Here’s to the Irish!
March is Irish heritage month, and because I’m part Irish, I feel very compassionate about my ancestors and what they had to go through. They risked their lives to be free of English tyranny, escape starvation in their beautiful, native country, and sail across the Atlantic to an unknown existence based solely on here say. They arrived in America to ridicule and rampant discrimination. This country has a rich Irish history due to their stamina and determination, not to mention their wonderful sense of humor. Many Irishmen fought on both sides during the Civil War. Some were recruited fresh off the boat, while others enlisted by their own design. The famous Irish Brigade still exists today, and many Irish fought for the Southern side as well. Here is one example.
Predominantly Irish Regiment
A predominantly Irish regiment, over 1,000 strong, the 6th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry was raised in New Orleans just after the state had seceded. It was organised by June of 1861 at Camp Moore and went on to become one of the hardest fighting regiments in the Confederate Army, seeing action in most of the major battles in the Eastern Theatre.
By War’s end, place names like Port Republic; Sharpsburg; Gettysburg; Spotsylvania & Petersburg (to name JUST a few) would adorn the colours of the regiment.
By the time it surrendered at Appomattox in April 1865, the 6th LA. had fewer than 75 men in it’s ranks.
The ten companies that made up the 6th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry were designated thus:
Co. A- “Union & Sabine Rifles”: Co.B- “Calhoun Guards”;
Co.C- “St. Landry Light Guards”; Co.D- “Tensas Rifles”;
Co.E- “Mercer Guards”;
Co.F-“Irish Brigade, Company B”; Co.G- “Pemberton Guards”;
Co. H- “Orleans Rifles”;
Co.I- “Irish Brigade, Company A”;
Co.K- “The Violet Guards”
The flag accompanying this post is the flag of Co.H, “The Orleans Rifles”, 6th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry.
Article forwarded by Liam McAlister, (Irish in Blue & Gray, 1861-1865).
(Courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Private A. Hughey Camp 1452 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Military Order of the Stars and Bars, vol. 40, issue #8, August 2016 ed.)