National Museum of Ireland The flag of Dillon's Regiment, Irish Brigade of France.
AOINE -- On February 1, 1702, the Irish Brigade of France added to its growing reputation as elements of the Brigade fought at the battle of Cremona during the War of Spanish Succession. The war began after King Charles II of Spain died without an heir. Charles had designated the grandson of King Louis XIV of France, Philip, Duke of Anjou, to be his successor, but most of Europe, fearing King Louis' power, opposed this, and war ensued. The first major theater of the war was northern Italy. The French forces there included the Irish Brigade infantry battalions of Berwick, Galmoy, Burke, and Dillon, plus the Brigade's two squadrons of Sheldon's Dragoons. One of the first major battles of the war was at Cremona. With the city nearly overrun by Prince Eugene's Austrians, only the taking of the Po Gate and its bridge stood between Eugene and complete victory. But guarding that bridge and gate were 600 men of Dillon's and Burke's regiments. Neither bribery, nor pleading, nor 12 hours of fighting could move them; the gate was held, and the town was saved. The brave soldiers of the Irish Brigade had won the day for France, but their courageous stand had cost them 60 percent casualties.
'The Rough Riders' by Theodore Roosevelt (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1899) Capt. Buckey O'Neill, 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry
SATHAIRN -- On February 2, 1860, William O. 'Buckey' O'Neill, sheriff, politician, and one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, was born, probably somewhere in Ireland. Son of a veteran of the American Civil War's famed Irish Brigade, young William left Washington, D.C., in 1879 hoping to find excitement in the Arizona territories. He found enough for three men. He won fame during many exploits against outlaws as a sheriff and eventually won an election for mayor of Prescott. At the start of the Spanish-American War, O'Neill -- nicknamed 'Buckey' after his favorite card game -- raised a company for Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders. It was then that he first listed his birthplace as Ireland, after years of claiming U.S. birth. 'Buckey' O'Neill was one of the most popular men, enlisted or officer, in Roosevelt's regiment. He was killed just before the regiment's famous assault up Kettle Hill (not San Juan Hill) on July 1, 1898.
'From "The History of Ireland, Ancient and Modern" by Abbe MacGoeghegan Gerald "Garret Og" Fitzgerald, 9th Earl of Kildare, father of "Silken"Thomas Fitgerald
DOMHNAIGH -- On February 3, 1537, Lord "Silken" Thomas Fitzgerald and his five uncles were executed at Tyburn, England. In June 1534, believing the English had killed his father in London (he actually died in the Tower later, of disease), Fitzgerald led a revolt against the English. He gained the name 'Silken' for the silk fringes on the helmets of his horsemen. His forces were defeated at Dublin and forced to retreat to their strongholds in County Kildare. They were driven from the lands in County Kildare in March 1535. In July, Fitzgerald surrendered to Lord Leonard Grey, England's Marshal of Ireland, when he guaranteed the safety of Fitzgerald and his men. But in October 1535, the English broke their promise. Thomas Fitzgerald and five of his uncles were shipped to London and imprisoned in the tower until February 1537, when all six were hung, drawn and quartered.
'Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland' James Stephens, who founded the IRB, Irish counterpart to John O'Mahony's Fenian Brotherhood
DEARDAOIN -- On February 7, 1877, John O'Mahony, founder of the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States, died in New York. O'Mahony was a member of the Young Ireland party in the 1840s; he escaped to France after the failed rising in 1848. In Paris, he met James Stephens before moving on to New York in 1853. On March 17, 1858, O'Mahony founded the Fenian Brotherhood in New York, as Stephens was founding the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) in Dublin. O'Mahony led the entire Fenian organization until 1865, when internal disputes led to its splitting into three factions, one being O'Mahony's. His faction's failed in its attempt to invade Canada through Campobello Island in April 1866. Eleven months later, a rising in Ireland failed. In the wake of these debacles, O'Mahony's Fenian wing ceased to exist and he lived out his last days in poverty until his death in 1877. Like Terence MacManus, O'Mahony's body was returned to Dublin where he was given a huge funeral and was buried at Glasnevin Cemetery.
Courtesy of Warflag.com Flag similar to those carried by Irish regiments in Spanish service.
AOINE -- On February 8, 1743, during the War of Austrian Succession, the Irish Brigade of Spain fought at the battle of Campo Santo. The regiments of Ultonia, Irlanda, and Hibernia formed the Irish Brigade fighting in Italy in a Spanish army, led by Gen. Don Juan de Gages. The Spanish government had ordered Gages forward, though he did not have sufficient supplies for his army. He was met at Campo Santo by Gen. Traun's Austrian army. Gages took up a defensive position with the Panaro River to his rear, a risky decision. The Irish were posted on the Spanish right, and, during a momentary breakthrough, the Irish captured two Austrian flags. But the second line of Austrians did not break, and the Spanish advance was halted as darkness set in, ending the fighting. The Spanish could claim a tactical victory, since the Austrians left the field first, but it came at horrendous cost, especially to the Irish. They lost over 24 officers and 465 men killed. Once again hundreds of Irishmen died many miles from home for "every cause but their own."
William "Wild Bill" Donovan as he appeared while commanding teh 69th NY (165 Infantry) during WWI.
AOINE -- On February 8, 1959, William "Wild Bill" Donovan, soldier, lawyer, politician and head of the Office of Strategic Services, died in Berryville, Virginia. Donovan was a key figure in the development of the United States intelligence service. His life reads like a Hollywood movie script. Born in Buffalo, New York, on January 1, 1883, Donovan earned his nickname "Wild Bill" for his bubbly personality. In truth, an examination of his life shows that he seldom acted in a way one would be likely to call "wild." After flirting with the idea of the priesthood early in his life, Donovan became a lawyer, practicing in Buffalo. He also organized a cavalry unit in the N.Y. National Guard and took that unit to Mexico when General John "Black Jack" Pershing pursued Pancho Villa. On Donovan's return, he was commissioned a major commanding the famous 69th New York Infantry. He commanded the regiment when the United States entered World War I in 1917.
The Army redesignated the now federalized 69th as the 165th Infantry (though it remained the 69th to the men in it) and placed it in the Rainbow Division. Donovan distinguished himself in command of the 69th, winning the Medal of Honor. After the war, Donovan was appointed an assistant United States attorney. He ran unsuccessfully as the Republican candidate for governor of New York in 1932. Donovan was sent on a number of diplomatic missions by President Roosevelt in the 1930s. When World War II began, Roosevelt named Donovan to head up the new Office of Strategic Services, or OSS. Under Donovan's leadership, the OSS proved itself a valuable asset in the American war effort. Through his work organizing the OSS, Donovan laid the groundwork for the Central Intelligence Agency, which was formed in 1947. When Donovan died in 1959, President Eisenhower remarked, "What a man! We have lost the last hero."
Belfast Central Library Sir Edward Carson, leader of the Ulster's resistance to Home Rule.
SATHAIRN -- On February 9, 1854, Sir Edward Henry Carson, Unionist politician, was born in Dublin. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, Carson was called to the Irish and then the English bar. In his most famous case he represented the Marquis of Queensbury against a libel suit by Oscar Wilde, and won. Carson was a Unionist MP from Dublin University from 1892 to 1918. He was elected leader of the Unionist party in 1910, and his opposition to Home Rule became more and more strident. His party's willingness to go to war over Home Rule – including collusion by British army officers in the procuring of arms -- pushed the British to retain six of nine counties in Ulster in the Anglo-Irish Treaty, leading to the present six-county statelet. In 1921, Carson gave up the leadership of the Unionist Party to Lord James Craig. Carson took a cabinet post in London, but was in poor health when he gave up the party leadership. He died in Kent, England, on October 12, 1935 and was given a state funeral in Belfast.
Read more about the history of the freedom struggle in Ireland
New York Public Library An officer of Dillion's Regiment.
