Fighting Irish: 5 Irish Generals of the American Civil War
Fighting Irish: 5 Irish Generals of the American Civil War

Fighting Irish: 5 Irish Generals of the American Civil War

Matthew - January 26, 2017

Fighting Irish: 5 Irish Generals of the American Civil War
Painting of the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, March 1862. Rare Maps

Walter P. Lane

Walter Paye Lane was another Irish-born man who went on to become a General for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Lane was a native of County Cork, and he emigrated to the U.S. as a young boy in 1821. His family eventually ended up in Kentucky. When he was not yet 20-years-old, Lane relocated to Texas, along with many other men who were inspired by the call for Texas independence in 1836.

Lane stayed in Texas after the Lone Star State gained its independence, and he fought in the Mexican-American War, rising to the rank of Major. When the Civil War began in 1861, Walter Lane was one of the first Texans to call for secession from the United States. Lane joined the 3rd Texas Cavalry, and fought in many clashes, including Pea Ridge, Chustenalah, as well as other battles in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He was badly wounded during the battle of Mansfield, Louisiana on April 8, 1864. Walter Lane was promoted to General on the last day the Confederate Congress met, March 18, 1865.

Lane settled in Marshall, Texas after the Civil War, and helped establish the Texas Veterans Association. He became active in local politics, and with the help of his brother, formed a white citizen’s party that ran all African-Americans out of Marshall and Harrison County. Lane claimed the town was now “redeemable.” The former Civil War General remained in Marshall until he died in 1892 at the age of 74.

All 5 of these Civil War Generals were born across the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland. But, they, along with tens of thousands of their countrymen, fought for their adopted country because of their belief in what they regarded as a new, free way of life, whether they took up arms for the Union or for the Confederacy.

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