‘A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honours, the men it remembers’ (President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Ireland, 1963)

Irish American Civil War Trail

The American Civil War impacted hundreds of thousands of Irish people, both in the United States and Ireland. 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.

The Irish American Civil War Trail is an initiative established by a group of individuals based in Ireland, who are dedicated to heightening the recognition of the Irish contribution to the conflict across the island. Our aims are: 

To honour, remember and commemorate the thousands of Irishmen and women who served on both sides during the American Civil War, or were caught up in the conflict.

To promote the history of the Irish involvement in the American Civil War with a view to encouraging heritage based tourism into Ireland.

To work towards creating a permanent memorial to the Men and Women who participated in varying roles on both sides of the conflict.

The Irish involvement in the American Civil War was one of the most significant in any war, either in Ireland or elsewhere. It is fitting to the memory of these brave people that they be remembered on the island of their birth. To that end the Irish American Civil War Trail group has been set-up to fulfill a number of roles:

Highlight potential sites for inclusion in an Irish American Civil War Trail

Heighten awareness of the domestic and international tourism potential of such sites

Lobby for the protection of these sites and the creation of a memorial to Irish involvement in the American Civil War

The group is a completely voluntary and not-for-profit organisation. If you have any suggestions for additions to a perspective trail, or would like to assist the project in anyway, please contact us at americancivilwarandireland@gmail.com

30 thoughts on “Mission”

  1. Aidan O'Hara said:

    As you know, Damien and Peter, I am totally supportive of your efforts and again, commend you for it. You will know from my earlier correspondence that I’ve been working on Longford men in the CW (not least three chaplains from this general area). Also, I’ve worked on people from my native Inishowen/Derry area, as well as those in Dublin where I lived form many years. That’s it in a nutshell, but there’s more. In any case, when/if you wanted to get together with interested parties to further your ends, I am available.

  2. Liam McAlister said:

    Hi Damian,
    Best of luck with this venture. I will try to help you as much as I can.


  3. Bernard Donahue said:

    My West-Tyrone-born great-great-grandfather, Private Mathew McSorley, Co. B, 69th Pennsylvania Volunteers, died Dec, 14, 1862 of wounds suffered in the in the assault on Fredericksburg’s Mayre’s Heights. I hope to travel to Fredericksburg in the fall or winter to visit the little that remains of the battlefield site and would be interested in hearing of any activities regarding the 150th anniversary of that battle. The 69th Pennsylvania was the mostly Irish regiment of the Philadelphia Brigade. It fought at Antietam, Fredericksburg and later stopped Pickett’s Charge at “The Angle” at Gettysburg.

    • Dennis J. Francis said:

      Details on the reenactment in Dec. are being posted at http://fredericksburg150.org/

      Other info is being posted at http://frspinterpretation.wordpress.com/

      When you go, checkout the Fred. Visitor Center. When I was there some years back, they had a walking tour sheet that took you from town to Marye’s Heights which pointed out where things were (such as the canal, now gone) and what buildings were there in 1862. As built up as the plain is, this helped me a lot to get the lay of the land. Irish Brigade memorial is down by the city docks

    • bob peel said:

      Good Day Bernard:

      Was researching background for song Star of County Down and happened upon this website. Interesting re your GG Grandfather. My grandfather (yes) fought with the 69th Pennsylvania for about 3 yrs. He was at some of the most brutal battles and eventually got shot in the leg which had to be amputated. He was born in my hometown of London Ontario Canada and signed up as a volunteer with the 69th at about 16 yrs of age. His dad was born in County Antrim and his mom was from Tipperary.

      Where do you live?


      bob peel

      • Bernie Donahue said:

        Bob, I’m in Southern California, where, strangely, there is a 69th Pa reenactment group (Maybe because the 69th Pa was first raised as the 2nd California). I was in Carrickmore in Co. Tyrone this summer and visited the church in which Mathew McSorley married my GGGM Jane Kelly. Have you seen the two-volume history “Paddy Owen’s Regulars?”

    • mike donahue said:

      Bernie: I’m Michael J. Donahue in Houston. I’ll have to research more about the 69th PA and “Paddy Owen’s Regulars”. My ancestors hail from County Clare (Quilty & Mullagh) and the area south of Limerick. Thx for this information. MJD, 6330 Alder #6, Houston, Tx 77081 or mikejdonahue@yahoo.com.

