June 20: TODAY in Irish History:
Today in Irish History: Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks
ON THIS DAY
1763: Birth of Irish patriot Theobald Wolf Tone. Tone was one of the founding fathers of the United Irishmen which with the aid of France attempted to gain independence for Ireland. On October 12 1798, he was captured off the coast of Donegal in French shop Hoche as it attempted to land French forces. On November 10th, he was found guilty of treason and sentenced to be hanged. Before this sentence could be carried out, he attempted suicide by cutting his throat. He died a long lingering death 9 days later on November 19th.
1901: Death of Kilkeel, Co. Down born (June 27, 1824) General Robert Nugent served in the U.S. Army during the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. He served with the Irish Brigade’s 69th Infantry Regiment, from its days as a National Guard unit and into its incorporation into the Union Army at the start of the war, and was one of its senior officers at the First Battle of Bull Run. His obituary in the Brooklyn Eagle read:
General Robery Nugent died at his home,
332 McDonough street, yesterday, as the
final result of a bullet wound in the stomach
received at the battle of Fredericksburg, De-
cember 13, 1862, while leading his command
up Marye’s Hill. For seventeen years he
suffered from chronic dyspepsia. General
Nugent was born in Killkeel, County Down,
Ireland, July 24, 1824, and came to New York
when a young man. He joined the Seventh
Regiment as a private and afterward was a
captain in the Fourteenth Regiment. In 1853
he became a member of the Sixty-ninth
Regiment, New York State Militia, and rose
to the colonelcy before the beginning of the
Civil War. At the firing on Fort Sumter he
led the regiment to Virginia. On it return
he helped organize the Sixty-ninth New York
Volunteers, which was the first in Meagher’s
Irish Brigade. He served as colonel of the
regiment until 1862, when, General Meagher
becoming incapacitated, he succeeded to the
command of the Irish Brigade. It was while
leading this charge that he received the
wound that finally caused his death. He was
carried from the field and brevetted for his
bravery. During his convalescence in New
York he was appointed deputy provost mar-
shal of New York and Brooklyn, serving as
such from May to November, 1863. During
that time the draft riots took place. He
returned to the Army, reaching the rank of
brigadier general. At the close of the war
he became a captain in the regular Army
and commanded a company in many battles
in Montana, Dakota, and Wyoming, against
the Sioux and other Indians, being with Gen-
eral Miles in the battles against Sitting Bull.
In 1877 he was retired as major and returned
to Brooklyn to live. His wife, three daugh-
ters and a son survive him.
1924: Audie Murphy is born in Texas to share-cropping parents of Irish descent. He would become the most decorated US soldier of World War II.
His Citation for the Medal of Honor reads:
Second Lt. Murphy commanded Company B, which was attacked by six tanks and waves of infantry. 2d Lt. Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to a prepared position in a woods, while he remained forward at his command post and continued to give fire directions to the artillery by telephone. Behind him, to his right, one of our tank destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. Its crew withdrew to the woods. 2d Lt. Murphy continued to direct artillery fire, which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, 2d Lt. Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer, which was in danger of blowing up at any moment, and employed its .50 caliber machine gun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to German fire from three sides, but his deadly fire killed dozens of Germans and caused their infantry attack to waver. The enemy tanks, losing infantry support, began to fall back. For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to eliminate 2d Lt. Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad that was trying to creep up unnoticed on his right flank. Germans reached as close as 10 yards, only to be mowed down by his fire. He received a leg wound, but ignored it and continued his single-handed fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way back to his company, refused medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack, which forced the Germans to withdraw. His directing of artillery fire wiped out many of the enemy; he killed or wounded about 50. 2d Lt. Murphy’s indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company from possible encirclement and destruction, and enabled it to hold the woods which had been the enemy’s objective.”
Murphy was awarded thirty two other medals for gallantry including the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, four Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and the French and Belgian Croix de Guerre.
Following the war, Murphy became a movie actor, starring in numerous films including his own bio-pic To Hell and Back.
Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
For the Love of Being Irish written by Chicago based Corkman Conor Cunneen and illustrated by Mark Anderson which is an A-Z of all things Irish. This is a book that contains History, Horror, Humor, Passion, Pathos and Lyrical Limericks that will have you giving thanks (or wishing you were) For the Love of Being Irish
This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humoristIrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.
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