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"Answering the Emigrant's Letter", an 1850 painting by James Collinson, depicting an English family replying to correspondence from Australia (Manchester Art Gallery)

The Death of a Regular: Revealing an Ireland/New Jersey/Missouri Emigrant Network

The key focus of my research is on examining the letters of Irish emigrants in the Widows Pension Files. These letters, and the stories which surround them, have an incredible amount to tell us about Irish emigrant life. One of the most important aspects concerns how emigrants maintained communications both between Irish-American communities in the […]

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The 12th Illinois wore a Tam o'Shanter style cap, recognizing their other designation as the 'First Scotch Regiment' (Library of Congress)

The Dying Request: An Irish Soldier Seeks to Secure His Daughters’ Future at Shiloh, 1862

On the evening of 6th April 1862, at Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee, the men of the 12th Illinois Infantry trudged back to their quarters after a hard day’s fighting. Having just endured the first day of the Battle of Shiloh, the soldiers gathered around their tents to discuss what they had just experienced. The danger, though, […]

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Hickey's death as recorded in his Confederate Service Record (Fold3.com)

Boston Immigrant to Crescent City Soldier: The Poignant Letters of William Hickey

I was recently contacted by historian Ed O’Riordan, who a number of years ago saved a remarkable series of letters sent home to Tipperary by an Irish emigrant in America, William Hickey. The letters chart the story of a young man who experienced the loneliness and uncertainty of life in a new country and his […]

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The Sarah Bell Field in Shiloh, across which the 154th (Senior) Tennessee Infantry advanced

‘His Soul Escaped to the Bosom of His Maker’: A Limerick Man at the Battle of Shiloh

150 years ago today, Captain Michael Magevney Jr. and his company were positioned near Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. The Fermanagh native commanded the ‘Jackson Guards’, a largely Irish unit which formed Company C of the 154th (Senior) Tennessee Infantry. Nearby, 25-year-old James Real from Oola, Co. Limerick, proudly gripped the flag of the regiment. The previous […]

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Battle of Shiloh (Chromolithograph by Thure de Thulstrup, 1888)

James Wall Scully’s Unpublished Battle of Shiloh Letters

A recent post provided by Anthony McCan highlighted some previously unpublished letters from Kilkenny native James Wall Scully which related to the Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky. Anthony has kindly passed on another series of unpublished Scully letters which were written around the time of the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee in April 1862. Having served […]

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