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A detailed account of the history of the 90th Illinois Infantry Regiment, known as the "Chicago Irish Regiment", the only Irish regiment in Major General William Tecumseh Sherman's XV Army Corps, and its pivotal role in the Western Theater of the Civil War. It gives a glimpse into the trials and triumphs of ethnic soldiers during the war.
As mid–19th century America erupted in violence with the invasion of Mexico and the outbreak of the Civil War, Irish immigrants joined the fray in large numbers, on both sides. They sometimes were disruptive elements. In Mexico, a body of Irish artillerymen defected to the other side. During the Civil War, Patrick Cleburne stirred controversy in the Confederacy when he proposed enlisting slaves in exchange for their freedom. The New York draft riots, a violent insurrection by a predominantly Irish mob, raged for three days before Federal troops restored order. Despite turmoil and contention, the Irish soldiers who fought in the Union army contributed significantly to the preservation of the United States. This collection of essays examines the involvement of Irish men and women in America’s conflicts from 1840 to 1865.
More Confederate soldiers died in Chicago’s Camp Douglas than on any Civil War battlefield. Originally constructed in 1861 to train forty thousand Union soldiers from the northern third of Illinois, it was converted to a prison camp in 1862. Nearly thirty thousand Confederate prisoners were housed there until it was shut down in 1865. Today, the history of the camp ranges from unknown to deeply misunderstood. David Keller offers a modern perspective of Camp Douglas and a key piece of scholarship in reckoning with the legacy of other military prisons.

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