CÉADAOIN -- On February 13, 1782, Dillon's regiment of the Irish Brigade of France helped capture St. Kitts from the British during the American Revolution. Earlier, Dillon's regiment had helped France capture several other islands during the campaign against the British in the West Indies, also serving at the unsuccessful siege of Savannah, Georgia. The French, commanded by the Marquis de Bouillé, were entrenched around the British stronghold of Brimstone Hill, known as the "Gibraltar of the Antillies," for 31 days before the British finally surrendered. Count Arthur Dillon was made governor of the island and his regiment then formed the garrison until the end of the war. The capture of St. Kitts was the last major military action of the Irish Brigade of France. In 1791, after the French Revolution, the Brigade's close ties to the monarchy of France would cause the leaders of the new Republic to disband the famous unit. Count Arthur Dillon, whose family and regiment had sacrificed so much for France during its 100-years service, would later die on the Revolutionary government's guillotine.
Read about the Irish Brigade of France's exploits at Cremona.
DEARDAOIN -- On February 14, 1895, Sean Treacy, revolutionary leader during the Irish War of Independence, was born in Solohead, County Tipperary. Treacy joined the Gaelic League and the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1911. In 1913, Sean and his friend Dan Breen joined the Irish Volunteers. Treacy helped organize the Easter Rising and would spend several months in prison during 1917 and 1918. As 1919 began, Treacy was vice-commandant of the Third Tipperary Brigade of the Irish Republican Army. On January 21, Treacy was one of the participants -- along with his friend, Dan Breen -- in an ambush of RIC officers at Soloheadbeg, which is considered the beginning of the War of Independence. On May 13, he was wounded at Knocklong. In 1920, Treacy went to Dublin to work with Michael Collins. On October 12, he and his long-time comrade, Dan Breen, barely escaped capture in Dublin in a raid by British intelligence. Firing through the door, they killed two British officers and managed to escape the house by crashing through a window. They had been lucky to escape, but Sean's luck was running out. Two days later, he was confronted by a group of British soldiers and intelligence agents on Talbot Street. Treacy and Breen had once sworn to fight to the death rather than surrender -- now Treacy would make good on that pledge. Drawing his pistol, in spite of the tremendous odds against him, Treacy managed to fatally wound two of the British intelligence officers before he was shot and killed. It was said that Michael Collins was deeply saddened by Treacy's death.
SATHAIRN -- On February 16, 1822, Richard Busteed, Union general and federal judge, was born in County Cavan, Ireland. Most of the Irish men and women we have profiled here have had admirable lives but, as with any ethnic group, a few of our countrymen strayed from the righteous course; Richard Busteed was one of them.
Library of Congress
Busteed came first to Canada, then the U.S. with his family while a child. They settled in New York City, where Richard became a lawyer and a Democratic Party operative. He raised an artillery company in 1861, but resigned his commission when the unit was transferred into the 1st New York Light Artillery. In 1862 he somehow obtained a commission as a brigadier general and served at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Soon he was on the move again, appointed a federal judge in occupied Alabama. He would hold that post until 1874. His record there was spotty, at best. He presided over many cases, but issued few convictions. This would seem to support the rumor that justice was for sale in his courtroom.
By 1874, Busteed had also become entangled in political infighting, as, though still a Democrat, he supported Republican candidates in 1872. Facing possible impeachment, he resigned his post and returned to New York City to practice law. Busteed died there September 14, 1898, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.
LUAIN -- On February 18, 1817, Walter Paye Lane, Confederate general in the American Civil War, was born in County Cork. He emigrated to the United States with his parents when he was only 4 years old. Lane grew up in Ohio but traveled to Texas at 18. He fought with Sam Houston at San Jacinto and stayed on in Texas, becoming involved in several occupations including Indian fighter, privateer in the Gulf of Mexico and even school teacher. He raised a company of Texas Rangers and served as their captain during the Mexican War.
