Posts filed under: Navy

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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The 1893 Act of Congress that halted Civil War pension payments to non-residents of the United States who could not prove their citizenship is a topic I have explored frequently on previous occasions (see for example my book The Forgotten Irish and The...
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During the Civil War, newspapers frequently published correspondence written by soldiers and sailors at the front. Some servicemen took the opportunity to act as quasi-reporters for particular publications, ensuring that their views and opinions regularly appeared in print. In May 1864,...
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The Christmas period tended to be a tough one for working-class New Yorkers in the 1860s. The seasonality of many laboring jobs and an increased cost of living caused by heightened fuel consumption saw many families struggle. Between 1861 and...
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In November 1864 a number of Union Ironclads were to be found on the James River in Virginia, supporting Federal ground operations there. A large number of the men on board the vessels of the James River Flotilla were Irish;...
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Widow’s Pension Files are among the most remarkable records that survive relating to the American Civil War. Filled with fascinating social information, they often also contain primary sources from 1861-1865- such as wartime letters- that have lain unread for over...
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The first post relating to my work on the New York Irishmen who enlisted in the Union navy in July 1863 looked at their tattoos. However, the marks on their body that they had not chosen for themselves were far...
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The enlistment records of many Irish recruits during the Civil War provide detail on age, height, hair/eye colour and complexion. Although informative, this data still leaves us without a picture of life experience, or any insight into character. One exception...
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The Union navy often does not receive the attention it deserves when it comes to the American Civil War. This is particularly true of the Irish involvement; the Irish contribution to the Union navy was proportionately greater than that to...
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On the 4th April 1861 Commander Stephen C. Rowan received the following orders from Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy. ‘Sir: You will proceed immediately with the U.S. Steam sloop Pawnee to the navy yard at Norfolk, for the purpose...
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