If you haven’t read John Hennessy’s superb Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle for Second Manassas, you definitely should (and while you’re at it, it’s worth picking up his volume on First Bull Run, An End to Innocence, too). As well as being a great volume with lots of Irish interest, John’s title also aptly describes what I’ll be doing on Sunday 22nd September next, and I hope you can join me. I’m once again teaming up with the inimitable Harry Smeltzer of Bull Runnings fame to provide a free tour focusing on the Irish experience at First Bull Run. Back in 2019, Harry organized an extremely successful event where he, John Hennessy, our late friend Joe Maghe and I walked the battlefield with a fantastic group of people to follow in the footsteps of the 69th New York State Militia. This time, we are expanding our view, intending to look at the Irish experience of the engagement from both Union and Confederate perspective as the battle unfolded, while chatting about some of the broader themes of Irish America and Irish service along the way. It would be great if you could join us on the day. If you’re interested, Harry is currently gathering together names of those who would like to come, so drop him a line at Bull Runnings here or over on the Bull Runnings Facebook page here. I hope you can join us!

For a hint of some of the types of stories we discussed back in 2019, below is a short video from our tour on Henry Hill, where I tell the sad story of the Madigan family:

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