Irish American Heritage Museum
“Your Heritage…Pass it on.”
370 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207
PH: 518-427-1916 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Irish American Heritage Museum Debuts “Irish in the Civil War”
– Siena College Professor of History Emeritus Thomas O’Connor Kelly to Present Lecture –
The Irish American Heritage Museum opens its “Irish in the Civil War” exhibit on Wednesday, August 15, at 11:00 a.m. at its new year-round exhibit center in the historic Meginniss Building, 370 Broadway, Albany, NY. “Irish in the Civil War” will be on exhibit Wednesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon to 4 p.m., through Sunday September 30.
The suggested donations for admission are: $3 adults, $2 seniors and free for children 14 years of age and younger. Museum Memberships are also available upon entry. Donations and memberships help fund the Museum’s educational programs.
“We are proud to have the exhibition at this time as the Nation commemorates the 150th anniversary of the War of the Rebellion, more commonly referred to as the War Between the States or the Civil War. It is imperative that Americans remember the sacrifices made by so many sons of Erin in the American Civil War,” stated Jeff Cleary, the Museum’s Executive Director.
Medal of Honor Recipient Patrick H. White, St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands, NY
“Irish in the Civil War” is based on very large framed Civil War prints of artists’ renderings of life in battle generously donated to the Irish American Heritage Museum by the Rev. Jeremiah Brady, SSJ, pastor of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Mobile, Alabama. Accompanying the exhibit is a brochure describing the scene in each portrayal.
The Museum’s exhibit features possessions of Patrick H. White, (1832–1915), American Civil War Medal of Honor recipient born in Sligo, Ireland, including his Medals of Honor, on loan from the New York State Museum, and excerpts from his diary. Patrick H. White is buried in St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands, New York.
Father William Corby, University of Notre Dame
Fr. William Corby, C.S.C., Chaplain of the famed Irish Brigade and later twice President of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, is a featured part of the exhibit. The Museum’s exhibit highlights the role the “Irish Brigade” played in battle as part of the Union’s efforts to turn the tide to victory.
Fr. Corby is the centerpiece of “Absolution at Gettysburg,” showing him standing on a large rock in front of the Brigade, with the men bowing down. As the blue clad soldiers knelt in solemn prayer with their flags flying overhead and the sound of fighting heard in the distance, Fr. Corby raised his right hand and pronounced the words of absolution, “Dominus noster Jesus Christus vos absolvat.”
Siena College Professor Emeritus Thomas O. Kelly II to Present Lecture Sept. 16
As part of the story of the Irish Brigade, Siena College Professor Emeritus Thomas O. Kelly II will present the history of the famed unit with a focus on the Brigade’s action in the Civil War, at the Irish American Heritage Museum at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 16 – the day before the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, one of the deadliest in the Civil War’s history. Following his presentation, he will answer questions from the audience.
The legendary Irish Brigade played a key role in all the major battles of the Civil War, including the Peninsula Campaign, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Petersburg, and Appomattox. During the Civil War, the soldiers who fought in the all-Irish units that made up the “Irish Brigade” were known for their courage, ferocity and toughness in battle. The Brigade was full of larger-than-life characters, including Lieutenant Colonel James Kelly of the Sixty-ninth New York. Some say that the Irish Brigade lost more than 4,000 soldiers during the War, one of the largest body counts of any brigade, if not the largest. Its legacy is a tale of a critical and incredible fighting force, packed with immigrants that helped win the War and preserve the Union. It’s a story that not only all of Irish heritage should want to learn, but also every Civil War history buff should want to know.
Professor Emeritus Thomas Kelly began his professional career at Siena College in 1963. During his years at Siena as Professor of History and American Studies, he served as Assistant Dean and then Acting Dean of the Division of Arts, Head of the Department of History, Chair of the Curriculum Committee, and three terms as Chairman of the General Faculty Committee. Professor Kelly is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Siena Research Institute. Further at Siena, he originated and taught for twenty years a course on the Adirondacks – the region of his birth in Port Henry, Essex County – combining the history, literature, economics, art and music of the region. In addition to his commitment to the Siena College community, he has served many Capital Region media outlets as a military analyst – especially during the Gulf War – and thereafter functioned as military, political and general analyst. Professor Kelly is well known for his “Rating the Presidents: A Tracking Study” and many publications on the history of the United States.
ABOUT THE IRISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM
The Museum is unique in the United States, where almost 40 million people claim Irish ancestry. The Museum is committed to the tenet that preserving one’s heritage is vital to providing a cultural and historical foundation to future generations of Americans.
The museum in the heart of Albany, New York State’s Capital City, provides year-round access, especially by school groups, to exhibits, the Paul O’Dwyer Library (endowed by the family of the “great champion of the common man” – the NY Times), lectures, presentations, film screenings (most recently about the “Easter 1916 Rising”), book signings and readings (again, most recently by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy) and other special programs. The Museum was an integral force in requiring instruction in New York State’s public schools about the Irish Famine of 1845-1852. Further, it is the first Museum of its kind here in America to have exhibited at the National Library in Dublin.
The Irish American Heritage Museum was created by New York State Legislation in 1986 and permanently chartered by the New York State Education Department in 1992 as a 501c3 non-profit educational institution. The Museum’s mission is to preserve and tell the story of the contributions of the Irish people and their culture in America, inspiring individuals to examine the importance of their own heritage as part of the American cultural mosaic.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
JEFF CLEARY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
IRISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM