Posts filed under: Discussion & Debate

As readers are aware, I have long lamented the lack of study and commemoration in Ireland of the hundreds of thousands of Irish emigrants whose lives were forever impacted by the American Civil War. We have made many efforts to...
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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...
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Gettysburg’s Big Round Top is home to one of the lesser known monuments on the battlefield. It marks the position held by the Irish 9th Massachusetts Infantry from the late evening of 2nd July 1863. The regiment had a proud...
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When we think and examine the Irish of the American Civil War, we often consider first and foremost ethnic units; formations such as the Irish Brigade, Corcoran’s Legion or regimental level contingents such as the 9th Massachusetts and 69th Pennsylvania....
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The Irish Brigade is rightly regarded as one of the finest units to take the field during the American Civil War. However, just like all other Union formations, they had their ups and down in battle, and like other formations, they...
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In May 1860, 47-year-old Bridget Griffin stepped off the boat in the United States. Her husband John had died in their native Athlone in 1859, an event that likely precipitated her departure. With her was her 13-year-old son Patrick, a...
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My work on Irish in the Widow’s and Dependent Pension Files has led me to read and transcribe hundreds of letters of Irish and Irish-American soldiers who lost their lives as a result of the American Civil War. There are...
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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...
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In Philadelphia on 13th February 1868, Owen Curren and Mary Curren gave an affidvait relating to the case of Farrigle Gallagher. Gallagher, a member of the 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry, had died a Prisoner of War at Andersonville. His wife Anne...
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This month is Black History Month in the United States. To mark that occasion, I wanted to once again explore an aspect of the often-fraught relationship between Irish-Americans and African-Americans during the Civil War era. It is a topic we...
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