Union General Thomas Alfred Smyth – Christmas Day Truce at Today in Irish History

Dec 25: TODAY in Irish History:

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Irish born Union General Thomas Smyth

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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1832: Union General Thomas Alfred Smyth is born in County Cork

Smyth was born in Ballyhooly Co. Cork. He was the last Union General to be killed in the Civil War. He died on the day of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, having been mortally wounded by a sniper two days previously. He fought at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and was a Brigade Commander at Gettysburg. . Following his death, he was posthumously brevetted Major General, US Volunteers.

READ: Smyth bio at the excellent Irish in the American Civil War

Irish born Union General Thomas Smyth

Irish born Union General Thomas Smyth


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1914: Christmas Day Truce

A truce occurs when British and German troops layed down their arms and played a game of soccer between the trenches. It is a day full of myth and legend, poorly recorded (partly due to the commanders of both sides playing down the event) and probably some exaggeration as to how large an event it was. There is no doubt that Silent Night was sung by both sides on the night. The Dept. of the Taoiseach states that some “Some Irish soldiers took part in the Christmas Truce of 1914 when there was a spontaneous cessation in the killing for a short period.” There is little record of Irish troops being involved, but given that over 200,000 Irish fought in the British army during this conflict (over 30,000 killed), it is quite likely that some Irish brogues were heard during one of the most poignant incidents in military history.


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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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