About .. The Civil War
Hi, I’m Brian K. Gallagher. And I might assume you are a Civil War history enthusiast.. like myself. Since we were kids..I was 8 at the time of the Gettysburg Centennial way back in 1963 .. living in Queens, NYC….my family have always had a sincere interest in our great nation’s history and the wars that the USA has fought. That same interest encompasses importantly the people involved, great and small who lived during those historic times..and who were involved in those often breathtaking, often desperate moments..that would change their lives and the lives of those who loved them..forever.
We talked about WWII ( “The Big One”) like is was yesterday..because to us kids than..it was. Our fathers were all heroes coming back..whether they served overseas or not. To us .. they fought the great cause.
My dad Cornelius J. Gallagher was an Army MP guarding Germans POW’s down South. He use to say he did not fight WWII..that he fought the Civil War because even than there was still a division between the Northern “Yanks” and the “good ole” Southern boys! He had a few stories to tell of their “skirmishes” in camp.
My maternal grandfather Leo J. Howrigan .. a country boy from the dairy farms of Vermont..fought WWI..as an artilleryman . We still have a photo of grandpa..circa 1917 when he was in France.
Our Vermont cousin Marine Sgt. Raymond J. Howrigan would also fight WWII but with the Marines, 4th Div. in the Pacific theater. He would be wounded on the island of Saipan in the summer 1944, and would recuperate from his wounds back at the base of the 4th Marine Division at Camp Maui, Ha‘iku, Maui, Hawaii. Raymond would return to his Marine combat unit..and go in once more to ‘finish the job’. This time the costly but necessary invasion of Iwo Jima.
Young Sgt. Raymond ( 22 yrs old ) would tragically make the ultimate sacrifice on “Iwo” February 21, 1945 along with so many other young Marines, 6,800 ( KIA) alone ..during the 37 bloody but victorious days of The Battle Iwo Jima . His name remembered with honor at family gatherings, added to the long list of young men and women who would give ‘the last full measure’ for family, honor and America’s freedom.
I have had the family privilege to stand by young Sgt. Raymonds gravesite in Vermont, along with his brothers. They were faith based old fellas now.. farmers.. family men.. but brothers who continued to honor their young Sgt. these many decades later.
‘Forever young’ one brother whispered as he quietly gazed down upon Raymond’s grave marker..’Forever young’.
Additionally we had my three uncles who also fought in The Pacific Theater of WWII..and like most men of that era .. were often saddened by the memories and simply preferred not to talk about their experiences.
But The Civil War we always returned to. To think of so many men and boys leaving their homes from North and South to assist in a struggle .. that carried so many hardships that they did not see coming.
All Americans..4 long years of bloodshed and sacrifice, Americans killing Americans.The Surrender at Appomattox must have been a surreal dream for most..especially Abraham Lincoln who as the war president..basically gave the best and final years of his life to keep the Union together.
Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was for that moment brilliant.. when he muttered those historic words the morning Abraham Lincoln finally stopped breathing..and died at 7:22am .. April 15, 1865. “Now He Belongs .. To The Ages.”
Note: The Civil War killed approx. 620,000 Americans..when at the time of the 1860 census .. the population was 31,000,000. Our population today is ten times that at 310,000,000. Just imagine losing 6.2 million men in four years..or about 1.5 million men a year. We were a nation of suffering.
I hope you enjoy our site .. and contact me if you have any questions about books, the War, or just an opinion regarding those years. I enjoy meeting other Civil War buffs .. God bless us..North and South !
My best regards and thanks to my brother Neil Brendan Gallagher for his lifelong interest in the American Civil War as well as our American Revolution and military history in general … and the sharing of his opinion and knowledge of those historic times. One of my favorite pastimes is mulling over a Civil War subject with him, with books in hand. Here is Neil above with the “Irish Brigade” Wolfhound at Gettysburg. Slainte brother. Thanks for our trips together..Gettysburg, Antietam, Harpers Ferry, Monocacy, Frederick, Winchester …
Here is a favorite of mine, a photo of brother Neil when they re-created the historic St. Albans Raid of October 19, 1864.
Neil is on the viewers left wearing the gray slouch hat. The pistol he has holstered cross draw is an authentic .44 Remington from the era.
” We walked sunken roads .. and touched sleeping stone walls .. hearing far distant drums .. and the dead buglers calls .. Some tears for the boys .. than a cheer for the men .. let us meet while we live .. and do it once more again.” Thank you Neil
My thanks to my adult kids Brian K.Gallagher Jr., Morgan D.Gallagher, Christina M.Gallagher, and Brandon J.Gallagher for their allowing Dad to show them the Gettysburg Battlefield some years ago. Their appreciation of military history was often a topic of many discussions. Love you
…and thank you Corinne for your patience and love. XO