“Their Cries Were Most Agonizing”: An Irish-American’s Overland Account, from The Wilderness to Petersburg

Irish in the American Civil War

Between 11th June and 9th July 1864, the New York Irish American Weekly ran a series of letters from a young man to his brother back in New York. Taken together, they offer a highly detailed account of his experiences with the 147th New York Infantry during the Overland Campaign. Written on almost a day-by-day basis, they describe the campaign from its opening clash at the The Wilderness all the way through the 18th June assault at Petersburg.

The author of the letters was Irish-American Thomas W. Kearney. He enlisted in the 147th New York– an Oswego County regiment– at Richland on 26th March 1864 and mustered in as a private in Company K. The 20-year-old had been born in New York City, and was described as 5 feet 6 1/2 inches tall with hazel eyes, black hair and a light complexion. In civilian life, Thomas had been a clerk, which…

View original post 5,392 more words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s