The real story of the Irish who fought with the Confederate Army is only just starting to be told

Andersonh1

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A new book, The Irish at Gettysburg, says the real story of the Irish who fought with the Confederate Army is only just starting to be told.
Seemingly everything possible has already been written about the climactic battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—three nightmarish days of intense combat in early July 1863—that determined America’s destiny.​
Consequently, for people craving something new beyond the standard narrative so often repeated throughout the past, they were sorely disappointed by the new Gettysburg titles released for the 150th anniversary.​
In fact, this unfortunate situation that has fully revealed the overall sterility of the Gettysburg field of study has resulted in the writing of this book to fill this significant void in the historical record. It tells the story of the Irish and their key roles at the battle of Gettysburg and the overall Civil War.​
This important chapter about the vital contributions of the most uniquely ethnic and obscure fighting men, especially in the ranks of the Army of Northern Virginia, has not been previously revealed in full, even in books about the most written-about and decisive confrontation in Civil War—and American—history. Therefore, this analysis of the importance of the Irish role at Gettysburg represents one of the final frontiers of Gettysburg historiography.​

Find the rest of the article here: https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/irish-confederate-army-civil-war?fbclid=IwAR1my87DvB9ZkXYYCEqYyXQpXqMesIIHxXaOhLtRhXlI5F474t7Oy-iaOww
 

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Cavalry Charger

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I actually enjoyed reading the attached link, which may contain threads of truth but which I would also not take as gospel.

I'm not sure what part people are objecting to and would be interested to know just to open up the discussion around this.

Having said that, I came across an article some time ago from a completely different source which clearly indicated that Irish soldiers who had fought in a United country before secession found they were treated with prejudice in the army and therefore made the choice to join the Confederacy. I was surprised when I read this, but the information was taken directly from soldier's letters/diaries.

I doubt I could find it again, though I will try.
 

Pat Young

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I'm not sure what part people are objecting to and would be interested to know just to open up the discussion around this.
Tucker is viewed pretty negatively around here, especially after the threatened to sue Civil War Talk over a comment made about one of his publications by a member.

I read this article when it came out a year ago and gave a long comment on it. Much of it is exaggerated. There are interesting Irish immigrant stories from the Confederacy, but Tucker is just silly.
 

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Tucker is viewed pretty negatively around here, especially after the threatened to sue Civil War Talk over a comment made about one of his publications by a member.

I read this article when it came out a year ago and gave a long comment on it. Much of it is exaggerated. There are interesting Irish immigrant stories from the Confederacy, but Tucker is just silly.
Thanks for the heads up, Pat! I accept there are exaggerations, and in light of what you have said would prefer to read more legitimate studies (assuming these are potentially biased and not well researched).
 

Pat Young

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Thanks for the heads up, Pat! I accept there are exaggerations, and in light of what you have said would prefer to read more legitimate studies (assuming these are potentially biased and not well researched).
If you want stories, Irish in the American Civil War by Damian Shiels, and his earlier The Forgotten Irish give you great fact based stories of individual Irish Union and Confederate soldiers and their families. The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America by David T. Gleeson is a nice short study of the subject. I have a few disagreements with it, but it covers some interesting territory.

Stonewall of the West: Patrick Cleburne and the Civil War by Craig L. Symonds is a neat study of one of the most interesting of the small number of immigrant Confederates. Symonds gives the usual military bio, but also includes a discussion of Cleburne's Irish identity, complex because he was from a declassed professional family, an Irish Protestant son of a father who supported Catholic emancipation. When you finish this book you really wish we knew more about his thoughts on a United States/Confederacy he lived in for only a decade and a half.
 

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If you want stories, Irish in the American Civil War by Damian Shiels, and his earlier The Forgotten Irish give you great fact based stories of individual Irish Union and Confederate soldiers and their families. The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America by David T. Gleeson is a nice short study of the subject. I have a few disagreements with it, but it covers some interesting territory.

