Irishmen in the U.S. Regulars: A Case Study of the Battle of Stones River

Irish in the American Civil War

The main focus of attention when it comes to Irish service in the American Civil War is understandably on ethnic Irish regiments and brigades. However, as has been highlighted many times on this site, the vast majority of Irish servicemen experienced the conflict outside such formations. But in the army there was one group of non-ethnic units where it was extremely common to find large numbers of Irishmen– the Regulars. Service in the regular United States Army had long been traditional for the Irish. Indeed, when the Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter to commence the war in April 1861, there were more Irish-born than American-born soldiers inside the fort. The prevalence of Irishmen in the Regulars can be demonstrated in a number of ways, such as wartime contributions to the Irish Relief Fund. I wanted to take a look at some  of these Regulars through the pension files, focusing on a specific engagement– the…

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