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NEVER WERE MEN SO BRAVE by Susan Provost Beller


The Irish Brigade During the Civil War

by Susan Provost Beller

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-689-81406-2
Publisher: McElderry

 Beller (To Hold This Ground, 1995, not reviewed, etc.) returns again to the Civil War, focusing on the heroic exploits and origins of the Union army's 535-member Irish Brigade. From Antietam--the battle that claimed the largest number of American soldiers' lives in a single day--the narrative shifts to Ireland, where the author points to the reason for the wave of emigration: starvation at home. Vibrant prose conveys a sense of urgency in the depiction of the poverty and religious persecution suffered by the Irish Catholics, especially during the years of the potato famine. The links of cause and effect that create history are neatly forged: It's no accident that the Irish chose the US, a land that had thrown off British rule, for shelter. Many of the Irish enlisted in the Union army so that they might one day use their military skills back home. The book is unflinching in its accounts of the deaths and injuries of so many of the Irish Americans defending this country; their legacy, which will be unfamiliar to most readers, receives an intelligent and thorough treatment. (b&w photos, maps, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)