The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Irish Women & Girls Killed Recklessly

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The Washington Arsenal was the lifeblood of the Union Army of the Potomac. Every day, the “girls” who worked there made 21,000 cartridges for their brothers and fathers who filled the ranks of that army. Women worked twelve hours a day in the most dangerous workplace in the capital city to insure that no soldier’s ammo box was empty. 1

The Washington Arsenal was also a place where teenage girls, women too young to marry, and war widows could find work to feed their families. Many of the women were immigrants or the daughters of immigrant families, women without means to support themselves if they did not accept potentially deadly work.2

On June 17, 1864 the Arsenal exploded. Twenty-one victims, all female, died horribly.3

dc-arsenal-ruinsThe Washington Arsenal Laboratory after the explosion.

In the years before the catastrophe, Washington’s population had exploded. Civilians and soldiers had flooded the city to support the war effort. The city also swelled with fugitive slaves. After slavery was abolished in Washington in 1862 the city became an asylum for blacks seeking freedom. Arriving from Confederate Virginia and loyal Maryland, by 1863 there were an estimated 10,000 escaped slaves living in the District. Two years later a census counted more than 16,000 black refugees.  The blacks worked alongside and, sometimes, in conflict with the city’s Irish population.4

While Washington is not typically thought of as an Irish city, large scale Irish settlement dates back to 1828 when work commenced on the C & O Canal. Immigrants worked the docks along the Potomac River at the port near Georgetown, and dug the canal that still runs through that neighborhood. Most of them lived in the poorer, southern part of Georgetown.5

dc-arsenal-rededication-stoneThe Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Sons of Union Veterans recently erected this rededication marker to the women and girls killed in the Washington Arsenal Explosion. It includes the names of the dead.

Irish also settled in Swampoodle. The neighborhood took its name from the swamps and puddles that characterized this miserable terrain that is now occupied by Union Station. Foggy Bottom, where the Kennedy Center is now located, was populated by German immigrants in the early 19th Century. By the time of the Civil War, poor Irish immigrants and free blacks were added to its population. Local Industry threw off acrid smoke and fog from Rock Creek and the Potomac combined with the factory and brewery pollution to create the smog that gave the area its name.6

The Arsenal itself was located in a mixed working class neighborhood called The Island that stretched south from the Mall and was bounded on the west by the Potomac and the south by the Anacostia. Docks along the Potomac gave employment to strong-backed immigrant workers and black refugees. Most of the women who died in the Arsenal explosion were from The Island.7

dc-arsenal-washington-1862-text-21862 map of Washington with neighborhood names inserted.

The youngest of the “gunpowder girls” killed at the Arsenal was Sallie McElfresh, only twelve at the time of the explosion. Although a number of teens were employed in the choking room, most of the workers were young women in their twenties. Women were said to be preferred for the jobs because of their small hands and presumed superior fine motor skills. They were also preferred because they were paid half of what a man doing the same work would get.8

The women at the Washington Arsenal knew the danger of their jobs. In November 1862, the Confederate munitions factory in Jackson Mississippi blew up and 40 workers were killed. The Confederate capital of Richmond was rocked by an explosion at its arsenal that killed 44 in March 1863. The worst of the blasts came near Pittsburgh at the Allegheny Arsenal which blew up in September, 1862 killing 78. In both the Allegheny and Richmond explosions the dead came disproportionately from the Irish community as would the Washington Arsenal victims.9

The New York Times reported that “By a strange coincidence, just before the explosion occurred, a letter was read to these girls acknowledging the receipt of $170 contributed by them for the erection of a monument to the victims of an almost similar catastrophe at Pittsburgh…” These women lived with the knowledge that their lives could end in the flash of a blast.10

dc-arsenal-monument-explosionMonument to the victims of the Arsenal disaster depicts the explosion.

