News & Media Centre

The Fighting Irish? Exploring the role of the Irish in the American Civil War

PRESS RELEASE ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND

PREAS RÁITEAS THAR CEANN ARD-MHÚSAEM NA hÉIREANN

6th April 2011

The Fighting Irish?

Exploring the role of the Irish in the American Civil War

Special Weekend of events to mark the 150th Anniversary of the start of the American Civil War at the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History on 16th and 17th April

The National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks, is holding a weekend of talks and activities on Saturday and Sunday 16th and 17th April to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War.

What role did the Irish play in the American Civil War? Did they change or influence the way the war was fought? Is it significant that the Irish fought on both sides and what was the impact back in Ireland?

On Saturday 16th April, the National Museum has invited a number of speakers – broadcaster and historian Dr Patrick Geoghegan, historian Robert Doyle and Professor Thomas Bartlett - to discuss these and other questions. The public are invited to join in the debate, in a question and answer session chaired by Dr Úna Ní Bhroiméil.

On Sunday 17th April, members of the terrific Minstrel Boys, historic re-enactors will provide visitors of all ages with an opportunity to handle replica objects and try on replica uniforms from the period.

These events link in with the award-winning exhibition, Soldiers & Chiefs, in particular the gallery which focuses on the American Civil War, with key objects on display that tell the stories of some of the Irishmen who fought in the War.

All of these events are free. All events will start promptly and visitors are asked to come early to avoid disappointment.

Admission is free to all Exhibitions.

For further press information please contact:

Helen Beaumont, Education Officer, Education and Outreach Department, National Museum of Ireland

Tel. 01 6486 405, Mob. 087 2373192

Programme of Events

Saturday 16th April 2011

The Fighting Irish? Exploring the role of the Irish in the American Civil War

10.50 – 11am

Welcome

Helen Beaumont, Education & Outreach Officer, NMI

11.00 – 11.30am

Ireland and the American Civil War

Professor Thomas Bartlett, Professor of Irish History, University of Aberdeen

Irish people were to be found on both sides during the American Civil War and Irish-born soldiers frequently faced each other on the battlefield. Ireland played an important role in the eventual victory of the Union forces - Professor Bartlett discusses these issues in his talk.

11.30am – 12pm

The Lost Cause: Irish Military Experience in the War and After

Dr. Patrick Geoghegan, Department of History at Trinity College Dublin

This lecture addresses the battlefield experiences of Irish people in the war, looking not only at some key battles, but also at the battlefield experiences of regular soldiers. He will also look at subsequent attempts to romanticise and mythologise the war, and the connections there with romantic Irish nationalism.

12.00- 12.30pm

Myles Walter Keogh

Robert Doyle, Historian and author

Although Myles Walter Keogh’s ongoing fame probably stems from his death along with more than 200 men of the 7th Cavalry at Custer’s Last Stand, the Irishman’s three years of service in the Union ranks during the American Civil War is worth exploring as a more enduring legacy. Keogh’s gallantry and deeds prompted one Union general to write – ‘I know of no officer of his grade who made [a] more enviable reputation, or who proved more conclusively that he was a born soldier.’

12.30-1pm

Questions from the floor

Chaired by Dr Úna Ní Bhroiméil, Department of History, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick

Dr Úna Ní Bhroiméil is a lecturer in the Department of History, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. She is the author of Building Irish Identity in America, 1870-1915 – The Gaelic Revival (2003) and her publications include works on the Irish American press.

All talks are FREE and no booking is required. Places are allocated on a first-come basis.

For details check online or contact the Bookings Office: Ph (01) 6486453

Email: bookings@museum.ie

www.museum.ie

Speakers Biographies

Dr. Patrick Geoghegan is Associate Dean of Research at Trinity College Dublin and teaches in the Department of History there. He is the author of books on the Irish Act of Union, Robert Emmet, and Daniel O’Connell and presents the award-winning radio programme, Talking History, on Newstalk.

Professor Thomas Bartlett

Thomas Bartlett is Professor of Irish History at the University of Aberdeen. His most recent book was Ireland: a History (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Robert Doyle

Having acquired a keen interest in American history at a young age, Robert Doyle has spent years researching the life and career of Myles Walter Keogh, the Carlow native who fought in Europe before serving with distinction in the Union ranks during the American Civil War. Keogh died alongside General Custer and his decimated 7th Cavalry at the iconic Battle of the Little Big Horn, otherwise known as 'Custer's Last Stand'. Co-creator of a website on Keogh - www.myleskeogh.org - and a contributing editor of TheWildGeese.com, Robert has had a number of historical articles published in Ireland, the UK and in America on Keogh and the events he participated in.

Dr Úna Ní Bhroiméil

Dr Úna Ní Bhroiméil is a lecturer in the Department of History, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. She is the author of Building Irish Identity in America, 1870-1915 – The Gaelic Revival (2003) and her publications include works on the Irish American press.

Information on the exhibition about the American Civil War in Soldiers & Chiefs:

When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, thousands of Irish-born men enlisted on both sides. Since most Irish immigrants had settled in the cities of the northern states, the majority of them served in the Northern armies. They often formed units that were identified as distinctly ‘Irish’, and these were prominent in some of the bloodiest battles. After the American Civil War, many Irish-born soldiers sought to use their new military skills to win independence for Ireland.

 
Web Design by Arekibo