Irish Volunteer

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Inspired by the Battle of Fredericksburg - A Union defeat. In the battle, two Irish Brigades faced off.

Submitted: May 14, 2017

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Submitted: May 14, 2017



Irish Volunteer

In a foreign country, in a foreign war

In a blue coat. Under a green flag*

Under the command of Ambrose Burnside. *

Even he isn’t up to this task.


For a foe too mighty do we face today

At Fredericksburg. A confrontation with Lee*

The biggest turnout in the entire civil war, in December 1862,

172 thousand all told. A four-day fight commences.


15 of our brigades, they sent, to that impenetrable Rebel line.

All were repulsed, in a slaughter, by their ferocious men,

Led by their heroic Confederate commanders.

Their defended “Sone Wall” * was left unscathed.


Thousands were felled at Slaughter Pen* on both sides

The brown earth was teeming with blood.

The cries of the northern wounded too much so,

That Confederate aid was given.


Then came our hour.

An assault on the 24th Georgia. *

By the Irish Brigade of the Potomac.



Slaughtered by Johnny Reb*,

Our foes, yet our brothers

Most of us not yet American citizens,

But under an American flag. Fighting in an American coat,

And buried, in an American grave.


Then we were told “Every man for himself!”

Even Mullholand* had given up the cause.

And bold, intrepid hell closed in.

As Sons of Ireland killed sons of Ireland


A wall of grey screamed “Haroo” behind us

Their line not broken, but their hearts, very much so

By the untimely killing of their own people,

For simply wearing that Union blue.



I figured people may be confused, so I listed anything with an asterix below:

*The Irish carried two flags. Their Irish one was green

*Ambrose Burnside was the Major General in command of the army of the Potomac.

*General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate army of Northern Virginia.

*At the battle, there was a stone wall that 15 Union brigades couldn’t reach. It’s also a play on words. A very famous and revered Confederate commander known as “Stonewall” Jackson was also present at that battle with his First Brigade, better known as “Stonewall’s Brigade”

*Slaughter Pen – A part of the battlefield. 4 thousand Confederates and 5 thousand Yankees would be wounded or killed there alone.

*24th Georgia – An Irish Regiment.

*Johnny Reb is a term used simply for a Confederate soldier.

*Mullholand – Union Irish Brigade commander.

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