19/01/2013 - 19th January 2013 - Contrasting Fortunes? Irish Federals and Confederates in 1863Speaker: Dr David T Gleeson
NB - MEETING CANCELLED DUE TO BAD WEATHER
The year 1863 is often seen as a major turning point in the Civil War, with the Union side finally getting an upper hand in the conflict with its important victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg. The story of the Irish who fought on both sides, however, was a stark contrast. Irish Federals became increasingly disillusioned with their side while Irish Confederates drew closer to theirs. This paper examines the reasons for this contrast through examination of the military exploits of the Irish on both sides through 1863 as well as native reactions to their participation in the respective causes. It complicates our notions of the connections between military service and citizenship in Civil War era.
Image: 'Irish Brigade Bummer Forage Cap': acknowledgements to Simply Civil War - see our links page
A native of Ireland, Dr. Gleeson is a Reader in History at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne. He previously worked at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina in the United States where he was director of the Program in the Carolina Low country and the Atlantic World. He has written extensively on Irish immigrants in America and is currently a member of the AHRC-funded project Locating the Hidden Diaspora: The English in North America in Transatlantic Perspective where he is working on English immigrants in the Civil War. His book The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in August 2013 as part of its Civil War America Series. He also co-editor of a collection entitled Civil War: Global Conflict to be published by the University of South Carolina Press in September 2013.
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