With St. Patrick’s Day coming up this week, we thought it’d be a good time to ask…
Do you have a favorite Irish-American regiment, commander, or soldier from the Civil War?
Myles Keogh. He served on the staffs of James Shields, John Buford and George Stoneman. He was commissioned a Captain in the 7th U.S. Cavalry after the war and died at the Little Big Horn. Keogh is buried in Auburn, New York in the same plot as Emory Upton.
Big admirer of Keough….his company of troopers ( I. Co. Although I may be wrong )….seemed to have put up a very stiff fight on the bluffs of the Little Big Horn….his mount ” Comanche “‘ venerated sole survivor!
You are spot on. It is likely that prior to the opening of the battle, Custer further divided his command and gave Keogh his own battalion which consisted of his own company along with Companies C and L.
Buster Kilrain, the only fictional character in Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels.
– Michael Aubrecht
Gen. Patrick Cleburne, arguably the best divisional commander of all the Confederate western armies….his performance and gallant death at Franklin in November 1864 was the stuff of heroic legend.
I AGREE WITH YOUR MAIN THESIS SIR…YES PATRICK CLEBURNE WAS FAR AND AWAY THE BEST DIVISION COMMANDER IN THE WEST. I WOULD TAKE IT ONE STEP FURTHER THOUGH, AFTER HANCOCK’S PROMOTION CLEBURNE WAS THE BEST IN THE WAR, AFTERALL HE WAS OFTEN USED AS A CORPS COMMANDER BY BRAGG AND BY HOOD’S SUICIDAL ATTACKS AROUND ATLANTA. AND DON’T FORGET THE ONLY REASON CLEBURNE WAS A DIVISION COMMANDER WAS BECAUSE HE SHOCKED THE UPPER COMMAND STRUCTURE, THE SAME ONES WHO TALKED ABOUT ARMING SLAVES AS GRANTS AND SHERMAN’S ARMIES WENT ON THE MARCH BY SUGGESTING THE ARMING OF SLAVES A YEAR EARLIER WHEN IT WOULD HAVE ACTUALLY HELPED. BUT YOUR ON THE RIGHT TRACK BROTHER, SSSOOO MUCH POLITICS IN THE CONFEDERATE COMMAND
I’m actually most fascinated by the sculpture of the Irish wolfhound on the Irish Brigade statue at Gettysburg. It is a captivating work of art that I love to examine up close when I’m visiting the battlefield.
Mr. Mackowski I would do just about anything to walk Gettysburg with you and just soak in that tremendous amount of knowledge you have. The rate at which you put out quality books is amazing. I do have a few questions about ECW (How do I switch my picture instead of the red symbol next to my name ect.) and would greatly appreciate if you could walk me through it. Again I have nothing but respect for your books, your work on websites, blogs, symposiums, and our treasured Parks. Hope to hear from you soon when you get the time and keep-up your incredible contributions sir!!!
AS BRAVE AS MANY OF THE IRISH WERE ON BOTH SIDES GROUP WISE I CAN’T HELP BUT FEEL PARTIAL TO THE N.Y. BRIGADE WITH MEAGHER’S LEADERSHIP. AT BULL RUN THEY EARNED OR RESPECT. AT ANTIETAM WE WERE IN PLAN AWE OF THEM, WHAT BRAVERY THEY SHOWED A FOE THEY JUST MET AS MANY OF THEM GOT OFF THE BOAT IN N.Y. AND AFTER WALKING 50 FEET WERE LITERALLY COHERCED INTO SIGNING PAPERWORK TO JOIN THE UNION CAUSE AND SHIPPED TO THE N.Y. BRIGADE WHERE LUCKILY THEY HAD THE STEADYING HAND OF BRAVE OLD MEAGHER HIMSELF. TALK ABOUT A TOUGH FIRST DAY OF WORK. UNFORTUNATELY THE N.Y. IRISH BRIGADE LIKE ALL BRIGADES IN THE UNION ARMY AT THE TIME FOUGHT AT FREDERICKSBURG, WHERE AS A HARBINGER OF THINGS TO COME IN WW1 BURNSIDES TACTICS, OR LACK THEREOF DECIMATED THE BRIGADE. BURNSIDE WAS A CORPS COMMANDER WHO FOUND SUCCESS EARLY IN THE WAR IN NORTH CAROLINA. HE WAS ASKED TWICE TO LEAD THE AOP BY MR. LINCOLN AND TWICE TURNED HIM DOWN CITING HIS OWN LACK OF ABILITY TO LEAD A ENTIRE ARMY, AND WHILE THAT WAS ENTIRELY TRUE AND TOOK COURAGE TO ADMIT MANY BELIEVE HIS REAK REASONING FOR TURNING