It is likely that more Donegal men fought and died in the American Civil War than any other modern conflict, including the First World War. Yet their story remains largely forgotten within the county today. These Donegal natives were among the c. 180,000 Irish-born men who fought for the Union, and the c. 20,000 who served the Confederacy. Countless thousands more were the children of Irish emigrants. Although they numbered in the tens of thousands, the nature of nineteenth century records means that the nativity of many of these Irishmen has not been well documented. For the great majority, all we know is that they were from Ireland. For a few thousand more, we have a county of origin. Only for a tiny percentage do we know the precise locations within a county connected to them and their families. Through a decade of research, I have sought to record this data as I have come across it, using sources such as pension files, service records, regimental histories, general histories, newspaper reports, Information Wanted advertisements, obituaries and Find A Grave entries, allowing for some of these men to be mapped. A recent public appeal has also led to a number of further valuable additions and contributions, adding more depth to the Donegal Map. For the first time it allows us to gain just a tiny glimpse of the scale and breadth of impact the American Civil War had on Irish families. This is a resource I hope to develop in the future for the entire island, both here and in conjunction with Ireland Reaching Out.
You can explore the map by clicking on it below, and using the zoom function to examine different locations in detail. To expand the map to full screen, click on the “MapHub” tab. To explore a specific servicemen, just click on an individual symbol. The key to the map is as follows:
If you have any additions or corrections, please contact me via irishamericancivilwar[at]gmail.com. This map is being made freely available and please do share it; however it is the product of many years of research and remains copyrighted, so please contact me if you wish to utilise any element of it. If you would like to support the work of the website and contribute towards the running cost of the research and site maintenance, I have a Patron page at https://www.patreon.com/irishacw, where you can also gain access to exclusive content.
*The map runs using WebGL. Google Chrome sometimes requires that you enable WebGL in your Google Chrome settings (Instructions here). Alternatively explore the map using a different browser such as Firefox or Safari.