Posts filed under: Microhistory

As regular readers are aware, I have long been an advocate of the need to study the thousands of Irish-American letters contained within the Civil War Widows & Dependent Pension Files. This unique resource offers insights into 19th Century Irish emigration...
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Regular readers will be aware that I have become captivated by using Widow and Dependent Pension Files to reconstruct the stories of mid-19th century Irish emigrant families. Naturally, given the material available, these stories can never be more than partial,...
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The widows and dependent pension files occasionally include groups of letters written by individual soldiers over a period of months or years. These can sometimes provide significant insight into the motivations, fluctuating morale and political allegiances of these Irish-American men....
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This week I will be continuing my county-specific examinations of the Irish experience of the American Civil War, when I give a lecture in Galway City Museum on the impact of the conflict on the Tribesmen (and women!). I come...
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Many Famine emigrants found themselves on the front lines of the American Civil War. Others watched as the children they had taken to America in search of a new life marched off to war. One couple who endured this was...
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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...
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The nature of the Widow’s and Dependent’s Pension Files means that the stories they tell are most usually ones of sorrow. The experiences they relate generally pertain specifically to the Civil War, but on occasions the information within them can...
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As I am currently on a few days leave I have been taking the opportunity to catch-up on some reading. A book I am particularly enjoying is John J. Hennessy’s Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas. I...
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Perhaps one of the best known of all Irishmen to serve during the American Civil War was Buster Kilrain of the 20th Maine Infantry. Buster plays a major role in Michael Shaara’s novel The Killer Angels, and was portrayed by...
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On the 8th June 1864 Captain Dexter Ludden and his men from the 8th New York Heavy Artillery were picking their way through corpses. They had been assigned the unpleasant task of burying some of the many, many dead who...
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