The Distant Past? Ireland’s American Civil War Grandchildren

Irish in the American Civil War

I have had the good fortune to deliver dozens of lectures around Ireland discussing local connections to the American Civil War. Wherever I am, I always highlight two factors; the reality that for many Irish counties, the American Civil War saw more locals in military uniform than any other conflict in their history, and the fact that these connections are not as distant as we might think. Nothing has brought that home to me more than three men I have met in recent years– Seamus Condon in Dublin, and Davy Power and Jack Lynch in Cork. All have something in common, as each has a forebear who fought in the American Civil War. However, unlike many with a connection to the conflict, their association is not third, fourth or fifth generation. In each case, the individual who served between 1861 and 1865 was their grandfather. There is surely no greater demonstration of just…

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