Tag Archives: Irish Diaspora
African-Americans being attacked during the Memphis Race Riots of 1866, an incident in which the majority of the rioters were Irish (Library of Congress)

“The Blacks Fought Like Hell”: Exploring Racism & Racist Violence through the Words & Actions of Two Union Irish Cavalrymen

This month is Black History Month in the United States. To mark that occasion, I wanted to once again explore an aspect of the often-fraught relationship between Irish-Americans and African-Americans during the Civil War era. It is a topic we return to regularly on the site (e.g. see here, here, here and here).  The concept […]

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Galway

Audio Lecture: Galway and the American Civil War

During the course of each year I normally give a number of county-focused lectures around Ireland, concentrating on specific Irish emigrant stories from different localities. I an conscious that many of the readers of the site do not have an opportunity to attend these, so I was pleased to be alerted to the fact that one is […]

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A Union soldier and his instrument (Library of Congress)

Four Years of the Irish at War in Poetry & Song

As we discovered in the excellent recent guest post by University of Edinburgh scholar Catherine Bateson (see here), poetry and song could be extremely important methods for Irish-Americans to communicate their views and experiences. Readers regularly sent in their efforts to be printed in newspapers like the New York Irish American Weekly, allowing us to chart how key […]

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An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with President Barack Obama in The White House (Wikipedia)

Selling ‘Ireland’ and Forgetting the ‘Irish’? Some Thoughts on the Taoiseach’s St. Patrick’s Day Speech

This week Ireland’s Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, visited America for St. Patrick’s Day. Each March, our small country enjoys exceptional treatment on the other side of the Atlantic, treatment which includes a meeting with the President of the United States at The White House. Ireland’s relationship with the U.S. is the envy of other small countries. […]

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Fairfax Seminary Hospital, Virginia (Library of Congress)

‘Quite A Merry Time’: A Union Irish Soldier Describes His Last St. Patrick’s Day, 1863

On 17th March 1863 David O’Keefe, a cabinet-maker from Co. Cork, celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Virginia. Some six months previously David had left his adopted home of Reading, Massachusetts, to join the Irish soldiers of the 9th Massachusetts Infantry at the front. He wasn’t a young man- by the time he enlisted he was […]

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A hospital ward in a convalescent camp near Alexandria (Library of Congress)

‘I Am Not Long For This World’: An Irish-American Soldier Says Goodbye to His Family

The last post on the site examined a mother’s desperate attempts to contact her wounded son. Equally poignant are those letters, occasionally included in the files, which impart a soldier’s final words to his family from his deathbed. On 23rd February 1864, George Carl of the 7th Ohio Infantry sat by the bed of William […]

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The USS Monitor and CSS Virginia do battle the day after James Leahy's death (Library of Congress)

Hearing the Irish Accent of a Merrimac Victim Across 150 Years

On 8th March 1862, the Confederate Ironclad CSS Virginia (formerly the Merrimack) steamed out of Norfolk, Virginia to attack the Federal fleet in Hampton Roads. The resulting two-day encounter remains one of the most famous naval engagements in history. One Yankee sailor would later recall how an awful silence descended over the men of the […]

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Boatswain's Mate Patrick Murphy (Erie Maritime Museum)

Medal of Honor: Boatswain’s Mate Patrick Murphy, U.S.S. Metacomet

It has been a while since the site has looked at one of the Irish-born Medal of Honor recipients from the American Civil War. Issues regarding recording of nativity means there is, as yet, no definitive total number for Irish-born men who earned this award during the conflict. Each time I investigate the figure evidence […]

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Sligo

The #ForgottenIrish of Co. Sligo

The latest #ForgottenIrish story looking at Co. Sligo is now available on Storify. It is the sixth county to be examined, joining  Cork, Kerry, Donegal, Galway and Cavan, with Dublin to follow shortly. Storify also has a piece looking at Civil War Pensioners in Ireland. If you would like to read the Sligo Storify you can do […]

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'Pity the Nation', Robert Fisk's award-winning book on the war in Lebanon

Robert Fisk on the Irish in the American Civil War

Since I started writing about the Irish in the American Civil War I have had some interesting readers. One of the more unusual has to be Cher, who reportedly read my book on the topic. Yesterday I discovered that the award-winning, internationally renowned journalist Robert Fisk wrote a piece for the English Independent newspaper entitled […]

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