Meagher, Thomas Francis

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Meagher, Thomas Francis

(mär), 1823–67, Irish revolutionary and Union general in the American Civil War, b. Waterford, Ireland. A leader of the Young Ireland movement, he was arrested and condemned to death for his part in the abortive rebellion of 1848, but the sentence was commuted to penal servitude in Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania). Escaping, he went to New York City in 1852, practiced law, and edited the Irish News. In the Civil War, Meagher fought at the first battle of Bull Run with the famous 69th Regiment and organized (1861–62) the Irish Brigade of New York. His brigade was eventually decimated in fighting with the Army of the Potomac from the Peninsular campaign through Chancellorsville, and Meagher resigned (1863) as brigadier general of volunteers. His resignation was soon canceled, and at the end of the war he was serving under General Sherman. He was appointed secretary of Montana Territory in 1865 and served as acting governor, but his rule was unpopular. He drowned in the Missouri River near Fort Benton while awaiting a shipment of weapons for the Montana militia. His Speeches on the Legislative Independence of Ireland was published in 1853.


See biographies by R. G. Athearn (1949) and T. Egan (2016); P. J. Jones, The Irish Brigade (1969).

References in periodicals archive ?
On March 7, 1848, the Irish flag was flown for the first time by Thomas Francis Meagher in Waterford city.
Timothy Egan, meticulous historian and crackerjack storyteller, offers a rousing biography of renegade leader Thomas Francis Meagher in The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero (HMH, $28, 384 pages, ISBN 9780544272880).
Wylie presents The Irish General: Thomas Francis Meagher, an in-depth biography of loyal Irishman, Civil War general, and frontier governor Thomas Francis Meagher.
He tells the story of the war and the role of Irish units in famous battles, and recounts the efforts of individuals like Thomas Francis Meagher from Waterford and Colonel Patrick Kelly from Galway, who both commanded the Irish Brigade, and Patrick Cleburne from Cork, a commander on the Confederate side.
ALTHOUGH THE FIGURE OF Thomas Francis Meagher cast a long shadow over the late nineteenth century, his fame seems to have been relatively short-lived.
After a summary forward by Roy Foster and the editors' historiographical introduction, the first three articles of this collection challenge the conventional image of Thomas Francis Meagher as a "self-made man.
Thomas Francis Meagher, the brigade's commander, addressed his soldiers and then led them into the streets of Fredericksburg.
See Athearn, Thomas Francis Meagher, 121; Barry, John Boyle O'Reilly, 36; Irving A.
4) Of the seven Young Ireland leaders transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1848-49 only John Martin (5) sailed with O'Doherty on the Mount Stewart Elpinstone, while William Smith O'Brien, (6) Thomas Francis Meagher, (7) Terence Bellews McManus, (8) and Patrick O'Donohoe (9) sailed on the Swift, and Mitchel later arrived from Bermuda on the Neptune.
Patrick's Day, for instance, the noted orator Thomas Francis Meagher insisted that America "does itself great wrong when it supposes, in view of that which occurs in the emigration from Ireland, that it can fail in its strength because of the addition which it receives from poor old Ireland, drawing out drops of her choicest blood, and infusing them into the veins of this young giant, that he may go forward with more rapid strides to achieve the brilliant conquest which awaits him in the future.
At the centre of the Brigade's story is its founder, the controversial and charismatic General Thomas Francis Meagher.
Part of the Irish Abroad series, which publishes short biographies of Irish expatriates, this volume on Thomas Francis Meagher (1823-1867) recounts his life in the US as the first commanding general of the Irish Brigade during the Civil War and as governor of the Montana territory.