The carpet that covered the Arsenal’s floor was silent testimony to the danger the women and girls worked under. It was not there for ornament. It was there to prevent the possibility of minute sparks from the heels of shoes setting off a chain of explosions. Gunpowder inevitably spilled off the tables the workers were sitting at, and any spark on the ground posed the danger of destroying the Arsenal.11

Thomas Brown was the Arsenal’s “pyrotechnist.” While not formally educated as a chemist, he has worked for two decades designing and manufacturing explosives. On this day, in addition to his normal work, he was making “stars.” These were fireworks-like flares that could be used to illuminate the skies over a battlefield in the event of a Confederate night attack. While the “stars” had a practical use, these would most likely be used by Union units in their upcoming Fourth of July celebrations.12

The temperatures in the 90s that day meant that the “stars” could be left outside in the sun to dry quickly. Brown had hundreds setting in the heat near the building where the young women were working. Brown’s negligence in drying them so close to where the women were working was compounded when he left the “stars” unattended. As noon approached, they began to give off smoke.13

The Ordinance Department’s safety instructions warned that arsenals should “Never keep in the laboratory more powder than is necessary, and have the ammunition… taken to the magazine as fast as it is finished.” The supervisors of the arsenal violated these rules. Large amounts of gunpowder were left in the choking room, and finished cartridges were not removed from the room immediately after they were finished. The excessive amounts of gunpowder simply lying around contributed to the force of the explosion and meant that many of the “girls” never had a chance.14

dc-arsenal-featYoung women and teenage girls were employed in both North and South to manufacture ammunition during the Civil War.

Of the 110 women employed in the laboratory, thirty were on the choking room staff. The choking room was where paper cartridges filled with gunpowder had a bullet inserted in them and they were then tied off, or “choked.” The smoldering “stars” began to explode into the air outside the room. When one of the stars flew into the choking room through the window at 11:50am, it ignited excess gunpowder scattered around the long worktable. The small fires spread to gunpowder-filled cartridges, which exploded, blowing the roof in the air. 15

As women ran out from the burning building, themselves on fire, nearby laborers rushed to them at the risk of their own lives to try to save them. The New York Times described the scene:

Those girls who were employed in the east rooms of the laboratory mostly escaped by jumping from windows and running through doors, but those in rooms fronting on the west nearly all were killed by the explosion or burnt to death. Most of the bodies were charred to shapeless, smoking crisp, and it was necessary to remove them on boards from the ruins, as they could not otherwise be carried…The nineteen dead bodies taken out were so terribly charred as to be almost beyond identification.16

dc-arsenal-womenPhotograph of women Arsenal workers taken before the explosion. It is believed that some of those killed are in the picture.

Investigations into the cause of the disaster commenced soon after the fires were extinguished. The coroner’s investigation resulted in a jury verdict that assigned culpability. The explosion, the jury said:

was caused by the superintendent, Thomas B. Brown, placing three metallic pans some thirty feet from the laboratory, containing chemical preparations intended for the manufacture of white and red stars; that the sun’s rays operating on the metallic pans caused spontaneous combustion, scattering the fire in every direction, a portion flying into the choking room of the laboratory through the open windows, igniting the cartridges and causing the death of the said deceased. The jury are of the opinion that the superintendent, Thomas B. Brown, was guilty of the most culpable carelessness and negligence in placing highly combustible substances so near a building filled with human beings, indicating a most reckless disregard for life…17

dc-arsenal-monumenThe monument over the mass grave of the Arsenal workers.

After the explosion, the working people of The Island met to organize a grand funeral for their “girls.” The Sons of Hibernia, political societies, labor unions, and community leaders planned every aspect of the final procession for the dead. Irish immigrant Peter McGuinnis led a crew of skilled workers who built and painted coffins for each of the dead. A Catholic priest and Protestant minister were selected to lead the services.18

Most of the bodies of the dead “girls” could not be identified, and they were to be buried in Congressional Cemetery at government expense. Several who were not too badly disfigured, were buried in private ceremonies in the Catholic cemetery. More than a thousand mourners gathered for the Congressional Cemetery services. They were joined by a silent Abraham Lincoln and his Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. The Federal government paid for the cost of the burials.19

dc-arsenal-griefThe statue atop the monument is simply entitled “Grief.”

