328 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 9 halftones, 7 tables, appends., notes, bibl., index
Civil War America
The Irish in the Confederate States of America
Why did many Irish Americans, who did not have a direct connection to slavery, choose to fight for the Confederacy? This perplexing question is at the heart of David T. Gleeson's sweeping analysis of the Irish in the Confederate States of America. Taking a broad view of the subject, Gleeson considers the role of Irish southerners in the debates over secession and the formation of the Confederacy, their experiences as soldiers, the effects of Confederate defeat for them and their emerging ethnic identity, and their role in the rise of Lost Cause ideology.
Focusing on the experience of Irish southerners in the years leading up to and following the Civil War, as well as on the Irish in the Confederate army and on the southern home front, Gleeson argues that the conflict and its aftermath were crucial to the integration of Irish Americans into the South. Throughout the book, Gleeson draws comparisons to the Irish on the Union side and to southern natives, expanding his analysis to engage the growing literature on Irish and American identity in the nineteenth-century United States.
"[An] eye-opening account. . . . As [Gleeson's] analysis unfolds, there is much that will surprise, perhaps even unsettle."
“An extremely important and significant study. It is the most comprehensive analysis of the Irish in the Confederacy by some distance, and stands to remain so for some time to come.”
"No one knows more about this subject than Gleeson. His intelligent, complex, and persuasively argued book answers central questions about the Irish in the Confederacy."
--Lawrence Kohl, University of Alabama
"The immigrants and sons of immigrants who fought for both sides in America's Civil War are finally getting the attention they are due from historians. No one is better qualified to tell the fascinating story of these Irish rebels whose allegiances were at once intense and remarkably transferrable."
--Don H. Doyle, McCausland Professor of History, University of South Carolina
"The Green and the Gray brilliantly complicates our understanding of nineteenth-century Irish Americans, especially their influence on the themes of Confederate nationalism, the Lost Cause, and the age-old topic of an Irish martial tradition. Gleeson has written the essential study of the Irish in the Confederacy."
--Susannah J. Ural, author of The Harp and the Eagle: Irish-American Volunteers and the Union Army, 1861-1865
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