Sketches of Irish Soldiers in Every Land - 1881
Sketches of Irish Soldiers in Every Land - 1881. By Col. James E. McGee, originally published 1881.
This is an interesting and entertaining book of 329 pages which takes a "broad brush" approach to the title subject which, as the author admits in his Preface, " ...would require an ordinary lifetime to arrange ... with any thing like system, and to record ... with a proper degree of clearness and fidelity." Instead he takes a "stroll" through accounts of the experiences and adventures of well known Irishmen warriors who lived through the three centuries leading up to the middle of the 19th Century. Nor, as you might gather from the title, are these adventures conducted solely on Irish soil. The reputation of the "Fighting Irish" was such that they readily found employment, both as individuals as well as ready made fighting units, in many parts of the World - both Old and New.
The majority of the book's chapters concentrate on the highlights of one hero's life and career, but in most cases this also means that the reader is treated to a description of the particular campaign, or war, where the individual played a significant, if not a pivotal, role. The remaining chapters provide a detailed recounting of personal adventures - such as those of Captain Riley who was taken as a slave after his ship was wrecked on the African coast. Or they recount battles important in the history of Ireland, such as the one which provides an account of the Wexford Insurrection from the view point of the regular people of that area. In this case the story is told without singling out any one character in particular for special attention.
Again, in the author's own words, "While selecting prominent characters, and incidentally touching on the relation of important battles, I have endeavored also to preserve as much as possible a chronological sequence, so that those who have neither leisure nor inclination to study the history of the last three centuries, as it elucidates the condition and afflictions of Ireland, may incidentally gain some notion of the motives, aims, and innate strength of her people, while amusing themselves with the moving accounts of practical warfare."
A treasure both for the student of military history and for the genealogists attempting to understand the lives and motivation of their Irish ancestors who followed a military career.
Although laid out in an approximately chronological order the reader will find this digital edition offers superior accessibility to the content of this wonderful book because the whole text is fully computer searchable so any key word can be instantly found, and with it the relevant passage.
We are pleased to be working with the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) to make digital copies of some works in their library so that the originals can be saved from everyday use while the content is made available to a wider audience. Please join with us to thank BIFHSGO, and particularly Betty Warburton (librarian) and her staff, for their generosity of spirit and their foresight in preserving these valuable old books.
The Archive CD Books Project exists to make reproductions of old books, documents and maps available on CD to genealogists and historians, and to cooperate with local libraries, museums and record offices in providing money to renovate old books in their collection, and to donate books to their collections, where they will be preserved for future generations.
Archive CD Books Canada