The Federal government also made limited payments to the dependents of the dead. The families of each of the dead women received approximately $9.50, $250 in today’s money, for the clothing they lost in the fire. The families of those women who were widows and whose death deprived their children of their sole support received some additional substantial compensation from the government, but some others did not. Women were not seen as the economic supports of their families if they had husbands, even if the dead “girl’s” wages had helped keep her family fed and housed.20

The neighbors and friends of the dead did not want their sacrifice to be forgotten. The community around the arsenal began raising money to fund a monument at Congressional Cemetery to the lost girls and women. Most of the money was raised from working people in the neighborhood. When $3,000 was collected, the firm of Flannery Brothers was contracted to construct a twenty-five foot high obelisk. Appropriately, the Flannery’s were immigrants themselves, from Limerick in Ireland.21

dc-viewResource: The leading work on the disaster is The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012). I relied heavily on Bergin’s research. The book includes extensive treatment of the scientific explanation of the explosion. Bergin provides useful background on The Island and its inhabitants as well on women workers in Washington. Bergin’s daughter Erin deserves special recognition for bringing her late father’s book to publication.

Video: C-Span filmed the 150th Anniversary commemoration of the Washington Arsenal Explosion.

Sources:

1. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) for number of cartridges see Kindle Location 434.
2. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012)
3. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012)
4. Washington During Civil War and Reconstruction: Race and Radicalism by Robert Harrisson published by Cambridge University Press (2011) p. 27-28
5. Washington During Civil War and Reconstruction: Race and Radicalism by Robert Harrisson published by Cambridge University Press (2011); The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012)
6. Washington During Civil War and Reconstruction: Race and Radicalism by Robert Harrisson published by Cambridge University Press (2011); The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012)
7. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012)
8. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) Kindle Location 510-532
9. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) Kindle Location 557-590
10. TERRIBLE EXPLOSION.; The Laboratory of the Washington Arsenal Destroyed Eighteen Persons Killed, and Many Injured. FURTHER PARTICULARS NY Times June 18, 1864
11. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) Kindle Location 447
12. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) Kindle Location 352-368
13. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) Kindle Location 352-368
14. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) Kindle Location 424-426
15. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) Kindle Location 440-450
16. TERRIBLE EXPLOSION.; The Laboratory of the Washington Arsenal Destroyed Eighteen Persons Killed, and Many Injured. FURTHER PARTICULARS NY Times June 18, 1864
17. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) Kindle Locations 1040-1045
18. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) Kindle Location 1090-1240
19. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) Kindle Location 1110-1240
20. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) Kindle Location 1520-1530
21. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Civil War Disaster in the Capital by Brian Bergin published by The History Press (2012) Kindle Location 1600-1614

The Immigrants’ Civil War is a series that examines the role of immigrants in our bloodiest war. Articles will appear twice monthly between 2011 and 2017. Here are the articles we have published so far:

1. Immigrant America on the Eve of the Civil War – Take a swing around the United States and see where immigrants were coming from and where they were living in 1861.

2. 1848: The Year that Created Immigrant America – Revolutions in Europe, famine and oppression in Ireland, and the end of the Mexican War made 1848 a key year in American immigration history.

3. Carl Schurz: From German Radical to American Abolitionist– A teenaged revolutionary of 1848, Carl Schurz brought his passion for equality with him to America.

4. Immigrant Leader Carl Schurz Tells Lincoln to Stand Firm Against Slavery.

5. …And the War Came to Immigrant America -The impact of the firing on Fort Sumter on America’s immigrants

6. The Rabbi Who Seceded From the South

7. The Fighting 69th-Irish New York Declares War

8. The Germans Save St. Louis for the Union

9. New York’s Irish Rush to Save Washington

10. Immigrant Day Laborers Help Build the First Fort to Protect Washington-The Fighting 69th use their construction skills.

