Union Rebels: Civil War Veterans & the Fenian Campaign in Britain & Ireland, 1866-1868

Irish in the American Civil War

In Part 2 of the guest series on the participation of American Civil War veterans in the operations of the Fenian Movement, James Doherty takes a look at events such as the suspension of Habeas Corpus, the creation of the “Manchester Martyrs” the Temple Bar shootings and the Clerkenwell Bombing. Virtually every major Fenian incident that took place in Britain and Ireland during the late 1860s involved a number of men who had fought for the Union during the Civil War– as we will discover below.

The first part of this articlelooked at the phenomenon of how the American Civil War acted as a breeding ground for militant Irish Nationalism and examined the failed gun-running expedition carried out by Fenians in 1867. The wide scale rebellion that the Fenians were planning to supply never materialised, but subsequent events would show that the threat from their movement was far from…

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