Instructed by Brian Conroy, Vice President of the Will County Historical Museum and Research Center.
In the 19th century, the Irish were at the bottom rung of the social ladder and highly discriminated against, forcing them into low wage menial labor and perpetual poverty. But when the Civil War began, they saw an opportunity to prove themselves as worthy citizens of their adopted country and joined in droves to fight for both sides.
In this seminar, topics that will be covered are Irish immigration, Irish regiments that served during the war in both the North and South, famous and not-so-famous men (and women) who fought for both sides during the war, the New York City draft riots, regimental flags carried into battle and monuments erected to those brave men. There will also be on display some of the equipment, uniforms, and personal items that soldiers would have carried with them into the army.