11. Carl Schurz Meets With Lincoln To Arm the Germans

12. Immigrants Rush to Join the Union Army-Why?– The reasons immigrants gave for enlisting early in the war.

13. Why the Germans Fought for the Union?

14. Why Did the Irish Fight When They Were So Despised?

15. The “Sons of Garibaldi” Join the Union Army

16. The Irish Tigers From Louisiana

17. Immigrant Regiments on Opposite Banks of Bull Run -The Fighting 69th and the Louisiana Tigers

18. The St. Louis Germans Set Out To Free Missouri

19. Wilson’s Creek Drowns Immigrant Dream of Free Missouri

20. English-Only in 1861: No Germans Need Apply

21. After Bull Run: Mutineers, Scapegoats, and the Dead

22. St. Louis Germans Revived by Missouri Emancipation Proclamation

23. Jews Fight the Ban on Rabbis as Chaplains

24. Lincoln Dashes German Immigrants Hopes for Emancipation

25. When Hatred of Immigrants Stopped the Washington Monument from Being Built

26. Inside the Mind of a Know Nothing

27. The Evolution of the Know Nothings

28. The Know Nothings Launch a Civil War Against Immigrant America

29. The Know Nothings: From Triumph to Collapse

30. The Lasting Impact of the Know Nothings on Immigrant America.

31. Lincoln, the Know Nothings, and Immigrant America.

32. Irish Green and Black America: Race on the Edge of Civil War.

33. The Democratic Party and the Racial Consciousness of Irish Immigrants Before the Civil War

34. The Confederates Move Against Latino New Mexico

35. Nuevomexicanos Rally As Confederates Move Towards Santa Fe—But For Which Side?

36. The Confederate Army in New Mexico Strikes at Valverde

37. The Swedish Immigrant Who Saved the U.S. Navy

38. The Confederates Capture Santa Fe and Plot Extermination

39. A German Regiment Fights for “Freedom and Justice” at Shiloh-The 32nd Indiana under Col. August Willich.

40. The Know Nothing Colonel and the Irish Soldier Confronting slavery and bigotry.

41. Did Immigrants Hand New Orleans Over to the Union Army?

42. Did New Orleans’ Immigrants See Union Soldiers As Occupiers or Liberators?

43. Union Leader Ben Butler Seeks Support in New Orleans-When General Ben Butler took command in New Orleans in 1862, it was a Union outpost surrounded by Confederates. Butler drew on his experience as a pro-immigrant politician to win over the city’s Irish and Germans.

44. Union General Ben Butler Leverages Immigrant Politics in New Orleans

45. Thomas Meager: The Man Who Created the Irish Brigade

46. Thomas Meagher: The Irish Rebel Joins the Union Army

47. Recruiting the Irish Brigade-Creating the Irish American

48. Cross Keys: A German Regiment’s Annihilation in the Shenandoah Valley

49. The Irish Brigade Moves Towards Richmond-The Irish brigade in the Peninsula Campaign from March 17 to June 2, 1862.

50. Peninsula Emancipation: Irish Soldiers Take Steps on the Road to Freedom-The Irish Brigade and Irish soldiers from Boston free slaves along the march to Richmond.

51. Slaves Immigrate from the Confederacy to the United States During the Peninsula Campaign

52. The Irish 9th Massachusetts Cut Off During the Seven Days Battles

53. Union Defeat and an Irish Medal of Honor at the End of the Seven Days

54. Making Immigrant Soldiers into Citizens-Congress changed the immigration laws to meet the needs of a nation at war.

55. Carl Schurz: To Win the Civil War End Slavery

56. Carl Schurz: From Civilian to General in One Day

57. Did Anti-German Bigotry Help Cause Second Bull Run Defeat?

58. Immigrant Soldiers Chasing Lee Into Maryland

59. Scottish Highlanders Battle at South Mountain

60. Emancipation 150: “All men are created equal, black and white”– A German immigrant reacts to the Emancipation Proclamation