THE JOB DOWN WAS HE DIDN’T WANT TO OFFEND HIS VERY GOOD FRIEND AND LEADER OF ALL UNION ARMIES AT ONE POINT GENERAL McCLELLAN. NONETHELESS HE TOOK THE JOB AND PROVED HIS SELF ANALYSIS OF HIMSELF BY SENDING DIVISION AFTER DIVISION, PIECEMEAL MIND YOU UP A LARGE HILL AT A ENEMY BURROWED IN BEHINED A STONEWALL AND ARMED WITH SOME OF THE FINEST SNIPERS AND FOR ANY FINE UNION MEN WHO SOMEHOW DODGED THAT THERE WAS PLENTY OF CASE SHOT BELCHING FORTH OUT OF A VERY LONG LINE OF NAPOLEON’S. EVEN WITH THE EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP OF MEAGHER, WHO WAS SHOT FROM HIS HORSE TWICE WHILE LEADING ENTIRELY HOPELESS CHARGES AND LEFT FOR DEAD IN THE VIRGINIA MUD, THE BRAVE MEN OF THE N.Y. IRISH BRIGADE COULD DO NOTHING USING BURNSIDE’S HORRID TACTICS BUT BE CUT TO PIECES IN A COUNTRY THEY HAD BARELY SET FOOT UPON. THAT IS UNFLINCHING BRAVERY, AND MEAGHER AND HIS BRIGADE MUST BE ACKNOWLEDGED IN ANY DISCUSSION OF IRISH BRAVERY. BUT THERE WAS A MAN IN ARKANSAS, A MAN WHO SERVED IN THE BRITISH ARMY, AND AS MUCH AS HE DESPISED THE BRITISH AS ANY GOOD IRISHMAN WOULD HE TEDIOUSLY STUDIED THERE DISCIPLINE, THERE FORMATIONS, AND ABOVE ALL THERE TACTICS.THIS MAN ROSE THROUGH THE CONFEDERATE RANKS LIKE A SHOOTING STAR.HE WAS GIVEN A NICKNAME, “THE STONEWALL OF THE WEST”, AND WHILE MANY PEOPLE FEEL HE EARNED THIS NAME I AM GOING TO COMMIT A CARDINAL OFFENSE THAT WILL NO DOUBT BOIL THE BLOOD OF MANY CIVIL WAR OFFENCIADOD ON THIS FREEZING DAY IN DETROIT AND MOST THE NORTHEAST. I FEEL THE NICKNAME TO BE OFFENSIVE. NOT BECAUSE HE ISN’T THAT BRAVE, HE’S EVERY OUNCE THAT BRAVE AND THEN SOME, AND MY REASONING ISN’T BECAUSE IT OFFENDS THOMAS JACKSON, ITS ACTUALLY A COMPLIMENT TO MR. JACKON. I FIND IT OFFENSIVE BECAUSE HE’S DONE ENOUGH AND MORE TO EARN HIS OWN NICKNAME. HE WAS SHERMAN’S NEMESIS, STOPPING HIM COLD WHEREVER THEY MET, AND I WOULD GO SO FAR AS TO SAY HE FLAT OUT HUMILIATED AND EMBARESED SHERMAN AT CHATANOOGA. HIS BRAVERY BORDERD ON RIDICULOUSNESS. HE WAS ALSO A MAN WAY AHEAD OF HIS TIME, SO MUCH SO HE WAS PUNISHED FOR IT. HE HAD THE “AUDACITY” TO RECOGNIZE THE MATHEMATICS OF CONTINUOUSLY FIGHTING ARMIES THAT IF THEY WEREN’T TRIPLE THE SIZE OF THE CONFEDERATE’S THEY WERE DOUBLE AND SO THEREFORE HE PROPOSED ARMING SLAVES WHICH OFFENDED THOSE ABOVE HIM AND HAD THE EFFECT OF LOCKING HIM IN AS A DIVISION COMMANDER WITH THE RANK OF MAJOR GENERAL WHEN HE PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE HAD HIS OWN ARMY IF IT WAS TRUELY BASED ON HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE FIELD. I CAN THINK OF NO BETTER EXAMPLE OF HIS USE OF TERRAIN, PLACEMENT OF TROOPS, AND WHEN TO CALL UP HIS RESERVES, THAT IS THE FEW HE HAD. I CAN THINK OF NO BETTER EXAMPLE OF HIS LEADERSHIP SKILLS THEN AT THE BATTLE OF RINGGOLD GAP. FOR THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE BATTLE AFTER THE CONFEDERATE ARMY OF TENNESSEE WAS ROUTED OFF MISSIONARY RIDGE THEY FLED TOWARDS NORTH WEST GEORGIA PASSING THROUGH RINGGOLD GAP. AS THE ARTILLERY AND WAGON TRAINS FELL BEHIND BRAGG LEFT ONE DIVISION BEHIND TO PROTECT THEM AGAINST HARD HITTING JOSEPH HOOKER AND DIVISIONS FROM THE IV, XI, XII, AND THE XV CORPS THAT GRANT HAD SENT. DUE TO ALL THE PRECAUTIONS THE CONFEDERATE DIVISION COMMANDER HAD PUT IN PLACE ALL THE ARTILLERY AND WAGON TRAINS GOT THROUGH WITH THE LOSS OF ONLY 20 KILLED COMPARED TO ALL THOSE UNION DIVISIONS WHO LOST OVER 500 MEN KILLED. WHEN I THINK OF IRISH EYES SMILING DOWN ON ME I THINK OF THE MAN ROBERT E. LEE DESCRIBED AS “A METEOR SHINING BRIGHTLY IN A CLOUDY SKY”, GOD BLESS YOU PATRICK CLEBOURNE AND HAPPY ST. PADDY’S DAY EVERYONE!!! (REMEMBER TO HAVE A DESIGNATED DRIVER SO YOUR ALL AROUND TO ENJOY THIS BEAUTIFUL LIFE AND OUR GREAT HOBBY!!!)
