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Flags of the Civil War - The Irish Regiments

     The Irish-Americans are perhaps the most closely associated ethnic group to serve during the American Civil War. Over 150,000 of them joined the Union army and many more also joined the Confederate army. In the north special Irish units were formed which recognized their Irish heritage in both the names and uniforms of regiments, while several Southern units did the same. Soldiers on both sides sang Irish songs around their camp fires, and Irish units became famous for their bravery under fire in battle. Unfairly despised and persecuted at home by the older generations of Americans, the Irish-American soldiers served with valor and bravery throughout the Civil War on both sides of the conflict.
     Throughout the war the Irish units were almost always at the most critical positions in battle and suffered highest casualties as a result. However, their efforts on the battlefield did little to help their unfair treatment in America society until many years after the war. Irish veterans came home to find the same anti-Irish prejudices they faced before going off to fight, and because of it many of them chose stay in the army to avoid such treatment, eventually creating one of the military's strongest ethnic traditions of service. Many other Irish simply chose to remain in the Eastern cities, hoping matters would improve as time went by. Unfortunely, it would be many long years before the ugly anti-Irish prejudice faded.

Flags of the Civil War - The Irish Regiments of the North

Image by U.S. Flag Service
Image by U.S. Flag Service
Image by U.S. Flag Service
1st New York Irish
Brigade Regiment
2nd New York Irish
Brigade Regiment
3rd New York Irish
Brigade Regiment
Image by U.S. Flag Service
Image by U.S. Flag Service
Image by U.S. Flag Service
4th Maine Irish
Brigade Regiment
9th Connecticut Irish
Brigade Regiment
9th Maine Irish
Brigade Regiment
Image by U.S. Flag Service
Image by U.S. Flag Service
Image by U.S. Flag Service
17th Wisconsin Irish
Brigade Regiment
26th Maine Irish
Brigade Regiment
37th New York Irish
Brigade Regiment
Image by U.S. Flag Service
Image by U.S. Flag Service
Image by U.S. Flag Service
63rd New York Irish
Brigade Regiment
63rd New York Irish
Brigade Regiment (Ceremonial)
69th New York Irish
Prince of Wales Brigade Regiment
Image by U.S. Flag Service
Image by U.S. Flag Service
Image by U.S. Flag Service
69th New York Irish
Brigade Regiment
69th New York Irish
Brigade Regiment (Ceremonial)
New York Irish Support
Civilian Flag 1850
Image by U.S. Flag Service
Image by U.S. Flag Service
 
88th New York Irish
Brigade Regiment
88th New York Irish
Brigade Regiment (Ceremonial)
 

Flags of the Civil War - The Irish Regiments of the South

     The Irish-Americans volunteers were not singled out and divided up as much in the Confederated army as in the Northern one. Instead they were absorbed into the army, and their songs and music, traditions, and even their way of talking became part of the Southern mystic. There were, however, two Irish-American units that made names for themselves and became a rich part of Irish military tradition and legend.

Image by U.S. Flag Service
Image by U.S. Flag Service
8th Alabama Irish
Brigade Regiment 1864
10th Tennessee Irish
Brigade Regiment 1864

- My thanks to Hugh Warner and United States Flag Service for their invaluable help on this page -