After the war, Lane spent time mining in a number of western states as well as in South America, making and then losing large amounts of money. He joined the Confederate army in 1861 and was elected lieutenant colonel of the 3rd Texas Cavalry. Lane fought in the important early war battles of Wilson's Creek and Elkhorn Tavern and later in the Red River campaign. Lane was severely wounded at the battle of Mansfield on April 8, 1864 and was out of action until October. He was recommended for promotion by Gen. Kirby Smith, who consider him a superior cavalry officer. The Confederate Congress confirmed his rank on March 10, 1865, the last day they met. After the war Lane wrote of his exploits and the life long bachelor became a well-loved figure in Texas and a particular favorite of the Daughters of the Confederacy. Walter Lane died on Jan. 22, 1892 in Marshall, Texas, where he is buried.
CÉADAOIN -- On February 20, 1942, Lt. Edward "Butch" O'Hare became the first U.S. Navy ace of the war when he was credited with downing five Japanese bombers in a single day. O'Hare had an interesting family history. After his parents divorced when he was 13, his lawyer father moved to Chicago and became a lawyer for Al Capone. He later turned against Capone and gave evidence against him. This help led to his tax evasion conviction. In 1939 O'Hare's father, also Edward, was murdered, probably by members of Capone's gang.
Butch attended a military high school and graduated from Annapolis and then flight school in Pensacola, Florida, finishing his aviation training in 1940. On February 20, 1942, O'Hare was assigned to an F4F Wildcat squadron VF-3, stationed on the carrier USS Lexington, which was off the island of New Ireland in the south Pacific. With several flights of Wildcats off investigating earlier radar contacts, Butch and his wingman were the only fighters able to intercept a formation of nine Japanese Betty bombers radar picked up coming from another direction. If this situation were not bad enough, as they closed on the bombers O'Hare's wingman, "Duff" Dufilho, discovered his guns were jammed. Butch was going to have to take them on alone.
Diving into the formation from above, O'Hare quickly took out one of the last planes on the right of the Betty's vee formation, then swung across to hit the one on the left. Continuing his attack as the bombers came in range of the fleets anti-aircraft guns it appeared that O'Hare had destroyed five Bettys, though post war research would show he shot down three, and two that he damaged managed to return to their base. But O'Hare had undoubtedly disrupted their attacks, and no bombs hit the Lexington.
By the time the Lexington returned to Pearl Harbor in late March O'Hare's exploits had made him a hero. He was sent back to the mainland for a bond tour and he was presented the Medal of Honor by Franklin Roosevelt at the White House; the first winner of the MOH in naval aviation history.
O'Hare's combat career was not over, however. Promoted to Lt. Commander, Butch returned to the war in the Pacific. In November 1943 he was flying off the USS Enterprise in the Marianas Islands. Flying a dangerous night fighter mission, once again against Betty bombers, O'Hare's plane went down. A search of the area the following day found no sign of him. To this day it's not certain if he was shot down by a gunner on one of the Betty bombers, or friendly fire from the rear gunner of a US TBF Avenger that was nearby.
In 1945 the navy destroyer USS O'Hare (DD-889) was named in his honor. It would later serve in the Vietnam War. But the most famous honor awarded to him was the renaming of Chicago's Orchard Depot Airport as O'Hare International Airport in 1949.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Though our 'This Week ….' items have always coincided with exact dates of births, deaths, or events until now, there are numerous notable figures in the history of the Irish for whom no exact birth or death date is known. We will occasionally include some of them here. Daniel O'Mahony, whose name we mentioned with regard to two famous battles recently, seemed a perfect choice among many who fit this category.
- Sometime in the mid-1600s , Daniel O'Mahony, one of the most famous soldiers of the early history of Irish troops on the European continent, was born to Dermod and Mary O'Mahony of Dromore, County Kerry. Daniel served as a captain in the Jacobite army in Ireland in the Williamite war (1689-1691) went with that army to France in 1691. Joining the regiment of Dillon, he held the rank of major in 1702 when he commanded the regiment in the famous victory over Prince Eugene at Cremona during the War of Spanish Succession. Louis XIV promoted him to colonel for this action and Louis' grandson, King Philip V of Spain, was allowed to obtain O'Mahony's services commanding a regiment of dragoons in his army. The final years of O'Mahony's life would be spent in the uniform of Spain. Fighting at Almanza, Saragosa, Villavicosa, and the siege of Alcoy, O'Mahony distinguished himself in every action, earning the title, "Le fameux O'Mahoni." Before he died at Ocana, Spain, in 1714, he was a lieutenant general, a commander of the military order of Saint Jago, and a count of Spain. The younger of his two sons would be Spain's ambassador to Austria and the elder rose to high rank in the army of Naples. Count Daniel O'Mahony of County Kerry was one of the greatest of all The Wild Geese.
