Archive | Battle of Petersburg RSS feed for this archive
Kieran Phelan (NARA/Fold3)

Whats in an Alias: Civil War Widowhood, Remembrance & Identity in the Words of an “Old Irishwoman”

On 6th September 1864, Private Kieran Fitzpatrick of the 11th Connecticut Infantry lost his battle for life at the 18th Corps Hospital in Point of Rocks, Virginia. His wife Elizabeth sought a widow’s pension based on his service; a lack of documentation meant it would be 1869 before she received it. Then, 35-years after her husband’s death, […]

Continue Reading
Wadsworth's division in action during the Battle of The Wilderness (Library of Congress)

“Their Cries Were Most Agonizing”: An Irish-American’s Overland Account, from The Wilderness to Petersburg

Between 11th June and 9th July 1864, the New York Irish American Weekly ran a series of letters from a young man to his brother back in New York. Taken together, they offer a highly detailed account of his experiences with the 147th New York Infantry during the Overland Campaign. Written on almost a day-by-day […]

Continue Reading
Thomas Barry (National Museum of Health & Medicine CP 0960)

Photographs of Wounded Irishmen from the American Civil War

The sometimes captivating, sometimes horrifying images of wounded soldiers taken in Washington D.C.’s  Harewood Hospital in 1865 have featured in a number of posts on this site (see Looking into the Face of a Dying Irish Soldier, One of Our Brave Men Twice Wounded: An Image of Corporal William Kelleher, 125th New York Infantry and Recruited Straight […]

Continue Reading
69th New York Soldiers Captured on 30th October 1864 by Muster Date.

‘Our Pickets Were Gobbled’: Assessing the Mass Capture of the 69th New York, Petersburg, 1864

On 30th October 1864 the famed 69th New York Infantry suffered one of it’s most embarrassing moments of the war, when a large number of its men were captured having barely fired a shot. In the latest post I have used a number of sources to explore this event, seeking to uncover details about those […]

Continue Reading
Lieutenant-Colonel James J. Smith and officers of the 69th New York, an image exposed just a few weeks after the Battle of Skinner's Farm (Library of Congress)

‘I Trust the Almighty Will Spare Me My Life’: Charles Traynor & the Battle of Skinner’s Farm, 25th March 1865

In March 1865, Charles Traynor wrote home to his mother Catharine in New York. A veteran of some of the most famed Irish Brigade actions of the war, he was still at the front as the conflict began to enter its final days. ‘I trust the Almythy will spear me my life’ he confided to […]

Continue Reading
Corporal William Kelleher displays his wound (National Museum of Health & Medicine)

‘One of Our Brave Men Twice Wounded’: An Image of Corporal William Kelleher, 125th New York Infantry

In the first of a couple of guest posts coming up on the blog, friend of the site Brendan Hamilton brings us the story behind a fascinating image of a young wounded Irishman. Brendan has spent a lot of time looking at images of wounded Irish soldiers and also researching the 25th New York Infantry. […]

Continue Reading
Parliament Street in Dublin, looking towards City Hall. This is where First Sergeant O'Driscoll's letter from Petersburg arrived to the newspaper offices in 1864 (Wikipedia)

Reporting the War in Irish Newspapers: Correspondence from the Petersburg Front

A constant stream of information about the American Civil War made its way to Ireland between 1861 and 1865. This came in forms such as family letters home, but it was also a hot topic for Irish newspapers. Some, such as James Roche’s strongly pro-Union Galway-American (later printed in Dublin as the United Irishman and […]

Continue Reading
Photograph of John Ruddy taken at Harewood Hospital following his wounding at the South Side Railroad on 2nd April 1865 (National Museum of Health and Medicine)

Looking into the Face of a Dying Irish Soldier

Around late April or early May of 1865 a photographer in Harewood Hospital, Washington D.C. exposed a photograph of a wounded Union soldier. The man, who still wore the beard he favoured on campaign, had been shot through the left shoulder during the fighting around Petersburg. His name was John Ruddy, an Irish farmer and […]

Continue Reading
An unidentified soldier of the 5th New Hampshire Infantry (Library of Congress)

A Soldier’s Thoughts turn to Ireland- Petersburg, Virginia, 1864

In 1864 James McDonnell was a 27-year old Irishman serving in the 5th New Hampshire Infantry. His unit would end the war with the dubious distinction of having suffered more battle fatalities than any other Union regiment. James had not been an early volunteer- financially motivated, he enlisted as a draft substitute on 1st October […]

Continue Reading
Sketch showing portions of the Union secondary line at Petersburg, including Fort McMahon and Fort Patrick Kelly (Official Records Atlas)

Remembering The Fallen At Petersburg: Forts McMahon and Patrick Kelly

By September 1864 the Union forces at Petersburg had been facing their Confederate foe across a series of entrenchments and fortifications since mid-June. The Federals decided to commit to a strategy of continually extending their lines westward, seeking to exploit their advantages in manpower. With this stratagem they sought to stretch the Army of Northern Virginia to […]

Continue Reading
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,928 other followers