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Logo of the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, Wisconsin (Wikipedia)

Naming Erin Hills: 19th Century Irish Emigrants & the 2017 U.S. Open

Today the eyes of the golfing world are turned to Erin Hills golfcourse in Erin, Washington County, Wisconsin, as the 2017 US Open draws to a conclusion. Though none of the Irish-born golfers remain in contention for the title, there is nonetheless a strong Irish interest in the location of the tournament. As the name […]

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Second Wisconsin Infantry Memorial in the Herbst Woods, Gettysburg (Damian Shiels)

Emigrant Irish Badgers: With the Second Wisconsin in Herbst’s Woods

A focus of my recent trip to the Gettysburg battlefield was to look at some of the stories of Irishmen who were among that majority who undertook their war service in non-ethnic Irish units. A number of them were to be found in the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry– part of the famed Iron Brigade– who on […]

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A trooper of the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry in Fort Scott during the Civil War (Kansas Memory)

A Song For Mother: Last Letters of A 16-Year-Old Wisconsin Irish Immigrant

Some Irish soldiers of the American Civil War were little more than boys. Despite their youth, they often fervently supported the cause for which they fought. Timothy Dougherty was one such emigrant soldier. His antebellum family story is one of hardship and hard work– typical of that of many Irish immigrants in America. During the […]

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First Battle of Bull Run (Kurz & Allison 1889)

The Irishman They Couldn’t Kill: Wounded Six Times at First Bull Run

Irishman John Donovan served with the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry in the first major battle of the American Civil War, at Bull Run, Virginia. His unit fought side by side with the 69th New York State Militia, as part of the brigade commanded by William Tecumseh Sherman. For Donovan, this first day of fighting on 21st July […]

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Federal troops in Corinth Mississippi during winter 1862 (Photographic History of the Civil War)

‘Faugh A Ballagh!’: The 17th Wisconsin at Corinth

The morning of 3rd October 1862 had not gone well for Major-General William Starke Rosecran’s Union forces. Holding the northern Mississippi town of Corinth, they had been attacked around 10am by Confederate forces of Major-General Earl Van Dorn’s Army of West Tennessee. By early afternoon, pressure on the Federal advanced position had grown so great that […]

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Siege of Vicksburg, 1863 by Kurz and Allison (Library of Congress)

A Confederate Father and Union Son meet at Vicksburg, 1863

The 17th Wisconsin Infantry was formed mainly from men of the Badger State’s Irish community. It spent its war in the Western Theater, fighting at engagements such as Corinth, Champion’s Hill and Atlanta, and participating in the March to the Sea and Carolinas Campaign. The Irishness of the unit was manifested through flags like that carried […]

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The Battle of Corinth

Medal of Honor: Sergeant Dennis J.F. Murphy, 14th Wisconsin Infantry

Over the coming months Irish in the American Civil War will be looking at some of the 146 Irish born men who were awarded the Medal of Honor for displaying bravery and heroism during the conflict. In the first we look at Sergeant Dennis J.F. Murphy* of the 14th Wisconsin Infantry, who was presented with […]

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