Thinking About The Irish Brigade At Antietam

Emerging Civil War

Overlooking the Sunken Road and Attack Fields from the observation tower. (Photography by author.)

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a day many folks find something from Ireland to enjoy. I have two traditions on the unofficial holiday: wear a little green and remember the Irish-American contributions during the Civil War. Last year, I wrote about Irish music in America during the 19th Century. This year I find myself remembering Meagher’s Irish Brigade at Antietam. Looking through my photo files and remembering that humidly hot day at the battlefield, I recalled those thoughts and feelings experienced while walking near the brigade’s battle position.

Overwhelmed. The single word to describe my six hour visit to Antietam National Battlefield. There are times we visit battlefields and historic sites for research or armed with a thousand pages of knowledge. There are other times we arrive at hallowed ground with basic knowledge and the desire…

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