Archive for November, 2012

November 30,

Patrick Cleburne: Stonewall of the West – Mother Jones Dead – Bill Clinton in Belfast at Today in Irish History

November 30: TODAY in Irish History:

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Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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November 30:Death of Confederate General, Cork born Patrick Cleburne – the “Stonewall of the West.”

1864: Death of Cork born Confederate General Patrick Cleburne at the Battle of Franklin, “pierced with forty-nine bullets, through and through.” Cleburne was the highest ranking Irish General during the Civil war and is recognized as one of the finest officers to serve on either side of that terrible campaign. Robert E. Lee referred to him as a “a meteor shining from a clouded sky.” He became known as the Stonewall of the West”  Cleburne’s campaigns included the Battles of Shiloh, Richmond and Chickamauga.

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Cork born Patrick Cleburne

Patrick Cleburne 1828-1864

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The Patrick R. Cleburne Confederate Memorial Cemetery in Georgia is the final resting place of Confederate soldiers who fell during the Battle of Jonesboro. Cleburne County in Alabama is named after the Corkman. The town of Cleburne Texas was named in honor of Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne, under whom many of the men had fought during the Civil War..

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Some of the best recollections of Cleburne’s abilities are referenced in Co Aytch, a truly interesting memoir by Confederate soldier Sam Watkins. Of the Battle of Ringold Gap where Cleburne’s 4,000 men fought 12,000 of Hooker’s Northern forces, he writes:

“Cleburne had had the doggondest fight of the war. The ground was piled with dead Yankees; they were piled in heaps. The scene looked unlike any battlefield I ever saw. From the foot to the top of the hill was covered with their slain, all lying on their faces. It had the appearance of the roof of a house shingled with dead Yankees. They were flushed with victory and success, and had determined to push forward and capture the whole of the Rebel army, and set up their triumphant standard at Atlanta—then exit Southern Confederacy. But their dead were so piled in their path at Ringgold Gap that they could not pass them. The Spartans gained a name at Thermopylae, in which Leonidas and the whole Spartan army were slain while defending the pass. Cleburne’s division gained a name at Ringgold Gap, in which they not only slew the victorious army, but captured five thousand prisoners besides. That brilliant victory of Cleburne’s made him not only the best general of the army of Tennessee, and covered his men with glory and honor of heroes, but checked the advance of Grant’s whole army.”

Cleburne at the Battle of Atlanta (from Co. Aytch by Sam Watkins)

“The plan of battle, as conceived and put into action by General Cleburne, was one of the boldest conceptions, and, at the same time, one of the most hazardous that ever occurred in our army during the war, but it only required nerve and pluck to carry it out, and General Cleburne was equal to the occasion. The Yankees had fortified on two ranges of hills, leaving a gap in their breastworks in the valley entirely unfortified and unprotected. They felt that they could enfilade the valley between the two lines so that no troop would or could attack at this weak point. This valley was covered with a dense undergrowth of trees and bushes. General Walker, of Georgia, was ordered to attack on the extreme right, which he did nobly and gallantly, giving his life for his country while leading his men, charging their breastworks. He was killed on the very top of their works. In the meantime General Cleburne’s division was marching by the right flank in solid column, the same as if they were marching along the road, right up this valley, and thus passing between the Yankee lines and cutting them in two, when the command by the left flank was given, which would throw them into line of battle. By this maneuver, Cleburne’s men were right upon their flank, and enfilading their lines, while they were expecting an attack in their front. It was the finest piece of generalship and the most successful of the war.”

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READ: DETAILED BIO OF GENERAL PATRICK CLEBURNE

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FREE Download of Co. Aytch at Project Gutenberg

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1930: Death of Cork-born “Mother” Jones.

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones was once deemed “the most dangerous woman in America” because of her union activities. Loved by the labor movement, she suffered major tragedies in her own life losing her husband and four children to Yellow Fever and then some years later losing everything in the Chicago Fire.

A lengthy biography at AFLCIO.org states “In June 1897, after Mary addressed the railway union convention, she began to be referred to as “Mother” by the men of the union. The name stuck. That summer, when the 9,000-member Mine Workers called a nationwide strike of bituminous (soft coal) miners and tens of thousands of miners laid down their tools, Mary arrived in Pittsburgh to assist them. She became “Mother Jones” to millions of working men and women across the country for her efforts on behalf of the miners. Mother Jones was so effective the Mine Workers sent her into the coalfields to sign up miners with the union. She agitated in the anthracite fields of eastern Pennsylvania, the company towns of West Virginia and the harsh coal camps of Colorado.”

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Mother Jones Cork born at Today in Irish History

Mother Jones 1837-1930

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READ: AFLCIO biography of Mother Jones

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1995: President Clinton in Northern Ireland.

