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The Phelan Family Register (NARA/Fold3)

Document Focus: The Story of the Phelan Family Register

The last post (see here) was the first in a series called Document Focus, highlighting specific documents that are of interest in both their own right but also served a specific purpose in building the claim of a prospective pensioner. In this second post on that topic, we return once again to the Irish of Ohio, […]

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henry_livermore_abbott_in_uniform

Communicating Death & Creating Memory on Fredericksburg’s Streets

I have recently had a conference paper accepted on the topic of letters communicating bereavement to those on the Home Front. Since I began my work on the widow’s and dependent pension files, I have become particularly interested in these types of document, and in exploring the multitude of questions we can ask of them. How was […]

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Members of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade Charging in 1864 (Library of Congress)

Dying at the Death: Remembering the Dorcy Family at Appomattox Court House

On 9th April 1865– 150 years ago today– Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. Although the event stopped neither the war nor the killing, in the popular imagination it has nonetheless come to be considered as the act which brought the war to a […]

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The Stone Wall at the base of Marye's Heights, Fredericksburg, the target of the Irish Brigade Assault (Library of Congress)

‘In Account Of We Being Irish’: A New Irish Brigade Letter After Fredericksburg

As some readers will be aware I am currently working on a long-term project identifying and transcribing the letters of Irish and Irish-American soldiers contained within the Civil War Widows & Dependents Pension Files. This work has already identified large numbers of previously unpublished letters of Irish soldiers, which I intend to prepare for ultimate […]

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Captain David Power Conyngham while serving with the Irish Brigade (Library of Congress)

150 Years Ago: Dipping Handkerchiefs in the Blood of General Polk

150 years ago today the Confederate Bishop General- Leonidas Polk- a Corps commander in the Army of Tennessee, lost his life when he was struck by a Union shell on Pine Mountain, Georgia during the Atlanta Campaign. David Power Conyngham, a journalist from Corhane, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary, was one of the first Union men to […]

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An Extract of the Statements Provided by John Barrett and John Gleason for Timothy Durick (John Barrett could sign his name, John Gleason was illiterate so made his mark- Image via Fold3)

Dependent Father: How one Irish Brigade Soldier’s Service Helped an Elderly Man in Rural Tipperary

Each month for much of the 1880s the octogenarian Timothy Durick travelled from his home in Lackamore, Castletownarra, Co. Tipperary to the nearby town of Nenagh. He made the journey to visit the Post Office and collect his pension, which was worth $8 U.S. Dollars. In order to secure the pension the elderly man had […]

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Eastern Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (Library of Congress)

How To Find American Civil War Veterans from Irish Counties: A Case Study of Mathew Dooley, Roscrea

I receive regular requests from around Ireland to provide information on men from specific parts of the country who served during the American Civil War. Pinning veterans down to a locality of origin is a difficult challenge, but it is often possible to reveal some of their stories. Having recently conducted  research on one fascinating […]

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Hickey's death as recorded in his Confederate Service Record (Fold3.com)

Boston Immigrant to Crescent City Soldier: The Poignant Letters of William Hickey

I was recently contacted by historian Ed O’Riordan, who a number of years ago saved a remarkable series of letters sent home to Tipperary by an Irish emigrant in America, William Hickey. The letters chart the story of a young man who experienced the loneliness and uncertainty of life in a new country and his […]

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The Bombardment of Fort Sumter on 12th April 1861 (Library of Congress)

Revealed: The Tipperary Town Where the First Soldier to Die in the American Civil War was Born?

The first soldier to die in the American Civil War was Private Daniel Hough of the 1st United States Artillery, from Co. Tipperary. Although we have long-known Hough was a Tipperary native, it has not been clear from where in that county he hailed. Details as to his wider family have also been scant. Recent research […]

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John Lonergan Memorial, Carrick-On-Suir, Co. Tipperary. Lonergan received the Medal of Honor for actions at Gettysburg

South Tipperary Military History Society Lecture

I had the good fortune to deliver a talk on the 17th April last to a relatively new military history society on the topic of the Irish in the American Civil War. The South Tipperary Military History Society was formed in 2010, and hold their lectures in the Irish United Nations Veteran’s Association House in Clonmel. […]

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