James Francis Smith
The fictional characters flesh out the bravery and heroic deeds of the historical characters portrayed.
My Grandfather Matthew Smith emigrated from Killinkere, County Cavan. The Smith ancestral home was situate within 200 yards of Union General Phillip Sheridan’s birthplace. My deceased uncles told me their grandmother was a Sheridan.
Therefore this tale opens in Killinkere with twin cousins of Phil Sheridan. Of the two, Matt Smith headed south and served as a scout for JEB Stuart. His twin Brian went north and served with his fictional friend Jeremiah McCarthy in the 116th Regiment of the Irish Brigade.
I couldn’t write on the Civil War without including Abraham Lincoln. Therefore to bring him into the story, I added County Cork born Molly and Nellie McCarthy, Jeremiah’s twin sisters. They became nurses in Washington D.C., where they would frequently encounter Abraham Lincoln on his visits to comfort the wounded. The President befriended the Irish colleens, and shared his many tales of the war with the two.
In order to bring Andersonville Prison in my narrative, I had Jeremiah McCarthy wounded at Fredericksburg, captured, and spent time at Andersonville before being rescued by Matt, the Confederate twin.
Among the historical Irish-Americans, Irish-born, and Scot-Irish who served in the War’s over 40 battles and major events are the following:
Father William Corby C.S.C. – Notre Dame’s future President
Confederate Generals, William Mahone, Jubal Early, Patrick Cleburne, Stonewall Jackson, & JEB Stuart
Union Generals Phillip Sheridan, Thomas Meagher, & Robert Patterson
Union Colonels, Michael Corcoran, Robert Nugent, Patrick O’Rorke, & Dennis O’Kane
Union Captain Thomas Kelly