61. The Irish Brigade at Antietam

62. Private Peter Welsh Joins the Irish Brigade

63. Preliminaries to Emancipation: Race, the Irish, and Lincoln

64. The Politics of Emancipation: Lincoln Suffers Defeat

65. Carl Schurz Blames Lincoln for Defeat

66. The Irish Brigade and Virginia’s Civilians Black and White

67. The Irish Brigade and the Firing of General McClellan

68. General Grant Expells the Jews

69. The Irish Brigade Moves Towards Its Destruction At Fredericksburg.

70. Fredericksburg: The Worst Day in the Young Life of Private McCarter of the Irish Brigade

71. Forever Free: Emancipation New Year Day 1863

72. Private William McCarter of the Irish Brigade Hospitalized After Fredericksburg

73. The Immigrant Women That Nursed Private McCarter After Fredericksburg

74. Nursing Nuns of the Civil War

75. The Biases Behind Grant’s Order Expelling the Jews

76. The Jewish Community Reacts to Grant’s Expulsion Order

77. Lincoln Overturns Grant’s Order Against the Jews

78. Irish Families Learn of the Slaughter at Fredericksburg

79. Requiem for the Irish Brigade

80. St. Patrick’s Day in the Irish Brigade

81. Student Asks: Why Don’t We Learn More About Immigrants in the Civil War?

82. Missouri’s German Unionists: From Defeat to Uncertain Victory

83. Missouri Germans Contest Leadership of Unionist Cause

84. German Leader Franz Sigel’s Victory Earns a Powerful Enemy

85. Immigrant Unionists Marching Towards Pea Ridge

86. German Immigrants at the Battle of Pea Ridge: Opening Moves

87. Pea Ridge: The German Unionists Outflanked

88. German Immigrants at the Battle of Pea Ridge

89. The Organization of the “German” XI Corps

90. The Irish Brigade on the Road to Chancellorsville

91. The “German” XI Corps on the Eve of Chancellorsville

92. The “Germans Run Away” at Chancellorsville

93. The New York Times, the Germans, and the Anatomy of a Scapegoat at Chancellorsville

94. An Irish Soldier Between Chancellorsville and Gettysburg

95. Lee’s Army Moves Towards Gettysburg: Black Refugees Flee

96. Iron Brigade Immigrants Arrive at Gettysburg

97. Iron Brigade Immigrants Go Into Battle the First Day at Gettysburg

98. The “German” XI Corps at Gettysburg July 1, 1863

99. An Irish Colonel and the Defense of Little Round Top on the Second Day at Gettysburg

100. A Prayer Before Death for the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg: July 2, 1863

101. The Irish Regiment that Ended “Pickett’s Charge”: July 3, 1863

102. Five Points on the Edge of the Draft Riots

103. Before the Draft Riots: The Cultivation of Division

104. The New York Draft Riots Begin

105. Convulsion of Violence: The First Day of the New York Draft Riots

106. The Draft Riots End in a Sea of Blood-July 14-15, 1863.

107. Pat Cleburne: The Irish Confederate and the Know Nothings

108. Killing Pat Cleburne: Know Nothing Violence

109. Pat Cleburne: Arresting a General, Becoming a General

110. The Immigrant Story Behind “Twelve Years a Slave”

111. A German Immigrant Woman’s Gettysburg Address

112. Pat Cleburne: The Irish Confederate’s Emancipation Proclamation

113. Pat Cleburne: The South Can’t Use Black Soldiers Without Ending Slavery

114. The Suppression of Pat Cleburne’s Emancipation Proposal

115. An Irish Immigrant Colonel’s Warnings Ignored at Chickamauga

116. An Immigrant Colonel’s Fighting Retreat at Chickamauga

117. August Willich: German Socialist at Chickamauga

118. Hans Heg:at Chickamauga: Norwegian Commander on the Eve of Battle

119. Ivan and Nadine Turchin: Russian Revolutionary Aristocrats at Chickamauga

120. German Immigrants Pinned Down at Chickamauga

121. Hans Heg: To Die for His Adopted Country at Chickamauga

122. Patrick Guiney: An Irish Colonel on the Edge of the Wilderness

123. Immigrants March Out of The Wilderness and Into a Wicked Hail of Gunfire

124. Peter Welsh in the Irish Brigade’s Purgatory at Spotsylvania

125. Peter Welsh: What Sacrifice Must the Immigrant Make for His Adopted Land?

