Tired of the Killing of Men: An Irish Family’s Story of Assisted Emigration, Missing Children & Letters Under Fire

Irish in the American Civil War

The nature of the Widow’s and Dependent’s Pension Files means that the stories they tell are most usually ones of sorrow. The experiences they relate generally pertain specifically to the Civil War, but on occasions the information within them can be combined with a range of other sources to provide a much wider picture of one family’s 19th century emigrant experience. The file relating to the Carr family is a remarkable case in point, charting as it does their journey from poverty in Ulster to a life of hardship and separation in 1850s New York. It is a story that continues into the American Civil War, as an Irish soldier fights not only to reunite the Union, but also for the right to be reunited with his family. It then carries into the post-war period, as the family tried to forge a new life in the ‘Gateway to the West.’…

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