Guiding Question:

Why would a recent Irish immigrant choose to fight in the Union Army?

Was fighting a way for them to achieve citizenship in their new homeland?

Introduction

You will be working with primary source material in order to analyze the experiences of the recent Irish immigrants to America who felt the necessity to fight in the Civil War to achieve citizenship in their new homeland.

You will take on the roles of Irish immigrants in Boston during the Civil War. You will be working with various primary source documents to better understand the choices made by the soldiers in the Irish Brigades. In particular, you are facing the choice of whether or not to become a Union soldier and fight.

Some questions to think about include the following:

  • Why would a recent Irish immigrant choose to fight in the Union Army?
  • Was fighting a way for them to achieve citizenship in their new homeland?

 

Header Images: Civil War uniform detail, photographed by Daderot, retrieved from Wikimedia Commons; Laurel wreath detail from Civil War memorial, Boston Public Library, photgraphed by R. Simpson