American Civil War

Published in Issue 3 (May/June 2020), Letters, Volume 28

Sir,—The recent article ‘Irish Eyewitness to Bull Run 1861’ (HI 28.1, Jan./Feb. 2020) coincides with a discovery of a hitherto unknown connection between my family and the American Civil War. In December 1861 a young Irishman named Edward Ging volunteered to join the Union Army, C Twelfth, New York Volunteers. Born in County Offaly in 1847 and so not yet fifteen, Ging was said to be the youngest ever to volunteer in the state of New York. It was said that ‘he was of unusual height’, which may have helped him to enlist. He served all through the war and although ‘he went through the seven days fight in the wilderness, at the battles of Antietam, Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Petersburg and Yorktown’, he came out of it ‘hale and hearty’ and ‘without a scratch’. Later Ging married my grandmother’s first cousin, Alice Burns (1853–1935) of Shelter Island, Sothold, New York, and together they had nine children. Edward Ging died in 1924 and is buried in Greenport, Long Island. Alice’s parents were from County Kildare.—Yours etc.,

MARION WALSH

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