Posts filed under: Donegal

I am fascinating by the physical remnants of the past that survive in the contemporary landscape. When we think of landscapes of the American Civil War, the images conjured in our minds are often of vast battlefields, such as the...
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James McDevitt was born into a large Irish family around the year 1845. His home was in a small cluster of houses– known as a clachan– which operated an infield and outfield farming system known as rundale (see here). James...
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Large numbers of Irish documents are to be found among the vast collection of 19th century military pension files housed in Washington D.C.’s National Archives. Among the most fascinating are official extracts of 19th century Irish Censuses. Today, the earliest...
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Regular readers will be familiar with my use of the Widows and Dependents Pension Files housed in the National Archives as the main building-block for the stories on this site. I contend that these files likely represent the most important source...
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Every week the New York Irish-American brought it’s news to Irish readers not just in The Empire State, but all over the United States. Many Irish soldiers at the front remained loyal readers of the newspaper throughout the Civil War....
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Two years ago I had the great pleasure of speaking at the Ulster-American Heritage Symposium in Athens, Georgia. The Symposium alternates between Ireland and North America every two years, and this year was back at its spiritual home, the Mellon...
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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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The main focus of attention when it comes to Irish service in the American Civil War is understandably on ethnic Irish regiments and brigades. However, as has been highlighted many times on this site, the vast majority of Irish servicemen...
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There is something particularly poignant about those who lose their lives in the final throes of a conflict– deaths that come when the soldiers themselves are aware the end is in sight. In many cases, the timing of such deaths...
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The thousands of American Civil War pension files relating to Irishmen represent one of the greatest available resources for uncovering the social history of the 19th century emigrant experience. It is a resource that is almost completely unrecognised in Ireland,...
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