“As If they Were Shooting Ducks:” An Irish Nova Scotian Gloucester Fisherman at War

Irish in the American Civil War

Many of the Canadians who fought in the American Civil War were of Irish ancestry, often members of families who had first made their homes in British North America before slowly moving down to the United States. In the early 1850s the Cunningham family made the move from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia to Gloucester, Massachusetts. By the outbreak of the American Civil the family had members born in Ireland, Nova Scotia and the United States. At least one of the Cunningham boys– John–  went off to war. Among his letters home was a short but powerful description of combat, when he and his comrades found themselves facing Confederate forces along an exposed riverbank in North Carolina during 1862. (1)

"Ships in Fog, Gloucester, Massachusetts". Painted by Fitz Henry Lane in 1860, the same year John began his fishing career in Gloucester. Currently part of the Princeton University Art Museum (Fitz Henry Lane) “Ships in Fog, Gloucester, Massachusetts”. Painted by Fitz Henry Lane in 1860, the same year John Cunningham began his fishing career in Gloucester. Currently part of the Princeton University Art…

View original post 1,310 more words

Advertisements

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s