Face to Face with the Fenians: Mugshots of American Civil War Veterans, Part 2

Irish in the American Civil War

Part 1 of this series examined the mugshots of ten American Civil War veterans, arrested in Ireland in 1866 for their involvement with the Fenian movement. This post looks at a further ten of these men whose photographs were taken in Mountjoy Prison that year. They form a part of the series of Fenian mugshots made available online by the New York Public Library. 

Maurice Fitzharris, First Lieutenant, 42nd New York Infantry. Rose from the ranks, having enlisted in 1861. Wounded four times during the war, including while commanding skirmishers facing Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. Member of the Potomac Circle of the Fenian Brotherhood during the war. (Kane 2002: 121)

Joseph O'Carroll, from Co. Tipperary. Enlisted in 1863 and rose from the ranks to First Lieutenant in the 4th New York Cavalry. Wounded at 3rd Winchester. Transferred to 9th New York Cavalry in 1865. (Kane 2002: 131)

Joseph P. Cleary, born in Limerick. Private 13th New York, in June 1863 joined the 14th New York Heavy Artillery and rose to Major. (Kane 2002: 117)

John Warren, Captain of Company B, 63rd New York, Irish Brigade. Born in Clonakilty, Co. Cork, he was discharged in September 1862. (Kane 2002: 134)

James Smith, Hospital Steward and Sergeant, 65th Illinois Infantry. Recruited into Fenians by Colonel Owen Stuart, 90th Illinois Infantry. (Kane 2002:133)

James Murphy, served in US Artillery before the war. Rose from ranks to become Captain of Company F, 20th Massachusetts. Fought at Ball's Bluff, wounded by canister in the left arm at Chancellorsville in 1863 and discharged. Served in Reserve Officer Corps in 1864-5. (Kane 2002: 128)

James McDermott, 6th Connecticut Infantry and 99th New York State Militia. Born in Boyle, Co. Roscommon. (Kane 2002: 127)

James Burns, Captain, 23rd Illinois Infantry. Born in England, served in the ranks and reenlisted as a Veteran Volunteer. Wounded at Second Winchester in 1864. (Kane 2002: 116)

Edward Morley, who spent 13 months with the 183rd Pennsylvania Infantry. Recruited into the Fenians in 1863. (Kane 2002: 128)

Patrick J. Condon, 2nd New York State Militia and later Captain of Company G, 63rd New York, Irish Brigade. Born in Creeves, Co. Limerick. (Kane 2002: 118)


Kane, Michael H. 2002. ‘American Soldiers in Ireland, 1865-67′ in The Irish Sword: The Journal of the Military History Society of Ireland, Vol. 23, No. 91, pp. 103-140

Mountjoy Prison Portaits of Irish Independence: Photograph Albums in Thomas A. Larcom Collection

New York Public Library Digital Gallery

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But why preach to these billions of sleepwalkers, walking toward chaos in equal step, under the guidance of their spiritual seducers and under the baton of their masters? They are guilty because they are innumerable, the masses of the damned must die in order for a human restoration to be possible…What do we care about the nothingness of these slaves? No one can save them, neither themselves nor the evidence, all are inclined to rush into the darkness, they were generated by random couplings, and were born the same as bricks coming out of their mould and forming here into parallel rows whose piles rise to the clouds. Are they men? No. Mass destruction is never composed of men.”

~   Albert Caraco

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