Posts filed under: New York

My primary area of research relates to wartime letters written home by soldiers and sailors, and which widow’s and dependents parted with in order to provide the Bureau of Pensions with evidence to support their claim. However, letters were not...
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Historically, we have tended to view the Irish American experience of the Civil War through the lens of ethnic formations such as the Irish Brigade and Corcoran’s Irish Legion. Yet of the c. 250,000 ethnic Irishmen who donned Union blue...
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Back in 2015 Brendan Hamilton and I published a piece on the site entitled Recruited Straight Off The Boat: On the Trail of Emigrant Soldiers From the Ship Great Western. The work was based on Brendan’s discovery (and his extensive...
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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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The new Forgotten Irish Podcast is now live. It is a story that may be familiar to some of you, that of Catherine Garvin and her son Con, which also features as the first chapter of my latest book. In late 1863, details...
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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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In 1860 one in every four people in New York was of Irish birth. The majority dwelt among the urban poor, congregating in notorious areas such as Manhattan’s Five Points. Their experience of the American Civil War was mixed, ranging...
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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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