Irish Americans in the Confederate Army

Irish Americans in the Confederate Army

by Sean Michael O'Brien

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Overview

Irish Americans in the Confederate Army by Sean Michael O'Brien

In 1861, Americans flooded to enlist for what all thought would be a short and glorious war. Anxious to prove their loyalty to their new homeland, thousands of Irish immigrants were among those who hurried to join the fight on both sides. While the efforts of the Union’s legendary Irish Brigade are well documented, little has been said regarding the role Irish American soldiers played for the Confederacy. This comprehensive history explores the Irish contribution to the Confederate military effort throughout the four major combat theatres of the Civil War.
Beginning with an overview of Irish Americans in the South, the book looks at the Irish immigrant experience and the character of the typical Irish Confederate soldier, detailing the ways in which Irish communities supported the Southern war effort. The main focus is the military actions in which Irish American soldiers were present in significant or influential numbers. With a combat death rate disproportionate to their numbers, the 40,000 Irish who served in the Confederate army played significant roles in the Army of Northern Virginia, the Army of Tennessee, the hotly disputed coastal areas and the Mississippi and Trans-Mississippi campaigns. Most major battles of the war are discussed including Manassas, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, Shiloh, Murfreesboro and Appomattox. Appendices contain a list of various Irish commands and field commanders in the Confederate Army.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786475148
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 01/29/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 1,210,959
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

The late Sean Michael O’Brien was a retired educator and free lance writer. He lived in Eufaula, Alabama.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Maps vii

Foreword by Kelly J. O’Grady 1

Preface 3

Prologue: Celtic War Cry 7

PART I. THE IRISH EXPERIENCE IN THE SOUTH

1. The New Country: Irish Immigrants in the South 11

2. Fighting Irish: The Character of the Irish Confederate Soldier 23

3. Home Front: The Irish Family, Community, and Church in War 33

PART II. THE IRISH IN THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA

4. Green Flag Unfurled: Manassas and the Valley Campaign 43

5. Defending Richmond: The Seven Days, June 1862 53

6. Southern Offensive: Second Manassas and Sharpsburg, August–September 1862 64

7. “With Distinguished Gallantry and Coolness”: Fredericksburg, December 1862 79

8. “A Stubborn and Bloody Conflict”: Gettysburg, July 1863 87

9. “To No Avail”: Wilderness to Appomattox, May 1864–April 1865 100

PART III. THE IRISH IN THE ARMY OF TENNESSEE

10. Hornets’ Nest: The Irish at Shiloh, April 1862 109

11. “Gallantry and Courage”: Perryville and Murfreesboro, October–December 1862 116

12. The Contest for Chattanooga: Chickamauga to Ringgold Gap, September–November 1863 127

13. The Contest for Atlanta, May–September 1864 141

14. “Carnival of Death”: Franklin, November 1864 156

PART IV. THE IRISH IN THE COASTAL STRONGHOLDS

15. “Up-Hill Work”: Charleston, Savannah, and Fort Fisher 167

16. To the Last Ditch: From Fort Pickens to Fort Blakely, 1861–1865 177

PART V: THE IRISH IN THEMISSISSIPPI AND TRANS-MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGNS

17. The Struggle for the Mississippi 189

18. West of the Sabine: The Irish in Texas 200

Epilogue: “Their Bones Lie on Every Battle-Field” 211

Appendix 1: Irish Commands in the Confederate Army 215

Appendix 2: Some Irish-American Field Commanders in the Confederate Army 226

Chapter Notes 237

Works Cited 247

Index 251

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