKerryKenmare
Sullivan, Patrick15 Massachusetts InfantryI10792IrelandKerry
Sullivan, Patrick9 Massachusetts InfantryF8203Ireland
Sweeney, William P.13 Pennsylvania CavalryM9898Ireland?
Tobin, Patrick164 New York InfantryK10727Ireland
Toland, Bernard13 Pennsylvania CavalryI785Ireland?
Twomay, JohnTwomey, John28 Massachusetts InfantryE3549IrelandKerry
Ward, Patrick88 New York InfantryD10543Ireland
Welch, FrankO'Herrin, James17 Massachusetts InfantryHIrelandCork
Welch, Thomas20 Maine InfantryH5942Ireland
Wolf, T.Wolfe, Patrick88 New York InfantryD11821Ireland
Conlan, Daniel5 New York InfantryA10699Ireland

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: 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…