Archive for ‘Irish in Civil War’

June 3,

Irish Brigade at Fair Oaks – 1798 Rebellion Continues – RUC Founded at Today in Irish History

June 1: TODAY in Irish History:

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Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher

Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher

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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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

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1798: “Rebels Continue in Force”

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Lord Castlereagh

The military situation during the 1798 Rebellion is summed up in the following communication from Lord Castlereagh:

” The rebels still continue in force in the Counties of Wicklow, Wexford, Kildare, Carlow, Meath, and King’s County; it is difficult to bring them to any decisive action. They commit horrid cruelties, and disperse as soon as the troops appear. Should the insurrection confine itself within the present limits, a short time will dispose of it. There are some unpleasant appearances in certain parts of the North, but as yet all is in fact quiet in Ulster, Munster, and Connaught. . . . The spirit of the country rises with its difficulties. Should the rebellion prove only partial, aided by the reinforcements expected from England, I look with confidence to the issue, which, if fortunate, cannot fail to place this kingdom, and of course the empire, in a state of security much beyond that in which it has stood for years past.”

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READ: Biography of Lord Castlereagh

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1850: Irish Immigration

US Census conducted on this day indicates that almost four million of the total population are ethnic Irish. Almost one million were born in Ireland. The New York census indicated that 134,000 New Yorkers, 26% of the city population were born in Ireland.

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READ: Excellent short article on Irish Immigration to U.S.

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1862: Irish Brigade at Battle of Fair Oaks

The Irish Brigade is involved in combat at the Battle of Fair Oaks (Seven Pines).

Conor Cunneen on The Irish in the American Civil War

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In his report  on Battle of Fair Oaks (Seven Pines), General Thomas Francis Meagher writes of the events of June 1:

The Eighty-eighth New York Volunteers had to display itself in opening before they reached their position on the railroad which was exposed to the unobstructed fire of the enemy from the woods, forming a semicircle in front of the line on which the regiment was deploying. In other words, the line of battle of the Eighty-eighth was the chord of resistance to the arc of the enemy’s fire. At the central point of the chord there stood a farm-house, which during the action was used as a hospital for the wounded of the regiment specially detailed at this point any other of either army who were wounded in proximity to it and who could be brought in……

The officers and men of the regiment stood and received the fire of the enemy whilst they delivered their own with an intelligent steadiness and composure which might have done credit to, and might perhaps have been looked for in, the mature troops of more than one campaign. The creditable and memorable conduct of the Sixty-ninth on this occasion was, in my opinion, owing in a great measure to the soldiery bearing and fearless tone and spirit of Colonel Nugent, who, standing close to the colors of his regiment, over and over again repeated the order to fire on the enemy. The fire of the two regiments, in a word, was so telling, that the enemy, although in considerable force and evidently bent on a desperate advance, were compelled to retire, leaving their dead and wounded piled in the woods and swampy ground in front of our line of battle.

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1879: Tyrone-born Senator James Shields

Death of County Tyrone born Senator James Shields.  The Democrat Shields served as a U.S. Senator for three different states: Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri. In addition to his political career, he also fought in the Mexican-American War and also the Civil War where he led the 2nd Division of the V Corps, Army of the Potomac. Official Congressional bio of James Shields.

Senator James Shields
Senator James Shields

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1922: Formation of RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary)

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) is officially formed to police the new state of Northern Ireland. Many former RIC men joined the new force which meant that a police force that would eventually become almost totally Protestant started out with about 40% Catholic membership. See RUC website.

Early RUC members

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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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April 12,

Irish in Civil War – Mother and Child Controversy – Patrick Hillery

April 12: TODAY in Irish History:

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Cork born Patrick Cleburne

Cork born Patrick Cleburne

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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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

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1861: American Civil War

American Civil War begins,  a war that would not only pit American against American but also Irish against Irish. An estimated 150,000 Irish fought on the Union side while about 40,00o fought for the confederacy. While the majority fought with the Union, many Irish had a strong antipathy to a northern culture which they perceived as anti-Catholic and Protestant dominated. The most famous Irish regiment was the Fighting 69th, led by the flamboyant Thomas Francis Meagher, often going into battle with an emerald flag and shouting an old Irish war cry “Fag an Bealagh” (Clear the way.)

Over the course of the war, the Irish Brigade would excel in numerous battles, most famously at Marye’s Heights during the Battle of Fredericksburg. During the war, its leaders were General Thomas Francis Meagher, Colonel Patrick Kelly (killed), General Thos. A. Smyth (killed), Colonel Richard Byrnes (killed), and General Robert Nugent.

Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher
Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher

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On the Confederate side, the Irish also had a major impact. Cork born Patrick 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.

Cork born Patrick Cleburne

Patrick Cleburne 1828-1864

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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1951: Mother and Child Controversy

Ireland’s Minister for Health, Dr. Noel Browne resigns following confrontation with the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland over what became knows as the “Mother and Child” controversy.

Noel browne mother and child controversy
Dr. Noel Browne

Brown attempted to introduce a very basic welfare plan for mothers and children which the Catholic Church somehow saw as being “in direct opposition to the rights of the family.” The planned scheme would provide free maternity care for all mothers and free healthcare for all children up to the age of sixteen! Many in the medical community also opposed the legislation fearing it would impact income levels.

As government resolve faltered in the light of active church opposition, Browne was forced to resign. To some extent, the controversy was a watershed in the relations between Church and State. The Irish Times newspaper published the correspondence between Browne and the Irish bishops which led the paper to editorialize “The most serious revelation, however, is that the Roman Catholic Church would seem to be the effective Government of this country.”

Although the Catholic Church would remain a potent political force in Ireland for another forty years, its powerful grip was waning.

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2008: Patrick Hillery

Patrick Hillery 1923-2008

Patrick Hillery 1923-2008

Death of former President of Ireland Patrick Hillery. Hillery had a lengthy career in public service, serving either as Fianna Fail TD or Minister for over twenty years before becoming European Commissioner for Social Affairs 1973-1976. He served two terms as President of Ireland between 1976-1990.

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READ: Patrick Hillery – The Ultimate Public Servant

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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)