Happy St. Patrick's Day. How was St. Patrick's Day celebrated during the Civil War era?

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Aug 25, 2012
Areas with large Irish immigrants celebrated St. Patrick's Day before and during the Civil War. I have read that many of Detroit Irish immigrants living in Detroit crossed the river and went to Windsor where there was a huge St. Patrick's Day celebration. It appears that whiskey was free during the Windsor calibration and the Detroit police department had issues when some of the celebrants returned to Detroit after over indulging. I can not understand why there were issues.

Anyway here is a nice textured, the flags have tall ridges, postcard I have from St. Patrick's Day 1908. The postcard is in great shape for a postcard from 1908.
st pat.png


2nd Lieutenant
Jul 21, 2008
Kent, Washington
In the Old Country they went to Mass, I assume Irish immigrants here also went to Mass, if they cared about St. Patrick's day at all; many didn't (and don't).


Sergeant Major
Aug 8, 2011
Gettysburg area
On St. Patrick's Day 1863, artist Edwin Forbes sketched several of the festivities held by the soldiers of General Thomas Meagher's command. Here's a view of the mule race, which doesn't look like much fun for the mules, except perhaps for the one at the far right, who got to watch his rider attempt the "jump." You can view the five additional sketches in the Library of Congress here.

Jan 24, 2017
St. Patrick's Day was an important day for the Irish Brigade of the AOP. ( 63rd, 69th, 88th NY, 28th Mass, 116th Pa ) Check out this: https://irishamericancivilwar.com/2011/03/16/st-patricks-day-in-the-army-of-the-potomac-1863/
I was dying to hear what happened with the greased pole and competition for the 10 days leave! What a shame no one was able to take the prize. Still, they were given the opportunity to drown their sorrows post event which seems to have allayed any disappointment. This was very entertaining to read, and the day must have been of benefit to all with a chance to put aside their troubles for just a little while.