Southern Irishmen from all over fought for the Confederacy, but Louisiana sent the most into the fray. New Orleans was home to more Irishmen than any other city in the South. They were in many Confederate Regiments, but the 6th Louisiana had the most. Above is a the flag of that regiment.
Half the Irish in the 6th had been born in Ireland. The bulk of these men worked the docks and riverboats, were carpenters and bricklayers, clerks and policemen.
The Irish were noted for their bravery in battle. General Gordon described one charge they made:
“As we reached the first line of strong and high fencing, and my men began to climb over it, they were met by a tempest of bullets… It was one of those fights where success depends largely on the prowess of the individual soldier… nothing could deter them. Neither the obstructions nor the leaden blast in their front could check them.”
Half of Gordon’s men fell, but they kept on, hurling themselves into the line of battle-hardened Federals and driving them back. Another Confederate General wrote that the Northerners “ran like sheep without a Shepherd.” Union General Wallace later wrote that after witnessing Gordon’s attack formations that “it was time to get away.”
In fierce fighting, Southern Irish helped carry the day.
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