Tag Archives: Irish American Civil War
The second telegraph sent to the Callahans. Three days after the first, it informs them that Cornelius is dead (NARA/Fold3)

Document Focus: Life & Death at Antietam in Telegraphs

Cornelius Callahan was an early enlistee in the Union cause. He was barely 18-years-old when he volunteered in Philadelphia. A founder by trade, he was described as having a light complexion, blue eyes and light hair. Knowing that Cornelius’s parents Timothy and Johanna (née Nagle) were married in Ireland during the late 1830s allows us […]

Continue Reading

Looking into the Face of a Maimed Irish Soldier

At the close of the American Civil War, a photographer of the Johnson & D’Utassy company paid a visit to De Camp General Hospital on David’s Island in New York Harbor. He was there to capture images of surgical cases then being treated at the site, to preserve a record of the wounds and their […]

Continue Reading
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 […]

Continue Reading
Clara Barton (Library of Congress)

The International Pension Crisis of 1893

I was very honoured recently to be asked to provide a guest post for the blog of the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum in Washington D.C. The request gave me an opportunity to explore a topic on which I have wanted to write for a long time– the crisis that struck many international Civil War widows […]

Continue Reading

A Milestone for Irish in the American Civil War

The last post represented the 500th on Irish in the American Civil War. I estimate that the site in its totality is now composed of c. 1,000,000 words. I established the site in May 2010, over seven years ago, little imagining where it would lead. The site is now averaging some 10-15,000 views per month, and between 80-100,000 unique […]

Continue Reading
A Native-American soldier in Union uniform during the Civil War (National Park Service)

Mexican War Veteran, Civil War Veteran, Indian Officer: An Athlone Man’s Quarter Century on the American Frontier

During the height of the 1880 Presidential Election Campaign, a reporter from the Democratic Cincinnati Daily Enquirer visited the Central Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Veterans in Dayton, Ohio, to find out “What the veterans think about General Hancock.” The legendary former commander of the Army of the Potomac’s Second Corps was […]

Continue Reading
Californian Bear Flag. Originally a symbol of the Republic, bear flags were flown by some Californian supporters of Secession in the early part of the war (Wikipedia)

“You damned Yankee sons of bitches…can kiss my arse”: A Less than Loyal Irish Union Soldier in California

The site has previously explored Irish motivations in fighting for the North, as well as the widespread views many had towards Republicans, Abolitionists and African-Americans. Although the evidence is clear that many Irish soldiers were not in favour of emancipation, and were often politically opposed to the “black abolitionists”, the majority nonetheless continued the fight. […]

Continue Reading
73rd New York (2nd Fire Zouaves) Memorial, Gettysburg (Damian Shiels)

An Interview on John Banks’ Civil War Blog

For anyone familiar with the excellent John Banks’ Civil War Blog you will be familiar with how he makes extensive use of the widow’s pension files to tell the stories of those impacted by the American Civil War. I recently did an interview with John, discussing both my background and my ongoing work on the Irish in […]

Continue Reading
Orphans decorate the graves of their fathers, 1873 (Library of Congress)

Last Chevalier of Mulligan’s Irish Brigade: A Poem for Decoration Day

James E. Kinsella was born in Ireland in 1865 and emigrated with his parents to America in 1872. Settling first in New York the family later moved on to Chicago, where James eventually took a position as a clerk in the Registry Division of Chicago Post Office. James’s true passion appears to have been poetry, […]

Continue Reading
Unidentified New Hampshire Soldier in the Civil War (Library of Congress)

“Rather Than Hear My Father’s Tongue”: The Sad Story of Why William Flaherty Fought

In late 1863 the town of Plymouth, New Hampshire needed men. One way or another they had a quota of enlistments to fill, and in anticipation of the draft they determined to add financial incentives in order to meet it. In August Plymouth voted to pay every drafted man– or his substitute– a $300 bounty. These […]

Continue Reading