126. A Second Irish Brigade’s Catastrophe at a Forgotten Fight Near Fredericksburg

127. An Irish Man and a French Woman Between Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor

128. Two Irish Brigades Swept Away by a Hurricane from Hell at Cold Harbor

129. Petersburg: The Start of a Ten Month Siege that Devoured Men and Disabled the Irish Brigade

130. A Volcano in Virginia: The Battle of the Crater

131. 1864 Election: The Immigrant Voter & Abraham Lincoln

132. August Belmont: The German Jewish Immigrant Who Led the Opposition to Lincoln’s 1864 Reelection

133. Lincoln and the Superiority of the “Negro” over the Irish

134. Lincoln’s Germans and the Election of 1864

135. Lincoln’s German Lawyer Comes Out Swinging in the Election of 1864

136. Lincoln Wins the Election of 1864 With Immigrant Votes

137. American Refugee Camp in Civil War Kentucky Destroyed by Union Soldiers

138. Kentucky Civil War Refugee Camp Reborn and Reconstructed After Expulsions

139. Immigrant German “Hamburgers” Tormented and Captured at Petersburg

140. German General Weitzel and His African Canadians at Petersburg

141. Irish Regiment at the Beginning of the End of the Confederacy at Five Forks

142. Richmond Burning: The German Immigrant and Black Troops Who Saved the City

143. Appomattox: The Capture of a Confederate Army & the Fall from Grace of an Immigrant General

144. Lincoln Assassinated: John Wilkes Booth’s Immigrant Conspirators

145. Immigrants Hunt Lincoln’s Killers and Help Capture the Confederate President

146. Lincoln’s Murder and the New York Irish American

147. Lincoln’s Funeral in Immigrant New York

148. German General Carl Schurz Begins His Investigation of the Post-War South

149. Carl Schurz Warned That a “System of Terrorism” Was Taking Hold in the Post-War South in 1865

150. Immigrants in the Union Navy: Minorities in the Majority

151. How Immigrants Were Recruited into the United States Navy

152. African Canadian Sailors in the Union Navy

153. High School Student Proves Professor Wrong When He Denied “No Irish Need Apply” Signs Existed

154. The Fallout from No Irish Need Apply Article Spreads Worldwide

155. No Irish Need Apply Professor Gets into a Fight With Our Blogger Pat Young Over Louisa May Alcott

156. Professor Behind No Irish Need Apply Denial May Have Revealed Motive for Attacking 14 Year Old Historian

157.  A Scottish Socialist and a German General Work to Help Slaves Become Freedpeople-Robert Dale Owen, Carl Schurz and the founding of the Freedmen’s Bureau.

158. Our Man in Sweden: Recruiting Immigrants to Strengthen the Union War Effort

159. German Immigrants and the End of Slavery in Missouri

160. 13th Amendment: Immigrants and the end of slavery in America

161. Finding Civil Immigrants Where You Wouldn’t Expect Them: The Irish and German Harvard Men

162. Recovering the memories of Jewish Civil War soldiers

163. Kate Cumming Confederate Immigrant Nurse and the Shiloh Disaster

164. Immigrant nurse reports on Civil War hospital organized by Nursing Nuns after Shiloh battle

165. Sarah Emma Edmonds: The Immigrant Woman As “Male Nurse”

166. Immigrant Women Struggled to be Recognized as Nurses After the Civil War

167. Prelude to a Reconstruction Riot: Irish and Blacks in Memphis 1866

168. The Memphis Massacre of 1866: A Race Riot Pits Irish Immigrants Against Newly Freed Slaves

169. The 14th Amendment, the German Immigrant Carl Schurz, and the Assault on White Superiority Part of The Coming of the 14th Amendment

170. Black Citizenship, Frederick Douglass and German Immigrant Professor Francis Lieber Confront President Andrew Johnson Part of The Coming of the 14th Amendment

171. When the 14th Amendment stalled, a Scottish immigrant stepped up

172. The 14th Amendment and Birthright Citizenship for Children of Immigrants

173. The Washington Arsenal Explosion: Irish Women & Girls Killed Recklessly

Cultural

Painting of the Return of the 69th from Bull Run Unearthed


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