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Modern Ireland may be dominated by American culture but Irishmen also helped to shape America. They fought in every important action in the American Civil War, a war many Irish are not familiar with. Irish participation is woven into and highlighted in this account of the war, emphasising the role of Irish individuals and units. Irish involvement began when an ethnic Irish unit was called into action during John Brown s abortive attempt to start an anti-slavery uprising in 1859. When the war started the Irish Volunteers were the first unit in South Carolina to volunteer for service. The most famous Irish unit in the Federal army, the Irish Brigade, which included the famous Fighting 69th , was formed in 1861 at the instigation of Thomas Francis Meagher from Waterford, who rose to Brigadier General and commanded the Brigade. The heroics of this brigade at Antietam, and elsewhere, became an important part of Irish American history. Many Irish made the supreme sacrifice in Union blue and Confederate grey, including Patrick Cleburne from Cork. He proved himself a capable commander on the Confederate side and earned the nom de guerre Stonewall of the West , counties are named after him in Alabama and Arkansas while a lake and city bear his name in Texas. At Fredericksburg Irishmen killed Irishmen on soil which may have raised corn for famine relief in Ireland. At Gettysburg, where green and orange prayed and fought together, Colonel Patrick Kelly from Galway commanded the Irish Brigade. This is a story of bravery and courage, savagery and death.