Sunday, December 10, 2017

American Civil War Monuments
Irish Brigade Monument
Sickle’s Avenue
Gettysburg National Military Park

Text and Photo courtesy of  LCWRT Member Charlie Moore   

     The Irish Brigade, originally organized by Thomas Francis Meagher, was led at Gettysburg by Colonel Patrick Kelly.  The brigade was made up of 5 regiments: the 28th Massachusetts, 63rd New York, 69th New York, 88th New York, and the 116th Pennsylvania. The brigade had been shattered at both Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville and arrived on the battlefield at Gettysburg with only 532 men in the entire brigade. 224 of these men were in the 28th Massachusetts. The other four regiments averaged only 75 men each.

      On the afternoon of July 2, 1863, the Irish Brigade and 3 other brigades of Brigadier General John C. Caldwell’s Division of Major General Winfield Scott Hancock's 2nd Corps charged across the Wheat Field and momentarily pushed out the Confederate troops who had taken possession of it.  Caldwell’s Division was shortly forced to retreat after being hit by heavy Confederate reinforcements.  The Irish Brigade suffered 221 casualties during their brief encounter at the Wheat Field, or 40.5%.  The monument was dedicated on July 2, 1888, the 25th anniversary of the battle. At the base lies a life size Irish Wolfhound in bronze, representing faith and devotion.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Saturday, December 9  
Announcing Our 524th Meeting
The Spirit of Henry Clay and Kentucky in the Civil War

 Presented by James C. Klotter
The Spirit of Henry Clay and Kentucky in the Civil War

            Henry Clay was known as 'The Great Compromiser.' But he had been dead for almost a decade by the time the Civil War started and compromise after compromise failed to keep the conflict from starting. But Clay's lingering influence lived on long after his death and it would still prove crucial in shaping Kentucky's course during the conflict, and, by extension, the nation's future. In this talk, the State Historian of Kentucky brings to bear the work he has done for a study of Clay that will be published next year by Oxford University Press.
            We are glad to welcome back a distinguished historian and author, James C. Klotter.  James is a native Kentuckian, and received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Kentucky. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of almost twenty prize-winning books, including the standard works on Kentucky used at the elementary, secondary, and college level. Among his books are:  William Goebel: The Politics of Wrath; A New History of Kentucky; Kentucky: Portrait in Paradox, 1900-1950; and Kentucky Justice, Southern Honor, and American Manhood (which won the Governors’ Award in 2007 for the best book on Kentucky history published over the past four years).
                Most recently, he coedited Kentucky Renaissance: The History and Culture of Central Kentucky, 1792-1852. Dr. Klotter’s study of Henry Clay and the American presidency will appear early next year from Oxford University Press.

                Jim Klotter was the Executive Director of the Kentucky Historical Society for many years. He currently serves as Professor of History at Georgetown College and is the State Historian of Kentucky.