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Did the Union recruit overseas?

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by leftyhunter, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Per the Wiki article on Diplomacy of the American Civil War , the article notes that Father Bannon appointed by President Davis to attempt to gain diplomatic recognition from the Vatican after failing to do so went to Ireland ( then a part of the United Kingdom) to counter Union recruitment from Ireland. The article cites foot note 27.
    Question : did the Union actively recruit foreigners to become U.S. soldiers? Were they promising the foreign volunteers U.S. citizenship or Permanent Resident status?
    If the U.S. government was simply offering money for service then it would be recruiting mercenaries. If the government is offering military service in exchange for citizenship or Permanent Resident status then that would be the same policy the U.S. used during more recent conflicts.
    The above does not apply to using immigrants already on U.S. soil but only to overseas recruitment by the U.S. military. Maybe @Pat Young know something about the above. @Cavalry Charger might be interested in this subject.
    Leftyhunter
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017

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  3. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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  4. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger Sergeant Major

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    Yes, I am, and will be interested to read what is posted. About to read @Pat Young's article now. Good thread @leftyhunter and I had never thought about the Union attempting to recruit overseas. This is new to me. It seems the Irish, like others, had men fighting on both sides of the CW, so I'd be interested to know about the Irish perspective on this one, too.
     
  5. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Check out @Pat Young link and there are a whole bunch of other aricles on the Irish during the Civil War. The Irish fought on both sides although in far greater numbers for the Union. I had a previous thread that asked if the Irish served in religiously segregated units and the answer was not for the most part.
    Interestingly enough even after the Civil War there were a few very violent Orange riots celebrating the Battle of the Boyne.
    Leftyhunter
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
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  6. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger Sergeant Major

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    Great article @Pat Young . I scrolled down further and pinched a little out of one of them that I couldn't resist.

    "The friend asked Meagher what had changed his heart. “Duty and patriotism,” the Irish leader replied. He said it was his duty as a man who had been granted asylum by the United States to protect her. He added that since the United States was the “mainstay of human freedom the world over,” Irishmen were obligated to end the dismemberment of the country if they ever hoped to win freedom in Ireland. He also sketched out his idea of using service in the war as a training ground for a new breed of Irish warriors who would turn their skills at war against the British after the Confederate rebellion was suppressed".

    https://longislandwins.com/news/national/thomas-meagher-the-irish-rebel-joins-the-union-army/

    The Irish didn't often go into a fight without the British in mind, it seems.

    Emigrating often seems to soothe prior enmities, I think, as everyone is trying to start a new life and in doing that leave the past behind. Much better chance of them working together out of the old environs, and coming together under one flag, which may be what happened during the CW. When you mention being segregated along religious lines, I have to admit I hadn't thought of that either. Another interesting question posed that seems to have been put to rest (wouldn't mind taking a look at that thread), and probably based on what I've already said. Getting people out of their entrenched positions goes a long way towards helping establish peace. Moving them to a new country to do that could prove to be a little more onerous!

    I'm going to look see now and try and find out more about attempts to recruit in Ireland.

    PS: I recently read another piece about the US Consul attempting to lure Confederates away from a Commerce Raider when they put to shore in one city...but that's for another thread :wink:
     
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  7. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger Sergeant Major

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    Here's a taster of what I just found...going to the full article now:

    "By 1864 there was very little popular support remaining in Ireland for the American Civil War. Added to this there was a perception (whether real or imagined) that Federal agents were extremely active in the country, either directly recruiting Irishmen for service in the Union army or duping them into taking passage across the Atlantic where they would then be forced to enlist. Many Irish newspapers were extremely vocal about the issue. A previous post on the site provided a link to a 5th April 1864 piece in the The Irish Times, where it was claimed recent Irish arrivals in New York were being abducted and forced into the army.

    The fact that this issue was a hot topic in Ireland at the time is revealed by the latest addition to The Irish Times ‘From the Archives’ feature. The paper has once again delved into their 1864 issues, this time focusing on an editorial from 1st March that year. The editor describes a practice whereby Federal agents recruited a large number of men in Dublin to ostensibly work on a railroad, and arranged their passage to the United States. He tells of their isolation and segregation upon arrival in New York, eventually being left with no option but to enlist in the army in order to survive.

