Irish Immigrant Henry Sweeney in the First Year of Reconstruction as Freedmen’s Bureau Agent

When Irish immigrant Henry Sweeney became the first head of the Freedmen’s Bureau in Helena, Arkansas, he was already a respected officer in the...

Irish Captain Henry Sweeney Takes Command of a Company of Iowa African Americans

When Irish immigrant Henry Sweeney finally received his long-sought-after promotion to the rank of captain in 1863, it was to command Black troops from...

Irish Immigrant Henry Sweeney Wanted to Command Black Troops After Emancipation

The 32 year-old Irish immigrant knew he had the makings of an officer. So did the many officers who knew him as an intelligent...

Henry Sweeney: From Dublin to the U.S. Army and Into the Cauldron of Civil...

When Fort Sumter was attacked in 1861 and young volunteers flooded into the Union Army to put down the “Rebellion,” Henry Sweeney was already...

Henry Sweeney: Irish Immigrant Who Established the First Services for Freed Slaves in Helena,...

Join The Immigrants' Civil War on Facebook On March 26, 1865 Major General Alexander McDowell McCook of the Union army occupying Arkansas wrote a report...

Breaking the Naturalization Color Bar in 1870, But Only for Some Immigrants

Join The Immigrants' Civil War on Facebook America ended the Civil War with a naturalization law that only allowed white immigrants to become citizens. The...

Before the Civil War Only Whites Could Become Naturalized Citizens: Would that Change?

The half-decade after the Civil War was a time of intense debate of the question of who exactly was an American and how one...

A German Regiment’s Charge Helps Win Victory at Chattanooga’s Missionary Ridge

The Union Army of the Cumberland had been cooped up in Chattanooga ever since it was defeated at the Battle of Chickamauga in September,...