LETTER FROM AMERICA
The Nation 2nd July 1864 (originally produced in the Limerick Reporter)
We take the following extract from a letter received by a man from his relative in America (New York):–
Regarding the war, which has been waging for so long a time, and which, if we were to believe all the Tribune states, is now drawing to a close:– Personally as an Irishman, I feel no interest; indeed the only feeling I have is for the poor Irish, my deluded fellow countrymen, who, in a great many cases, are forced to take their place in the field, and who, in every engagement that takes place, are mowed down like ripe wheat before the sickle. Do not for a moment imagine that the Yankees are fighting their own; no, Irish, Germans, Italians, English, and Scotch are the great majority, the Irish and Germans forming the largest number of the armies of the North and South. I will never forget the return of the 69th (Irish Brigade) after the battle of Bull’s Run; all to a man Irish– their brave Colonel (Corcoran) Irish to the back bone, the man who refused, with his men, to parade before the Prince of Wales when he visited this city. They, left a fine, strong, regular, regiment, but returned a mere skeleton. Oh! if I could speak to my countrymen here, even to all foreigners, I would tell them to let the Yankees fight their own battles, and then you would see little fighting. Some six years ago, I well remember the cry of the Know Nothings of the North, but to the credit of the South they did all they could to suppress it, and eventually succeeded. There is talk of another draft early in July, when, it is thought, another riot will take place. But we have here every moment in second editions of the government paper, the Tribune, in large bold type, “Richmond taken and the Union preserved,” but which, from all I hear from soldiers, who have put in their time, will never be taken. If this be so, you will hear of strange things taking place in the North; some go so far as to say that the whole Northern States will be up in rebellion against the government and old Lincoln, the greatest fool of a President; that ever was placed at the head of so great a nation as America. We are praying for peace here– we, the Catholics– but the Almighty will not listen to us– a proud and sinful nation must be chastised.