Posts filed under: Microhistory

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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I recently attended the excellent 2018 Famine Summer School held at the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park House in Co. Roscommon. I was speaking on what pension files can reveal about the remittance of money from America to Ireland, and the...
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When the American Civil War broke out in April 1861, Ireland’s Nation newspaper predicted that the lives of Irish emigrants would be “offered in thousands. Many a mother’s heart in Ireland, long cheered by the affectionate and dutiful letter and the generous...
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My current research on Irish service in the Union military is attempting to examine the experience of Irishmen and their families across the entire sweep of Northern arms. One interesting aspect emerging from the work is evidence that Irish and...
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New Yorker Marshall Bailey’s moment in the sun came late in life. The summer of 1910 found the elderly American Civil War veteran in dire straits, consigned to life as a pauper far from the country of his birth. His...
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In 1871 Irishman Luke Madden, who had ostensibly been a loyal Union man during the Civil War, made application to the Southern Claims Commission. His home during the conflict had been opposite the city of Vicksburg, on the Louisiana side...
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James Butler was born in Kereen (Aglish), Co. Waterford in 1878. His family were poor– extremely poor. In 1891 his elderly father John, a labourer, died in nearby Dungarvan Workhouse. It was a place James and his family would come...
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On 17th September 1862, 27-year-old tailor Denis Barry from Dunmanway in West Co. Cork ventured into Antietam’s West Woods with the 19th Massachusetts Infantry. He never came out again. One of the legacies of Denis’s death is the extraordinary detail...
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The afternoon of 20th September 1863 found Privates Daniel Harrington and Denis O’Leary facing into a maelstrom. Fate and circumstance had placed them on the line at Chickamauga, as a tide of Confederate infantry swept towards the position they had...
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During the height of the 1880 Presidential Election Campaign, a reporter from the Democratic Cincinnati Daily Enquirer visited the Central Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Veterans in Dayton, Ohio, to find out “What the veterans think about...
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