Irish in the Confederate States Army
The Irish Brigade, Union, had a total muster Of 7,000 during the war, and returned to New York in '65 with 1,000. One company was down to seven men. The 69th New York of this brigade lost 16 of 19 officers, and had 75 per cent casualties among enlisted men.
In the Irish Brigade, Confederate, from Louisiana, Company A dwindled from 6o men to 3 men and an officer in March, '65. Company B went from 100 men to 2.
Jefferson Davis, First and only President of the CSA, was descended from his Welsh Grandfather who emigrated to Philadelphia in the 1820's. His father, Samuel Emory Davis, fought in the American Revolution and settled near Augusta, Georgia. Sam met and married Jane Cook of Scots-Irish descent, so Jefferson Davis is of Welsh and Scots-Irish.
*This page is in honor of the Celts who made contributions to the history and formation of this New World country. In the spirit of our own By-laws, we take no political stance regarding the CSA, and its policies, and merely point out the major role Celts played in the History of this short-lived nation.
General Robert E Lee of Virginia, was seventeenth in direct descent from Robert Bruce, of Scotland. Moreover, that of the five heroes who particularly distinguished themselves on the glorious field of Bannockburn, in driving back the invaders of their beloved country, Lee, through the same channel, was the direct descendant of four, namely: King Robert; Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray; Walter, the High Steward; and Sir Robert de Keith, Great Marischal of Scotland. Lee's father was Major General Lighthorse Harry Lee III Revolutionary War hero and Governor of Virginia.
Lieutenant-Colonel Peter J. Sinclair was born in the highlands of Scotland in 1837. His father was an eminent Presbyterian minister, who emigrated with his family to the United States, while the subject of this sketch was yet a youth, and settled in Pennsylvania, where the son studied law and was licensed to practice. He came to North Carolina and was admitted to the bar in 1858, and edited the North Carolinian, a strong Democratic paper, in Fayetteville. At the outbreak of the war, he volunteered with the Lafayette light infantry, Company F, First North Carolina volunteers, but soon after raised a company in Cumberland county, which was placed in the Fifth North Carolina infantry, Col. D. K. McRae, as Company A. After a few weeks in camp, at Halifax, his regiment went direct to Manassas, in Virginia, and was brigaded under General Longstreet and participated in the first battle of Manassas and in all the movements of the army of Northern Virginia in front of Union Mills and Fairfax Court House, during the first winter of the war. He was promoted to major in March, 1862. His regiment, having been transferred to Early's brigade, went to the peninsula and did constant service in the trenches at Yorktown. On the retreat to the Chicka-hominy, he distinguished himself at the battle of Williamsburg, where his horse was killed under him and he was severely bruised. He was in the battle of Seven Pines and was promoted to be lieutenant-colonel of his regiment in May, 1862; he took part in the battles around Richmond, and was wounded at Cold Harbor, but recovered in time to be with his regiment at Fredericksburg. He resigned his commission in 1863.
Colonel Robert Alexander Smith was born on the 5th day of April, 1836, in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was the youngest of five sons and five daughters of James and Annie Smith of that city.
At the age of fourteen Robert came to this country and settled in Jackson, Miss., where his eldest brother, and a widowed sister had preceded him. Entering the ranks of the Mississippi Rifles in the days of peace, he soon made himself familiar with military tactics. Thus it was that on the first mutterings of the coming storm he was elected Captain of the Mississippi Rifles, a company organized in and composed of his fellow citizens of Jackson, whose services were tendered to the State as soon as she cast her fortunes with the Confederacy, and whose first duty was to escort the newly elected President to the seat of government at Montgomery, Ala.
Colonel Smith was industrious in his study of the science and art of war and giving the needed instruction to his regiment. So proficient had he become in all the accomplishments of a regimental commander that on reaching Corinth and being placed with the other Mississippi troops which formed the brigade of General James R. Chalmers, he was soon recognized as the best drill officer and the best disciplinarian of his grade. He needed only the opportunity to prove that these necessary accomplishments of an officer were but secondary to his ability to successfully command troops on the battlefield. This opportunity was soon given him in the sanguinary battle of Shiloh.
Throughout the two days' battle of Shiloh -- on the 6th and 7th of April, 1862, Colonel Smith was conspicuous for his gallantry and the splendid handling of his troops. No regiment on that bloody field did better service or achieved greater triumphs, and this was due as much to the sterling qualities of its Commander, his coolness, intrepid bravery and influence over his men when in action, as to the excellence of his troops. His gallantry and unflinching courage, his high sense of honor, and his aptitude to grasp the arts of war, together with self abnegation at the bidding of duty, won the respect of all his superiors, and the unlimited confidence, respect and esteem of his troops. From that day his eminence as a true soldier was assured. It was confidently believed by those in the army that had there been a vacancy to be filled by a Mississippi soldier, Robert A. Smith would at once have been promoted to the grade of Brigadier General.