Clinton becomes the first U.S. President to visit Northern Ireland  and is greeted with rapturous reception from both Protestant and Catholic communities. Speaking at the Mackie Plant in a sectarian plagued Belfast, he said:

“Here in Northern Ireland, you are making a miracle, a miracle symbolized by those two children who held hands and told us what this whole thing is all about. In the land of the harp and the fiddle, the fife and the lambeg drum, two proud traditions are coming together in the harmonies of peace. The cease-fire and negotiations have sparked a powerful transformation.”
“Here in Northern Ireland, you are making a miracle, a miracle symbolized by those two children who held hands and told us what this whole thing is all about. In the land of the harp and the fiddle, the fife and the lambeg drum, two proud traditions are coming together in the harmonies of peace. The cease-fire and negotiations have sparked a powerful transformation.”

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clinton mackie plant november 95

Bill Clinton speaking at Mackie Plant Belfast 1995

READ: Bill Clinton Mackie Plant speech

In Ireland (as it seems in so many other places), Bill Clinton is a rock star.

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Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

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November 29,

Charles Thomson, Continental Secretary – Belfast Born C.S. Lewis – Northern Ireland Situation at Today in Irish History

November 29: TODAY in Irish History:

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Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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1729: Charles Thomson – Continental Congress Secretary

Charles Thompson, Irish born Secretary Continental Congress

Charles Thompson, Irish born Secretary Continental Congress

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Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress is born in Maghera, County Derry. When he was 10-11 years age, Thomson emigrated to America after the death of his mother. His father died on the journey across the Atlantic, leaving him to survive with at least one other sibling when they landed in Delaware. He became highly educated and a Latin tutor and became actively involved in Colonial politics

According to Colonialhall.com,” Of all the patriots of the Revolution, no man was better acquainted with the men and events of that struggle, than Charles Thomson, who was the permanent Secretary of the Continental Congress for more than fifteen years.”

At least three signatories to the Declaration of Independence were Irish – James Smith, George Taylor and Matthew Thornton

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READ: Bio of Charles Thomson

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1898: C.S. Lewis author of The Chronicles of Narnia and ardent Christian writer is born in Belfast. He is no relation to another famous Belfast writer of similar name Cecil Day Lewis.

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READ: Bio of C.S. Lewis

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1993: Britain in Talks with IRA

It is revealed that the British Government is having secret meetings with the IRA which enrages the Unionist community.  In the House of Commons, an irate Ian Paisley accuses Northern Ireland Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew of lying about the meetings and was suspended from proceedings for five days. Hansard reports the exchanges as follows:

Rev. Ian Paisley (Antrim, North) : Why has the Secretary of State not taken up the point that has aggravated and exacerbated the situation in Northern Ireland ? It is not a matter of whether there is a channel conveying messages to the provisional IRA or whether the Government have had contacts in the past, or have in the present, but that those statements have been denied by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has rubbished any suggestion of such talks. He has rubbished anyone who dared, at a press conference, to put questions on that to him. When we met him and the Prime Minister in the past week, he rubbished the suggestion again and said that there was no such thing. The people of Northern Ireland today demand that the Secretary of State explains why he issued falsehoods himself, got officials to issue falsehoods and got Downing street to back up those falsehoods.

Madam Speaker : Order. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is being as restrained as he can be at this moment. However, falsehoods mean one thing to the Chair lies. I would be obliged if he could rephrase what he is saying.

Rev. Ian Paisley : I would like to ask the Secretary of State a question that everyone in Northern Ireland is asking. Even if the message that he got in February, and to which he responded, said that the conflict was over, surely he would have known after one exchange that the conflict was not over. What has happened ? Those talks were going on, but we had Warrington. The talks were going on while the bombing was going on in this city. Even when the bombing took place in the Shankill road, the lines were still open. Surely the Secretary of State cannot think that, after his behaviour, he can have any trust with the Northern Ireland people. If he wants a settlement, the only honourable thing that he can do is resign.

Madam Speaker : Order. I really must seek a withdrawal from the hon. Gentleman of the word “falsehood”. I am sure that he has tried to couch his words very carefully this afternoon, but I ask him to reflect for a moment while I am speaking so that he may withdraw and allow proper order in our exchanges and our questions. Dr. Paisley, I am sure that you will oblige.

Rev. Ian Paisley : Because of the seriousness of the situation, I cannot oblige you, Madam Speaker.

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Mayhew insisted there had been no change in the government’s official position – there could be no negotiations with the republican movement until a ceasefire had been agreed.

On December 15th, the British and Irish sign an Anglo-Irish Peace Pact which proves to be an important step on the road to peace.

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1999: Northern Ireland Power Sharing Executive

The Executive is appointed under the leadership of Unionist First Minister David Trimble. Sinn Fein’s chief negotiator and former IRA commander Martin McGuinness is appointed Minister in charge of Ulster’s schools. Despite numerous ongoing setbacks and suspensions, Northern Ireland was finally on the way to a peaceful future.

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Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

___________________________________

This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)