American Civil War
Just under 200,000 Irishmen took part in the American Civil War, making it one of the most significant conflicts in Irish history. Hundreds of thousands more were affected away from the battlefield, both in the US and in Ireland itself. The Irish contribution, however, is often only viewed through the lens of famous units such as the Irish Brigade, but the real story is much more complex and fascinating.
Despite this huge level of Irish involvement, little is known in their home country about their experiences. A large number of sites in Ireland are either directly connected with individuals who fought in the American Civil War or were centres of activity relating to the conflict.
An American Civil War Trail is planned around the country in sites either directly connected with individuals who fought in the American Civil War or were centres of activity relating to the conflict.
Local historians, James Doherty and Donncha O Ceallachain took Orla Rapple on the American Civil War trail in Waterford.
Archaeologist Damian Shiels joined Myles in studio to talk about the Civil War Trail initiative as well as his new book Irish in the American Civil War (The History Press).
Damian’s book highlights personal stories of those involved - from the Tipperary man who was the first man to die in the war, to the Corkman who was the last General mortally wounded in action; from the flag bearer who saved his regimental colours at the cost of his arms, to the Roscommon man who led the hunt for Abraham Lincolns assassin, what emerges in this book is a catalogue of gallantry, sacrifice and bravery.
Details of Irish sites and people related to the American Civil War are available at Irishcwtrails.com.
The ultimate goal of the group is to erect plaques in places around Ireland associated with the American Civil War.