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On the 8th June 1864 Captain Dexter Ludden and his men from the 8th New York Heavy Artillery were picking their way through corpses. They had been assigned the unpleasant task of burying some of the many, many dead who had fallen assaulting the Confederate works at Cold Harbor. By then the bodies they were......
I regularly come across Cavan natives during my pension file research. They are men Like James DeLacy of Templeport, who left behind a dependent mother when he was gunned down along with many of his Irish Brigade comrades at Antietam; men like Mathew Henry of Lattoon, whose immigrant experience in America was cut short when......
I recently came across the remarkable letters of Sergeant Thomas Mangan, which are here transcribed for the first time. The 22-year-old Dubliner was a recent emigrant from Ireland, who within a year of arriving in his new home found himself in the midst of the savage and brutal struggle for control of the Western Plains.......
Corporal John Doherty of the Irish Brigade wrote a series of letters home to his family from Virginia and Maryland in the summer of 1862. Transcribed here for the first time, the letters detail John’s pride in the Irish Brigade– ‘the envy of the rest of the army’– but likewise suggest that the realities of......
Letters included in the pension file often contain some very personal information. Surely few match those written by the Irish Brigade’s Samuel Pearce to his wife Margaret. The correspondence details not only the railroad man’s initial efforts to avoid the draft and use of an alias, but also provides a unique and intimate insight into......
As I have noted regularly over the last number of years on this site and elsewhere, Ireland has not done enough to remember the impact of the American Civil War on people from the island. Recent months have however seen an increasing effort in this regard, with a number of events taking place which suggest......
Each week I receive correspondence from people with Civil War ancestors in search of their family’s origins in Ireland– something which is unfortunately often extremely difficult to determine. However, today has seen the release of a set of records that promises to open up new avenues for those seeking such information. To much fanfare in Ireland, the National Library of......
The 4th of July is Independence Day in the United States, marking the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on 4th July 1776. Unsurprisingly given the nature of the conflict between 1775 and 1783, there were many Irish to be found on both sides. Although a departure from the American Civil......