This Week in the History of the Irish: July 22 - July 28

DOMHNAIGH -- On July 22, 1864, the Irish 10th Tennessee of Hood's Confederate Army in Decatur, Georgia, was engaged in a portion of the Battle of Atlanta. The small remnant of the regiment was part of Gen. Bates' division of Hardee's Corps, which was attempting to flank McPherson's Federal corps. The 10th was fighting the Federal division of a fellow Irishman, one-armed Mexican war veteran 'Fighting' Tom Sweeny that day. The flanking maneuver failed; Hardee was repulsed with heavy losses. The 10th suffered 2 killed and 7 wounded at Decatur; as they retreated to southwestern Atlanta they had just 53 soldiers still answering the call, not even a full company left of the 725 who had filled the ranks at Fort Donelson just over two years earlier.

DEARDAOIN -- On July 26, 1739, George Clinton, soldier, first governor of New York, and vice president of the United States, was born in Little Britain, N.Y., of Irish Protestant parents. Clinton served in his father's New York state militia unit during the French and Indian War before being elected to the New York provincial assembly in 1768. Clinton became one of the leaders of the American colony's revolutionary movement when he served in the Second Continental Congress. Washington appointed him to command the defenses of the Hudson River highlands before the Declaration of Independence was signed; thus Clinton lost his opportunity to be one of the signers. Clinton did not display any great skill in command of large bodies of troops -- his real skill would prove to be in the political arena, though he would attain a brevet rank of major general in Washington's army . In April 1777, Clinton was elected the first governor of New York State, thus gaining the sobriquet "The Father of New York State." Historians widely praise him for his skill in maintaining support for the revolution in that key state through the several difficult years that followed. Clinton served six consecutive terms as governor, through 1795, and then returned for a seventh term in 1800. In 1804, he was elected vice president under Thomas Jefferson and then served in the post again under James Madison. George Clinton died while still holding that office on April 20, 1812. He is buried in Old Dutch Churchyard in Kingston, N.Y.

Mrs. Erskine Childers and Mary Spring-Rice on the Asgard, July 1914.

DEARDAOIN -- On July 26, 1914, Erskine Childers sailed his yacht, the Asgard, into the port of Howth, in Dublin with 900 German rifles and 29,000 rounds of ammunition on board. Planned by Childers and the leaders of the Irish Volunteers, the shipment was in response to the Larne gun running of the Ulster Volunteers in the north three months earlier. Later that day the Volunteers were confronted by a British regiment on the Bachelors Walk in Dublin. While Irish Volunteer leaders held negotiations with the assistant police commissioner, the guns were dispersed by the Volunteers. Shortly after this the soldiers -- claiming they were provoked -- fired a volley into the gathered crowds, killing three. This incident was another step in radicalizing many Irish nationalists, especially since those responsible for the much larger Larne operation (35,000 guns, 5 million rounds) had not been bothered by the government. Through its tacit approval of the arming of the paramilitary Ulster Volunteers, the British government had put the gun firmly into the politics of Ireland, a decision its leaders must regret to this day.


About enough for another killin.'
         -- Confederate soldier during the fighting in Georgia in reply to a Union soldier asking, 'How many men have you fellows got left?' – July 1864

' ... men rushed to the quay-side reaching for the cases and were in danger of being pushed into the water by the press of those behind. Only the severest of the [Volunteer] officers succeeded in holding their companies in place.' '
    -- Erskine Childers on the confused scene at Howth, July 26, 1914


July -- Iúil

22, 1860 - Johanna Butler (Mother Marie Joseph - Founder of Marymount schools and colleges - Ballynunnery, Co. Kilkenny)
25, 1809 - John O'Donovan (Gaelic Scholar - Atateemore, Co. Kilkenny)
26, 1739 - George Clinton, ("Father of New York State" - Little Britain, New York)
26, 1856 - George Bernard Shaw (Author/Playwright - Dublin)
27, 1830 - John O'Leary (Fenian - Tipperary.)


22, 1864 - The 10th Tennessee (Confederate-Irish) fights at the battle of Atlanta.
22, 1922 - Limerick taken by Free State army after fierce fighting with IRA.
23, 1803 - Small rising in Dublin is led by Robert Emmet.
25, 1690 - Waterford surrenders to the Williamites.
25, 1745 - “Bonnie” Prince Charlie and his Irish advisers arrive in Scotland to begin his Jacobite rising.
25, 1917 - British government organizes an "Irish Convention" on Home Rule, Sinn Fein does not attend.
26, 1856 - Church of Ireland (Anglican) disestablished as state religion by Irish Church Act.
26, 1914 - Erskine Childers' yacht, Asgard, successfully lands arms at Howth, County Dublin.
28, 1846 - O'Connell and Young Ireland party split over attitudes toward physical force.

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Tags: American Civil War, History of Ireland, Irish Freedom Struggle, On This Day, United States


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