When the Irish invaded Canada : the incredible true story of the civil war veterans who fought for Ireland's freedom

by Klein, Christopher,

Format: Print Book [2019]
Availability: Available at 7 Libraries 7 of 13 copies
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CLP - Allegheny Regional New Books F1032.K54 2019
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Summary
"An heroic and tragic story from a more innocent, less cynical era--when Irish Americans fought and died, not for profits and plunder, but for Irish democracy and freedom from the world's most powerful empire."
--Kerby Miller

"Christopher Klein's fresh telling of this story is an important landmark in both Irish and American history." --James M. McPherson

Just over a year after Robert E. Lee relinquished his sword, a band of Union and Confederate veterans dusted off their guns. But these former foes had no intention of reigniting the Civil War. Instead, they fought side by side to undertake one of the most fantastical missions in military history: to seize the British province of Canada and to hold it hostage until the independence of Ireland was secured.

By the time that these invasions--known collectively as the Fenian raids--began in 1866, Ireland had been Britain's unwilling colony for seven hundred years. Thousands of Civil War veterans who had fled to the United States rather than perish in the wake of the Great Hunger still considered themselves Irishmen first, Americans second. With the tacit support of the U.S. government and inspired by a previous generation of successful American revolutionaries, the group that carried out a series of five attacks on Canada--the Fenian Brotherhood--established a state in exile, planned prison breaks, weathered infighting, stockpiled weapons, and assassinated enemies. Defiantly, this motley group, including a one-armed war hero, an English spy infiltrating rebel forces, and a radical who staged his own funeral, managed to seize a piece of Canada--if only for three days.

When the Irish Invaded Canada is the untold tale of a band of fiercely patriotic Irish Americans and their chapter in Ireland's centuries-long fight for independence. Inspiring, lively, and often undeniably comic, this is a story of fighting for what's right in the face of impossible odds.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In the Civil War's immediate aftermath, some Irish American soldiers from both sides of the conflict turned their attention to the plight of their old country. Having barely laid down their arms, soldiers from both North and South wanted to take action to release their kinsmen from centuries of British dominion. One way they thought they could help was to launch attacks on British fortifications north of the border and thus divert British troops from Ireland to defend Canada. In 1866, John O'Neill led troops out of Buffalo across the Niagara River. These battle-hardened soldiers outfought inexperienced Canadian volunteers and British troops, but their victories were short-lived. Another group crossed the border in Maine onto Campobello Island, others marching toward Winnipeg, all suffering defeats that contributed nothing to Irish homeland independence. Ironically, the vulnerability Canadians perceived from these raids contributed to a greater sense of Canadian nationalism, uniting provinces into the 1867 Canadian Confederation. Klein's (Strong Boy, 2013) history includes a few illustrations and an extensive bibliography.--Mark Knoblauch Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Fenians.
Canada -- History -- Fenian Invasions, 1866-1870.
Publisher New York :[2019]
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description x, 365 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographic references and index.
ISBN 9780385542609
0385542607
Other Classic View