Tag Archives: The Green and the Gray

The “Fighting Irish” from the Mountains and Beyond

For all the “Fighting Irishmen” there were also large numbers of Irish shirkers. Across the Confederate army, the Irish had a higher propensity to die in action but also to desert. They seem to have bought into the rhetoric of the Fighting Irish but ultimately not enough to see it through for the Confederacy. This more complicated story of the Irish in the Civil War, just like the one in the southern Appalachians (as also highlighted for example by John Inscoe in his work on western North Carolina), is not useful to movies or politicians looking to simplify things for their respective audiences. But, it is the more accurate one.

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