«The Greatest Brigade is an exciting journey through the major battles of the Civil War alongside the members of the famed Irish Brigade. Well researched, compellingly written, filled with fascinating illustrations, and with a story that holds the reader with a 'bulldog grip,' Thomas Craughwell has written a regimental history that deserves to be on every Civil War lover’s bookshelf.»—Jason Emerson, author of The Madness of Mary Lincoln and Lincoln the Inventor
Faugh a Ballagh! Clear the Way!
This is the story of a band of heroes that covered the Yankee retreat at Bull Run, drove the Confederates from the Sunken Road at Antietam, and made charge after charge up Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg. The gallantry of the Irish Brigade won them the admiration of the high command of both North and South, earned them seven Medals of Honor, and after the war, went a long way to helping the Irish assimilate into the American mainstream.
Shouting their Gaelic battle cry, the men of the Irish Brigade charged across the bloodiest battlefields of the Civil War and into the realm of legend. The Greatest Brigade is a grand narrative history of these Irishmen who fought in every major battle in the Eastern Theater of the Civil War, including Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Appomattox.
Thomas J. Craughwell, author Stealing Lincoln’s Body and The Buck Stops Here: The 28 Toughest Presidential Decisions and How They Changed History, reveals the reasons why thousands of Irish Catholics—the most despised immigrant group in America at the time—rallied to the Union cause and proved themselves to be among the most ferocious fighters of the war. He examines the character of the Irish Brigade’s two most popular commanders, Michael Corcoran, a man of unshakable principles, and Thomas Francis Meagher, a complex man with many fine qualities—and almost as many flaws.