Making America: The Irish in the Civil War Era
In the mid-19th century, many Irish immigrants had fled an Ireland ravaged by the Great Hunger, hoping to find a better future in the US, but such hopes were dashed when war erupted in 1861. With the Civil War, Irish survivors of the Great Famine had to endure the second great trauma of their lives. Having survived the worst demographic catastrophe of 19th-century Europe, they fell on the battlefields of Virginia or Tennessee.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, America was home to approximately 1.6 million people of Irish birth, most refugees from the Famine. At least 150,000 Irishmen served in the Union forces, and 20,000 with the Confederates. More Civil War generals came out of Ireland than any other foreign country. Making America: The Irish in the Civil War Era will highlight the significant role that the Irish played in America’s struggle to define itself as a nation.
Ireland's Great Hunger Museum is open Wednesdays 10-5, Thursdays 10-7, Friday and Saturdays 10-5, and Sundays 1-5. Admission to the museum is free. For more information visit the museum's website at www.ighm.org , or call 203-582-6500. The museum is located at 3011 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06511.