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Lincoln and the Irish: The Untold Story of How the Irish Helped Abraham Lincoln Save the Union

Lincoln and the Irish: The Untold Story of How the Irish Helped Abraham Lincoln Save the Union

by Niall O'Dowd
Lincoln and the Irish: The Untold Story of How the Irish Helped Abraham Lincoln Save the Union

Lincoln and the Irish: The Untold Story of How the Irish Helped Abraham Lincoln Save the Union

by Niall O'Dowd


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From the founder of IrishCentral, a fascinating piece of Civil War history: Lincoln’s relationship with the immigrants arriving in America to escape the Irish famine. “If you’re a Lincoln fan like me, you’ll love this book.” —Liam Neeson

When Pickett charged at Gettysburg, it was the all-Irish Pennsylvania 69th who held fast while the surrounding regiments broke and ran. And it was Abraham Lincoln who, a year earlier at Malvern Hill, picked up a corner of one of the Irish colors, kissed it, and said, “God bless the Irish flag.”

Renowned Irish-American journalist Niall O’Dowd gives unprecedented insight into a relationship that began with mutual disdain. Lincoln saw the Irish as instinctive supporters of the Democratic opposition, while the Irish saw the English landlord class in Lincoln’s Republicans. But that dynamic would evolve, and the Lincoln whose first political actions included intimidating Irish voters at the polls would eventually hire Irish nannies and donate to the Irish famine fund.

When he was voted into the White House, Lincoln surrounded himself with Irish staff, much to the chagrin of a senior aide who complained about the Hibernian cabal. And the Irish would repay Lincoln’s faith—their numbers and courage would help swing the Civil War in his favor, and among them would be some of his best generals and staunchest advocates.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510766303
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 02/01/2022
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 187,352
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Niall O’Dowd is the founder of IrishCentral, Irish America Magazine, and the Irish Voice newspaper. He is also responsible for publishing and the Irish Emigrant newspaper in Boston. Niall was awarded an honorary doctorate by University College Dublin for his work on the Irish peace process, which was a subject of a book, Daring Diplomacy, and a PBS Special, An Irish Voice. He has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, Huffington Post, and the Irish Times. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Dedication ix

Acknowledgments xx

Introduction: "Write What Should Not Be Forgotten" xii

Chapter 1 Scoop of the Century 1

Chapter 2 Mary and Abe and Their Irish Maids 7

Chapter 3 Lincoln on Robert Emmet and the Irish Struggle 13

Chapter 4 Lincoln's Near Duel to the Death with an Irish Rival 17

Chapter 5 Lincoln's New Party, Anti-Irish and Anti-Slavery 23

Chapter 6 Lincoln Takes an Axe Handle to the Irish 31

Chapter 7 The Irish, Douglass, and Lincoln in the 1860 Election 35

Chapter 8 Lincoln's Irish White House Circle 41

Chapter 9 Lincoln's Love for Irish Ballads Displayed 49

Chapter 10 Two Irish Become the First Casualties of the Civil War 53

Chapter 11 Three Men Convince the Irish to Fight for Lincoln: Thomas Francis Meagher 57

Chapter 12 Fighting for Lincoln: The Irish Archbishop 73

Chapter 13 Fighting for Lincoln: General Michael Corcoran 83

Chapter 14 Lincoln's Unexpected Heroes 89

Chapter 15 Lincoln's Irish Soldiers-Captured by the Rebels 95

Chapter 16 The Man They Couldn't Kill-The Irish Medal of Honor Winners 99

Chapter 17 General Shields, Former Dueling Partner, Declares for Lincoln 101

Chapter 18 Taking on Stonewall Jackson, the Rebel Avenger 105

Chapter 19 Gettysburg, the Gap of Danger 111

Chapter 20 Father Corby Summons God-The Draft Riots Cometh 119

Chapter 21 The President Pardons Some Irish, Not Others 129

Chapter 22 Fear of Black/Irish Coupling Derails Lincoln Support 133

Chapter 23 The South Seeks to Stop Irish Migration 137

Chapter 24 Off the Boat and Into the Arms of the Union 145

Chapter 25 In Ireland, Father Bannon Wins Friends for the Rebels' Cause 149

Chapter 26 General Phil Sheridan, the Little Big Fighter 153

Chapter 27 Ford's Theatre-What Might Have Been 163

Chapter 28 The Co-Conspirators-A Catholic Plot? 173

Chapter 29 Irishmen Seeking the Killer Booth 175

Chapter 30 Edward Doherty Gets His Man 179

Chapter 31 Lincoln and the Irish-Linked Forever 185

Epilogue: Kennedy Retraces Lincoln and Gettysburg 189

Bibliography 193

Index 195

About the Author 205

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