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“I am the Same Boy yet”: The Civil War Letters of Daniel Crowley, Part 2

The site welcomes back Catherine Bateson of the University of Edinburgh for the second in her series on the 1864 letters of Cork native Daniel Crowley, who served in the 28th Massachusetts Infantry, Irish Brigade (read the first post here). As the regiment pushes on to Petersburg, Daniel writes home of hand-to-hand combat, on his […]

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The Green House in Midleton (Damian Shiels)

Exploring the 1867 Fenian Rising in Cork

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the 1867 Fenian Rising in Ireland. Though the attempt ended in failure, it played an important role in influencing future revolutionaries who undertook the 1916 Rising. East Cork, where I live, was one of the areas of the country where some of the most significant disturbances took place. […]

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The fields over which the Union assault on the Mule Shoe salient took place at Spotsylvania, as dawn breaks on the 150th anniversary of the battle, 12th May 2014 (Damian Shiels)

“…I don’t care about dancing on the bodies of dead men”: The Civil War letters of Daniel Crowley, Part 1

Friend of the site Catherine Bateson of the University of Edinburgh has previously contributed a guest post on her work relating to Irish Songs in the American Civil War. I am delighted to welcome her back, this time to share some research she has carried out on the fascinating letters of Daniel Crowley, a young Cork […]

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Cork Harbour as it appeared in the early 1870s (Library of Congress)

“My Cousin told me…that all my family were in America”: A Search for 1860s Cork Emigrants

The widows and dependent pension files often give us an extraordinary insight into 19th century emigration. Occasionally these are from the perspectives of those who remained in Ireland. I recently came across just such a letter, written in late 1863 by Dan McCarthy in Cork to his brother Ted in America. Its detail reveals just how […]

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Seamus Condon with the handwritten and handillustrated memoirs of his grandfather, Andrew J. Byrne, 65th New York Infantry

The Distant Past? Ireland’s American Civil War Grandchildren

I have had the good fortune to deliver dozens of lectures around Ireland discussing local connections to the American Civil War. Wherever I am, I always highlight two factors; the reality that for many Irish counties, the American Civil War saw more locals in military uniform than any other conflict in their history, and the […]

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henry_livermore_abbott_in_uniform

Communicating Death & Creating Memory on Fredericksburg’s Streets

I have recently had a conference paper accepted on the topic of letters communicating bereavement to those on the Home Front. Since I began my work on the widow’s and dependent pension files, I have become particularly interested in these types of document, and in exploring the multitude of questions we can ask of them. How was […]

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Roche's Point, Cork Harbour by Charles W. Bash

Celebrating American Independence in Cork Harbour, 4th July 1862

Just as Americans today celebrate 4th of July–their Independence Day– wherever they find themselves around the World, such was also the case in foreign climes during the American Civil War. Cork Harbour has long had strong connections with North America, and in 1862 many U.S. nationals found themselves there on their national day. Efforts to celebrate […]

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The grave of Andrew Power Gallway at Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Baton Rouge (Diane, Find A Grave)

“The Lives of Her Exiled Children Will be Offered in Thousands”: Edward Gallway, Fort Sumter & Foreseeing the Cost of Civil War

The first soldier to lose his life in the American Civil War was Daniel Hough, a former farmer from Co. Tipperary. The unfortunate man died following an accidental explosion that took place while the Fort Sumter garrison fired a salute to the flag following their surrender. That explosion wounded a number of other men, and within days Hough […]

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The Malvern Hill Battlefield. David Mulcahy and the 9th Massachusetts fought in the vicinity of these guns, with the Confederate attack moving towards the camera (Damian Shiels)

‘We Have No Interest…in the Claim”: A Cork City Affidavit After A Death at Malvern Hill

The majority of posts on the site relate to information contained within the Widows and Dependents Pension Files. These files can contain dozens of different types of documents, ranging from military records to soldier’s letters. But the bulk of the social data is contained within the affidavits of family, friends, employers and others, which were […]

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The Rotundo in Dublin, which later formed part of the Ambassador (William Murphy)

The ‘Polopticomorama’: Bringing the American Civil War to Life in Irish Theatres, 1863

When Mathew Brady exhibited his photographic images of the dead of the Battle of Antietam in New York in 1862, throngs went to see the exhibition. The shocking sight of the dead of the conflict caused the New York Times to remark that if Brady ‘has not brought bodies and laid them in our dooryards […]

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