10th Tennessee Infantry Regiment of Volunteers (Irish) Known as the "Bloody Tinth", it was one of only two Irish Catholic regiments in the Confederate Army, although their elected officers were mostly Ulster-Scots Protestants. They built Forts Henry and Donelson and then were captured and held in Camp Douglas Prison. Reconstituted, the 10th were deployed as sharpshooters through the tough campaigns at Chickamauga, Chattanooga and Atlanta. The Regimental flag originally belonged to Company 'D' of the Tennessee Home Guards (State Militia). It was outlined in Kelly Green on a light green background. A gold harp, maroon trim with white lettering; above the harp, "Sons of Erin"; below the harp "Where glory await you".
Confederate States of America*
The First Virginia Company Guard
Eighth Alabama Emerald Guard
the 27th Virginia Infantry: The Virginia Hibernians The Stonewall Brigade
St. Louis Irish Confederates
Irish Volunteers (Louisiana Irish Regiment - Militia)
6th Louisiana Regiment
Co 'F' - Irish Brigade Co 'B' (Orleans)
Co 'I' - Irish Brigade Co 'A' (Orleans)
Irish Volunteers (7th Louisiana Infantry Regiment)
Co 'F' Irish Volunteers (Assumption)
1st Louisiana Special Battalion
James Ewell Brown Stuart Known as "Jeb," Stuart was probably the most famous cavalryman of the Civil War. His later appointments included: captain of Cavalry, CSA (May 24, 186 1); colonel, 1st Virginia Cavalry (July 16, 1861); brigadier general, CSA (September 24, 1861); and major general, CSA July 25, 1862).
After early service in the Shenandoah Valley, Stuart led his regiment in the battle of 1st Bull Run and participated in the pursuit of the routed Federals. Besides leading the cavalry in the Army of Northern Virginia's fights at the Seven Days, 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness, Stuart was also a raider. Twice he led his command around McClellan's army, once in the Peninsula Campaign and once after the battle of Antietam. At Chancellorsville he took over command of his friend Stonewall Jackson's Corps after that officer had been mortally wounded by his own men. Returning to the cavalry shortly after, he commanded the Southern horsemen in the largest cavalry engagement ever fought on the American continent, Brandy Station, on June 9, 1863. Although the battle was a draw, the Confederates did hold the field.
During Grant's drive on Richmond in the spring of 1864, Stuart halted Sheridan's cavalry at Yellow Tavern on the outskirts of Richmond on May 11. In the fight he was mortally wounded and died the next day in the rebel capital. He is buried in Hollywood Cemetery there. Like his intimate friend, Stonewall Jackson, General Stuart soon became a legendary figure, ranking as one of the great cavalry commanders of America.
Source: "Who Was Who In The Civil War" by Stewart Sifakis
Company 'K', "Irish Volunteers for the War" - 1st South Carolina Volunteers (Greggs)
Raised in Charleston, June 1861. Originally intended for inclusion in an 'Irish Battalion' consisting of three companies. Their flag was white and green silk, with a silver fringe, and eleven silver stars on each side. In the middle on one side was a Cross with an Irish harp encircled by a wreath of oak leaves, palmetto and shamrock combined. Over the Cross is the inscription "In hoc signo Vinces". On the reverse was a painting of a palmetto tree with the rattlesnake coiled around its trunk. Around the palmetto was a wreath of oak leaves, palmetto and shamrock. Underneath is the inscription "Liberty or Death".
Captain John Mitchel, an Irishman, 1st Reg., SC Art. CSA, who died on the parapet of Fort Sumter during the bombardment, July 20, 1864. Some of his last words were: "I willingly give my life for South Carolina; Oh! that I could have died for Ireland." Mitchel was the third CSA commander of Fort Sumter.. Mitchel's grave is surrounded by a replica of the parapet upon which this gallant young Irish soldier gave up his life for the cause of the South.
South Carolina Volunteers
Montgomery Guards - Connor's Company
Stonewall Thomas Jackson. Next to Robert E. Lee himself, Thomas J. Jackson is the most revered of all Confederate commanders. A graduate of West Point (1846), he had served in the artillery in the Mexican War, earning two brevets, before resigning to accept a professorship at the Virginia Military Institute His assignments included commanding lst Brigade, Army of the Shenandoah (May - July 20, 1861); brigadier general, CSA June 17, 1861); commanding 1st Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac July 20 - October 1861); major general, CSA (October 7, 1861); commanding Valley District, Department of Northern Virginia (November 4, 1861 - June 26, 1862); commanding 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia June 26, 1862-May 2, 1863); and lieutenant general, CSA (October 10, 1862).