I APOLOGIZE TO EVERYONE AND ESPECIALLY PATRICK CLEBURNE FOR MISSPELLING HIS NAME, I WAS IN THE ZONE!!! J/K
I APOLOGIZE TO EVERYONE ESPECIALLY PATRICK CLEBURNE FOR SPELLING HIS NAME WRONG, I WAS IN THE ZONE!!! J/K
MR. CLEBURNE I AM VERY SORRY FOR GETTING YOUR NAME INCORRECT, MY MIND WORKS FASTER THEN A 1950s SECRETARY CAN EVER POSSIBLY TYPE J/K LOVE AND PEACE TO ALL
Thomas Francis DeBurgh Galwey.
Enlisted at age 15 in Co. B, (the Hibernian Guards) 8th OVI in 1861.
At Gettysburg commanded the company as a 17 year old 2nd. LT.
Mustered out with the regiment in 1864 as a 19 year old Brevet Captain.
Of course, the 11th New York Fire Zouaves! “To tha masheen, fire laddies!”
Regiment: The “Emerald Guards,” Company E, Thirty-Third Virginia. I’ve written previously about their involvement in the Stonewall Brigade:
“Every man in this unit was Irish and worked and lived as common laborers in the New Market area. Many of these men signed an ‘X’ on muster documents, lending evidence to the fact that they were largely illiterate and unable to even sign their own name. Jackson considered the company the ‘problem child’ of the Stonewall Brigade due to its partiality for ‘liquor and brawling.’ One historian aptly described their irreligious proclivities: ‘. . . the Sons of Erin did not mesh easily with their conservative neighbors, most of whom were of German and Scotch-Irish descent. The Celts’ predilection for hard liquor and their affinity for world-class brawling at the least provocation engendered a definite air of notoriety.’ Many in Company E undoubtedly joined in the South’s struggle for the pure joy they would receive from fighting.”
Not actually in those categories, but I nominate him in a category by his lonesome – the Rev. William Corby, CSC, chaplain of the Irish Brigade We’ve all seen his iconic image frozen in bronze at Gettysburg where he gave absolution to the Irish Brigade with Longstreet’s approaching guns thundering in the background. He was one of several CSC’s the Rev. Edward Sorin dispatched to the Union armies from a small private school in northern Indiana. He later served as that school’s second President and published his Civil War memoirs. A replica of his Gettysburg statue stands on the school’s campus and, right arm raised skyward, has been known to generations of students as “Fair Catch Corby”.
After reading James B. Swan’s book, I would have to say my favorite Irish-American Regiment would be the 90th Illinois Volunteers. They were known locally as Chicago’s “Irish Legion”, although all were not from Chicago, they were mainly Irish. Father Denis Dunne of Chicago’s St. Patrick Church promoted and sustained this regiment. The 90th was mustered in at Camp Douglas, Chicago, but was housed in tents at Camp Dunne, one mile south of Camp Douglas. The Irish Legion was sent to Vicksburg and helped to guard the supply line. Confederate General Earl Van Dorn attacked them at Coldwater Station, but was repulsed. The 90th fought at Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Atlanta, the March to the Sea, Savannah, and the Carolinas. They lost their commander, Colonel Timothy O’Meara, in a charge of Tunnel Hill/Missionary Ridge. Colonel O’Meara was mortally wounded near a cattle pen and died the next day. His body was sent to New York per request of the family. He was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York. There is a tall marble monument that marks his grave. It is near the Civil War Soldiers Monument. Lt. Colonel Owen Stuart was also wounded at Missionary Ridge, but later returned to action. The 90th Illinois had the unusual distinction of having a female soldier, Eliza Miller. Col. O’Meara found out about her and relieved her of duty in Chicago. She married a fellow soldier and remained with the regiment.
Correction to my post. The 90th Illinois was from Chicago and other parts of Illinois and even Southern Wisconsin. The 23rd Illinois was the first Illinois-Irish regiment, the 90th was the second.
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