The Greatest Brigade: How the Irish Brigade Cleared the Way to Victory in the American Civil War

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Fair Winds Press, Jul 1, 2011 - History - 240 pages
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"The Greatest Brigade is an exciting journey through the major battles of the Civil War alongside the members of the famed Irish Brigade. Well researched, compellingly written, filled with fascinating illustrations, and with a story that holds the reader with a 'bulldog grip,' Thomas Craughwell has written a regimental history that deserves to be on every Civil War lover’s bookshelf."—Jason Emerson, author of The Madness of Mary Lincoln and Lincoln the Inventor

Faugh a Ballagh! Clear the Way!

This is the story of a band of heroes that covered the Yankee retreat at Bull Run, drove the Confederates from the Sunken Road at Antietam, and made charge after charge up Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg. The gallantry of the Irish Brigade won them the admiration of the high command of both North and South, earned them seven Medals of Honor, and after the war, went a long way to helping the Irish assimilate into the American mainstream.

Shouting their Gaelic battle cry, the men of the Irish Brigade charged across the bloodiest battlefields of the Civil War and into the realm of legend. The Greatest Brigade is a grand narrative history of these Irishmen who fought in every major battle in the Eastern Theater of the Civil War, including Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Appomattox.

Thomas J. Craughwell, author Stealing Lincoln’s Body and The Buck Stops Here: The 28 Toughest Presidential Decisions and How They Changed History, reveals the reasons why thousands of Irish Catholics—the most despised immigrant group in America at the time—rallied to the Union cause and proved themselves to be among the most ferocious fighters of the war. He examines the character of the Irish Brigade’s two most popular commanders, Michael Corcoran, a man of unshakable principles, and Thomas Francis Meagher, a complex man with many fine qualities—and almost as many flaws.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - waltzmn - LibraryThing

The plural of "anecdote" is not "history." The Army of the Potomac's Irish Brigade was one of the most famous military units of the American Civil War, although the results it achieved probably did ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - br14gape - LibraryThing

As blue merges with gray a green banner rises from the fray and surges forward through the deadly hail of lead and the blue follows in a solemn but not with lack of spirit. The Irish Brigade with ... Read full review


The Commanders of the Irish Brigade
The Irish Brigade at Bull
The Irish Brigade during
The Irish Brigade at Antietam
The Irish Brigade
The Irish Brigade
The Irish Brigade at Gettysburg
The Irish Brigade at the Battle of
The Irish Brigade
The Irish Brigade
EPILOGUE The Legacy of the Irish Brigade

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About the author (2011)

Thomas J. Craughwell is the author of more than 20 books on history, religion, and popular culture, including The Buck Stops Here (Fair Winds Press, 2009), Stealing Lincoln’s Body (Harvard University Press, 2007), and Saints Behaving Badly (Doubleday, 2006). He has written articles for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, American Spectator, U.S. News & World Report, Emmy magazine, and Inside the Vatican. He has appeared on CNN, BBC, FOX, EWTN, and the Discovery Channel. In 2009 the History Channel produced a documentary based on Stealing Lincoln’s Body. In 2010 he was elected to the Board of Advisors of the Lincoln Forum. He writes from his home in Bethel, Connecticut.

Praise for Stealing Lincoln’s Body by Thomas Craughwell:

“Thomas J. Craughwell has given us a richly detailed, highly entertaining, and broad slice of our history.”—The American Spectator

“There is no end of fascinating context and detail in this engrossing, often zany, yet poignant tale.”—Chicago Tribune

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