    There is little doubt that Federal agents were at work in Ireland during the Civil War years and that the Confederacy sent their own agents to undermine these efforts. There remains debate as to the extent of these activities and how much truth there is in the types of incidents related by papers such as The Irish Times. Nonetheless it is a fascinating aspect of the Irish experience of the American Civil War. You can read the full editorial from 1864 here".

    https://irishamericancivilwar.com/2...ent-in-ireland-during-the-american-civil-war/
     
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  8. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    I have a similar instance involving Germans being lured on false pretenses. Also one instance from the 20th Maine. I will look for them when I get a chance.
     
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  9. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    I have a similar instance involving Germans being lured on false pretenses. Also one instance from the 20th Maine. I will look for them when I get a chance.
     
  10. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger Sergeant Major

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    It seems going by Pat's article (e.g. Sweden) and Ireland's take on things, not all efforts to recruit immigrants from overseas was viewed favorably, and in some instances appears to be quite '****ing'. Desperate times call for desperate measures it seems...

    Edit: Edit on this site seems to make things you say look worse than what they actually are at times...I'll have to change some of my vocabulary!
     
  11. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger Sergeant Major

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    Here is an interesting response by the Confederates in relation to said recruitment (link provided with article above):

    "In July 1863 Lieutenant J.L. Capston, a cavalry officer, received a letter from Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin indicating that he was to be reassigned. His destination was Ireland, and his task was to use legitimate means to counteract the work of agents of the United States operating there. His ultimate mission was to prevent the Irish from emigrating to the north and enlisting in Federal armies. The letter was originally carried in the 16th July 1896 edition of the Richmond Times".

    A partial from the letter:

    "It is understood that under the guise of assisting needy persons to emigrate, a regular organization has been formed of agents in Ireland who leave untried no method of deceiving the laboring population into emigrating for the ostensible purpose of seeking employment in the United States, but really for recruiting the Federal armies...

    Relate to them the story of Meagher’s Brigade, its formation and its fate. Explain to them that they will be called on to meet Irishmen in battle, and thus to imbrue their hands in the blood of their own friends, and perhaps kinsmen, in a quarrel which does not concern them, and in which all the feelings of a common humanity should induce them to refuse taking part against us."
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
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  12. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger Sergeant Major

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    As per another thread (Were the Irish regiments religiously segregated?) I've found an interesting character (@Pat Young introduced me) and this relates to John Mitchel:

    "Mitchel also wrote for some Irish newspapers and was particularly anxious to discourage Irish enlistment into the Union army. (About 150,000 Irishmen fought for the Union; probably less than 20,000 served with the Confederacy.) In a letter to The Nation Mitchel applauded the bravery of the Irishmen fighting for the North but claimed that they were dupes, fooled by false promises of land in the South and fighting for a government that despised them and cared nothing for their lives: ‘they are to be made use of precisely as the poor negroes are—thrust to the front in every fight, and thrown aside afterwards as broken tools. They will never hold land in the Confederate country, save that regular fee-simple of six feet by two which many thousands of them now peacefully hold.’

    http://www.historyireland.com/18th-...zen-john-mitchel-the-confederacy-and-slavery/

    As per my previous posts on this topic, it seems there was plenty of propaganda on both sides in terms of recruitment overseas.
     
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  13. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    Here is the story of some German Hamburgers recruited under shady circumstances:

    https://longislandwins.com/columns/...rmented-and-captured-at-petersburg-in-1864-2/
     
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  14. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger Sergeant Major

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    That was hard to read, Pat. The suffering of all concerned must have been enormous...considering the language barrier and the difficulties it presented. There was obviously humanity and friendship to be shared in the end which makes the story redemptive for me. It seems the Lieutenant survived his ordeal at Andersonsville as well which I was glad to see.
     
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  15. civilken

    civilken 2nd Lieutenant

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    good post and pat thank you for the article I found it very informative..
     
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  16. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    My pleasure.
     
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  17. 1NCCAV

    1NCCAV Private

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    Question: Did the Union recruit overseas?

    Answer:

    Pic185.jpg
     
  18. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger Sergeant Major

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    OK...you've got me there. Who is this?
     
  19. 1NCCAV

    1NCCAV Private

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    Miles Keogh
     
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  20. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger Sergeant Major

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    I see you're a man of few words. I will look him up now just to satisfy my curiosity :smile:
     
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  21. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    Keogh was recruited in Italy by Archbishop John Hughes of New York.
     

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