  4. As a member of the Association of Lincoln Presenters, I have portrayed President Lincoln throughout the state of Ohio, USA. Information on my background and performances may be found at http://www.VisitWithAbe.com.

    Early this June, my wife & I will be in Ireland for about nine days. Would you know of any event or location that may be interested in having Mr. Lincoln speak with them?

    I would be much obliged for your kind assistance.

  5. Cecil Warrington said:

    Hi Damian,
    Just found your Irish American Civil War Trail and thought you would like to know that in April I will be visiting the National Cemetery in Chattanooga Tennessee, Here is the last resting place of my G grandfather’s first cousin, Miles Warrington, 121 Ohio Voluntary Infantry, B Company, He died on Jan 14th 1864,
    He was born and lived at a place called Tonywarden, Granard County Longford,
    I hope to be there about the first day’s of April,

  6. Hi Cecil,

    I know Granard well! That sounds like a really good trip, its nice to think that he still has family visiting after all this time. I hope to make it there myself as well some day.

    Kind Regards,


  7. Save the Peter Tait Factory in Limerick! let me know what i can do to help.

  8. Hi Damian
    Anything we in the South Tipperary Military History Society can do to help you know we are only too willing.
    Best Regards, Robert Reid

  9. John Johnson said:

    I just discovered that Peter Tait is a distant relative. Do you have any more information about him – I know about his roots in Shetland. Is there still familly in Ireland?

  10. Hi Joe, I also have a great great grandfather who was in the 9th MA company B. Philip McGovern was 25, from Lynn MA and was a native of County Cavan, Ireland. He was shot in the head (and survived!) at Malvern Hill. He lost the sight in his right eye and suffered brain damage but went on to father may children one of whom was my great grandmother! Thanks for the info….Alison

  11. Great idea. You have the full support of the ACWRTUK. We will do some promoting to our members and hopefully some of our research will be of help.

  12. Daniel Callaghan said:

    Dear irishacwtrail team, think the mission is a great idea and looking forward to following progress. Well done and best wishes.
    Daniel Callaghan

    • George D. Fenn said:

      I think that this will go far and help many of us who are living historians portraying our kinsmen during that dark chapter of our nations history. It will also show that there were a lot of sons of Erin who served both sides of the war.
      Your Obedient Servant
      George Fenn

  13. Wayne Fanebust said:

    Hello All:
    I am a Civil War buff interested in learning more about the Irish involvement in that great struggle. I am also a writer and my book “Major General Alexander M. McCook, USA, A Civil War Biography,” was recently published. Gen. McCook was Irish and came from a large extended family that sent 17 of its members to serve the Union in various capacities. As I will be writing another book on the general’s brothers, I am interested in hearing from anyone who may be familiar with the McCook family, or may have photos. Thanks

  14. Donald Humphreys said:

    I have recently been researching the Breen side of my family and have learned a fair bit about Patrick Breen, my great grandfather on my mother’s side. He enlisted in the Regular Army (the “Old Army”) in New York in 1855 after following his parents to New York from Ireland (his enlistment record shows him having been born in County Kerry.) According to the historian of Sykes’ Regulars, a Civil War reenactment group, he was an excellent soldier who served most of his 22 years in the ‘regulars’ in Co C. 2d Infantry Regiment. He was involved in many of the major engagements of the Civil War and was wounded at Gettysburg. He was one of 3 soldiers in Co. C that made it through the Civil War and was First Sgt., succeeding the last commissioned officer present when Co. C was all that was left of the 2d Infantry Regiment by the summer of 1864. (Reese, “The Regulars.)

    Any thoughts on how I can trace his roots in Ireland? (I am heading that way in August.)

    Don Humphreys
    email: thehumph2@yahoo.com

  15. Gerard Shannon said:

    Ever thought of reaching out to any military reenactment groups over here, or maybe inviting some over for an event? Might be a fine idea.

  16. larry Baggitt said:

    Wow. Nice blog as I stumbled across it this am. My great great grandfather William Cecil Baggitt was in the NJ 12th regiment and is buried in Freehold NJ. He was a member of Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).. Trying so hard to find out more information regarding his service..

  17. Kim Good said:

    My grandfather x 6 was born and educated in Dublin Ireland . I don’t know his parents or siblings may have fought in wars . My grandfather ‘s name was – ” Dr William James Todd. Any info would help so much . We have no other info on him

  18. tom plant said:

    Any plant’s in American civil war??

  19. Yes, Henry Joy McCracken

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 74 other followers