Thirteen months after Robert E. Lee laid down his sword at Appomattox Court House, former Confederate rebels slipped on their gray wool jackets. Union veterans longing to emancipate an oppressed people donned their blue kepis. Battle-hardened warriors from both the North and the South returned to the front lines, but not to reignite the Civil…

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With the golden sunlight glimmering on their bayonets and the soft Vermont breezes tickling their green silk battle flag, the self-proclaimed Irish Republican Army marched off to war on the morning of May 25, 1870. Stopping on a country road outside a brick farmhouse just yards from his intended target, General John O’Neill ordered his…

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My monthly e-newsletter, The Throwback, is filled with history stories that will make you say “Wait? What?” Click here to read this month’s edition, in which I discuss the early dominance of African-American jockeys at the Kentucky Derby, Conan O’Brien’s obsession with biographer Robert Caro, and the time Donald Trump foreshadowed his border wall payment…

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Ever hear that story of Wilmer McLean? It was said the Civil War started in his front yard and ended in his front parlor. He abandoned his house after it was damaged in the Battle of Bull Run and moved to quieter pastures–in Appomattox–only to find his front parlor taken over in April 1865 so…

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In WHEN THE IRISH INVADED CANADA I write about the Fenian Raids from the perspective of the Irish-Americans who carried out the attacks on Canada. From the perspective of those Canadians who died defending their territory, kudos to Peter Vronsky, who wrote a book on the Battle of Ridgeway, and Dan Stepaniuk who are fighting for…

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Did you know that after the Civil War an Irish-American army attacked Canada with the plan of holding it hostage and ransoming it for Ireland’s independence? It’s no blarney. The self-proclaimed Irish Republican Army invaded Canada not just once, but five times between 1866 and 1871 in what are known collectively as the Fenian Raids.…

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I had the pleasure of talking with Ben Sawyer and Bob Crawford about WHEN THE IRISH INVADED CANADA for their great history podcast, The Road to Now. We talked about the background to the Fenian Raids and the first major attack on Canada by the self-proclaimed Irish Republican Army in June 1866. The Road to…

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Off and running with the book tour and publicity for this week’s release of WHEN THE IRISH INVADED CANADA. The one comment I’ve been hearing over and over again is that people have never heard of this story before, so I’m happy to be dredging back up this piece of forgotten history. Helping to get…

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Last week I had the pleasure of kicking off my speaking tour for When the Irish Invaded Canada at the Lawrence Heritage State Park as part of Irish Heritage Month in the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts. It was an apt location because New England mill cities, which had large Irish populations during the Civil War…

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Very excited that When the Irish Invaded Canada is now hitting the shelves of bookstores and libraries across the country. I just came back from my local bookstore and it was a thrill to see the book out in the wild. If you’d like to get a flavor for the true story of the Civil…

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