His great-greatgrandfather was John Jackson born 1715 in Coleraine, County Londonderry, Ulster...typical Scots-Irish, John was sent to America as an indentured servant. "His folks were from "The Birches" an area of the shores of Lough Neagh in north Armagh, his family still resides on the same plantation farm, complete with a blue plaque, from the heritage society. I also believe they have formed their own association of Family members." Kevin McCready
Emerald Guard 8th Alabama Company 'H'
Irish units in the Confederate Army consisted almost exclusively of native-born Protestants of Northern Irish descent. The ancestors of these soldiers who were largely Scots-Irish Presbyterians and Anglo-Irish Episcopalians had fought with George Washington during the American War of Independence. To many of them the war between the Union and Confederacy was a defense of the principles that their forefathers had fought for nearly one hundred years previously; the sovereign right of individual states to self determination. The increase of immigrants during the mid 1800's to North America also found a small number of Catholic Irish communities. They too fought for the CSA against an oppressive country trying to force its will on its neighbors. A sentiment to which many could relate.
Scots in the Confederate Forces
Montgomery Guards - Company 'C'
Company 'K' - Florence Guards
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Major-General James Ewell Brown Stuart
The great, great grandson of Londonderry man Archibald Stuart who emigrated to Pennsylvania 1726. He commanded the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia. He was described by Robert e Lee as the 'eyes of the Confederate Army'. A fellow Confederate officer said of Stuart ".... a remarkable mixture of a green, boyish, underdeveloped man, and a shred man of business and a strong leader. To hear him talk no one would think that he could ever be anything more than a dashing leader of a very small command, with no dignity, and much boastful vanity. But with all he was a shrewd, gallant commander." He was killed at the Battle of Yellow Tavern, near Richmond.
Brigadier-General John Adams
Born of Irish parents on 1st July 1825, in Nashville Tennessee. Fought in the Vicksburg and Atlanta campaigns. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Franklin. Refusing to leave the field he was riddled with bullets while leading the Confederate vanguard against Union breastworks.
Brigadier-General Jubal A Early
Of Irish descent he served the Confederacy throughout the war.
Brigadier-General John McCausland
Born in St Louis of Irish parentage, he was present with a cadet detachment at the execution of John Brown. He raised the 36th Virginia Infantry in 1861 and was commissioned its Colonel. After his promotion to Brig-Gen, he was conspicuous for his operations in the Shenandoah Valley.
Major-General Patrick R Cleburne
Born on Saint Patrick's Day, 1828 at Bridge Park Cottage, River Bride, 10 miles west of the city of Cork, Ireland. He was considered perhaps the best divisional commander in the Army of Tennessee. He had previously served for 3 years in the 41st regiment of Foot in the British Army before buying his discharge and emigrating to North America. He was the highest ranking native born Confederate Officer of the Civil War. He was considered the greatest CSA general in the West. His legacy must be his proposal to enlist slaves in the Confederate Army. His life was cut short by his untimely death at the Battle of Franklin.
Brigadier-General Patrick Theodore Moore
Born in Galway, 22nd September 1821. He was a captain of Militia prior to the war. While commanding the 1st Virginia Infantry at First Bull Run he received a head wound which precluded further front line service. At the close of the war he was commanding a Brigade of the local Richmond defence forces.
Lieutenant John Kearney
Irish born, in Wade's Missouri Battery. He was severely wounded and subsequently died from an explosion in the battery 31 March 1862 aged 33 years.
Lieutenant James L Capston
Born in Ireland, he was to return to the land of his birth as the first secret agent sent by the CSA to Ireland.
Father John B Bannon
Born in Roosky, Ireland, 29th December 1829 he served the Irish community around St Louis in his capacity as a member of the priesthood. With the outbreak of war he became the self appointed chaplain of the 1st Missouri Brigade, a position which was formalized later in the war. Known as 'The Confederacy's fighting chaplin' he manned artillery pieces during the siege of Vicksburg. Later in the war he acted as a secret agent to Ireland to thwart Union recruitment. He also represented the CSA to the Pope in an effort to gain international recognition for the Confederacy.
Major-General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
His ancestors were of Ulster-Scots descent. It is normally assumed that the family were from County Londonderry, however now it is considered possible that the family were from the Ards peninsula and the Londonderry family estates. He earned his nickname 'Stonewall' after commanding a brigade at First Bull Run. His Presbyterian convictions were always evident on the battlefield, calling his men to pray before a battle. After being wounded by his own men he had his left arm amputated, dying of pneumonia on 10th May 1863. He was much loved by those who served under him and his death was a great loss to the Confederacy.
Missouri Volunteer Militia Companies - pre Fort Sumter
1st Regiment of Missouri Volunteer Militia
Company 'A' - Irish from New Orleans & Louisiana
Company 'B', 'D', 'E', & 'F' - Irish from St Louis
Captain William Wade's Missouri Light Artillery