Stonewall of the West: Patrick Cleburne and the Civil War by Craig L. Symonds is a neat study of one of the most interesting of the small number of immigrant Confederates. Symonds gives the usual military bio, but also includes a discussion of Cleburne's Irish identity, complex because he was from a declassed professional family, an Irish Protestant son of a father who supported Catholic emancipation. When you finish this book you really wish we knew more about his thoughts on a United States/Confederacy he lived in for only a decade and a half.
Thanks, Pat. Just bookmarked for future reference!
 

leftyhunter

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If you want stories, Irish in the American Civil War by Damian Shiels, and his earlier The Forgotten Irish give you great fact based stories of individual Irish Union and Confederate soldiers and their families. The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America by David T. Gleeson is a nice short study of the subject. I have a few disagreements with it, but it covers some interesting territory.

Stonewall of the West: Patrick Cleburne and the Civil War by Craig L. Symonds is a neat study of one of the most interesting of the small number of immigrant Confederates. Symonds gives the usual military bio, but also includes a discussion of Cleburne's Irish identity, complex because he was from a declassed professional family, an Irish Protestant son of a father who supported Catholic emancipation. When you finish this book you really wish we knew more about his thoughts on a United States/Confederacy he lived in for only a decade and a half.
Does the 40k Irish Confederate soldiers seem accurate or is it a bit less?
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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View attachment 298412

A new book, The Irish at Gettysburg, says the real story of the Irish who fought with the Confederate Army is only just starting to be told.
Seemingly everything possible has already been written about the climactic battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—three nightmarish days of intense combat in early July 1863—that determined America’s destiny.​
Consequently, for people craving something new beyond the standard narrative so often repeated throughout the past, they were sorely disappointed by the new Gettysburg titles released for the 150th anniversary.​
In fact, this unfortunate situation that has fully revealed the overall sterility of the Gettysburg field of study has resulted in the writing of this book to fill this significant void in the historical record. It tells the story of the Irish and their key roles at the battle of Gettysburg and the overall Civil War.​
This important chapter about the vital contributions of the most uniquely ethnic and obscure fighting men, especially in the ranks of the Army of Northern Virginia, has not been previously revealed in full, even in books about the most written-about and decisive confrontation in Civil War—and American—history. Therefore, this analysis of the importance of the Irish role at Gettysburg represents one of the final frontiers of Gettysburg historiography.​

Find the rest of the article here: https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/irish-confederate-army-civil-war?fbclid=IwAR1my87DvB9ZkXYYCEqYyXQpXqMesIIHxXaOhLtRhXlI5F474t7Oy-iaOww
Considering that the Confederate Constitution is very explicit about upholding the rights of slavery said Irish Confederate soldiers were indeed fighting for slavery whether they owned slaves or not. Also how is Washington DC a remote and arbitrary power? No the cause of Irish Independence has nothing in common with the goals of the Confederacy. So Mr.Tucker is not the go to source for accurate historical information.
Leftyhunter
 

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I get the impression Irish immigrants would have been much more enamoured with the idea of independence than the idea of holding slaves. They had come from a country craving independence and, like the government in London, may well have perceived the government in Washington to be a remote and arbitrary power. Now, I am only saying this on an assumption that these people connected the Civil War to their own experience in Ireland and not so much to a desire to keep blacks enslaved.
 

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I get the impression Irish immigrants would have been much more enamoured with the idea of independence than the idea of holding slaves. They had come from a country craving independence and, like the government in London, may well have perceived the government in Washington to be a remote and arbitrary power. Now, I am only saying this on an assumption that these people connected the Civil War to their own experience in Ireland and not so much to a desire to keep blacks enslaved.
But, they also saw a Confederacy dominated by a plantation aristocracy, who lorded it over poor whites much as the Protestant Ascendancy dominated Catholic-majority Ireland, in behalf of the English Crown. They were getting conflicting impressions. All over Ireland today there are ruins of the "Great Houses" of the Ascendancy Landlords -- most of them burned by the Irish themselves. They are eerily reminiscent of the iconic ruined southern plantation houses.
 
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John Hartwell

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The 1860 census counts a total of 79,009 persons (both sexes, all ages) of Irish birth in the eleven states which would secede. And, an additional 56,308 in the border states. This from a total population of 1,611,304 Irish-born in all states and territories.

Of course many of those Irish in Confederate service might have been U.S.-born, 1st generation Irish-Americans. How reasonable, given those basics, does 40,000 Confederate Irish soldiers seem to be? I don't know ... without a lot more detailed data, it will probably be just a matter of opinion (or anoesis).

Source of data:
https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/1860/population/1860a-46.pdf# [pp.620-21].
 


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