America commemorates the end of its worst war, its Civil War which ended 150 years ago April 9, the date General Lee surrendered his army to General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse. 200,000 men of Irish blood fought for the Union and tens of thousands more for the Confederacy. It was a service that would mark them for the rest of their lives. My great grandfather Patrick Donohue and great uncle John Donohue fought with the Irish Legion formed by General Michael Corcoran from Ireland and NYC. John was wounded at Spotsylvannia Courthouse, Pat at Petersburg. He also spent eight months in Confederate prisons where he lost 90 or his original 150 pounds. John was present with the 155th Regiment NYV when Lee rode in on his horse Traveler to sign the armistice. Both men never recovered from their years of service, years spent in vicious battles, long forced marches without food or water supplies, and unsanitary winter encampments. Both men suffered from pneumonia, scurvy, dysentery, rheumatism and piles for the rest of their lives, but managed to support families of five children. We gather every summer now to celebrate their lives and the lives of the women who carried on our family lines to the present.  For their full stories read, HIMSELF, A CIVIL WAR VETERAN'S STRUGGLES WITH REBELS, BRITS, AND Devils. CF.

Tags: Civil, War

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