Belfast Central Library A drawing of Lord Randolph Churchill from the Illustrated London News. Churchill died at age 46.
AOINE -- On February 22, 1886, Conservative Party politician Lord Randolph Churchill, father of Winston Churchill, gave what many consider one of the single most destructive speeches in Irish history, inciting militant loyalists at Ulster Hall in Belfast. Churchill had shown disdain for Ulster Unionists up until then, in private, at least, telling Lord Salisbury, "these foul Ulster Tories have always ruined our party," but as 1886 began he saw an opportunity to exploit their fears for political gain. He decided that if Prime Minister William Gladstone "went for Home Rule [for Ireland], the Orange Card would be the one to play. Please God may it turn out the ace of trumps and not the two." This quote would lead one to believe he had few real convictions regarding the issue. "Ulster will fight, and Ulster will be right," he proclaimed to a crowd before he even arrived at Ulster Hall on February 22. During his speech, he played on Protestant fears of Dublin "Catholic" rule and encouraged Ulster Protestants to organize, which they did, beginning to form paramilitary drilling units. Churchill achieved a short term political gain by his playing of the Orange Card; but his most lasting legacy is the unfounded fear of Irish Catholics that he helped to implant in the minds of Ulster Protestants, a tragedy for both traditions on the island. Those fears are still evident in the sectarian hatreds of 1999.
Hulton Deutsch Roger Casement being led out of Pentonville Prison, where he would later be hanged.
SATHAIRN -- On February 23, 1965, Irish patriot Roger Casement's body was returned to Ireland to be reinterred. Casement was born at Sandycove, County Dublin in 1864. He joined the British colonial service and was knighted in 1911 for his work on behalf of African and South American native workers who were being exploited by whites. Leaving the colonial service in 1912, he became involved with Irish nationalism, joining the Irish Volunteers. In 1916, Sir Roger traveled to Germany and arranged German assistance for the Easter Rising. He traveled back to Ireland by submarine, convinced by then that the Rising could not succeed but that he must join his comrades. He was captured at McKenna's Fort soon after landing on the southwest coast. Casement was later tried in England. To lessen the protests over his expected death-sentence the British circulated small parts of his so-called Black Diaries which purported to reveal his alleged homosexual activity while in colonial service. Recent evidence points to a possibility that these diaries were forged by British intelligence to lessen worldwide condemnation of Casement's execution. Sir Roger Casement was hanged at Pentonville Prison on August 3, 1916. In 1965 Casement's body was returned to Ireland, where he was given a funeral on March 1that rivaled that of O'Donovan Rossa. Eamon de Valera, 82 years old and feeling poorly, insisted on attending and gave the graveside oration at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin. Casement had returned to Ireland in 1916 to share his comrades' fate. In 1965, 49 years later, he was finally able to rejoin them one last time.
DOMHNAIGH -- On February 24, 1854, Daniel Florence O'Leary, a general in Simon Bolivar's South American army, died in Bogota, Colombia. O'Leary was probably born about 1800 in Cork city, the son of a butter merchant. Little is known of his early life. In 1817, he traveled to London to enlist in a regiment being formed by Henry Wilson. Wilson was recruiting officers and NCOs to go to South America and form a Hussar regiment in service to Simon Bolívar, who would go on to liberate much of South America from Spanish rule. O'Leary sailed for Venezuela with Wilson near the end of 1817, arriving in March 1818. O'Leary first met Bolívar away from the front shortly afterward and apparently Bolívar was impressed with the young Irish officer. In March 1819, O'Leary saw his first action and was promoted to captain. In July, after Bolívar's famous crossing through the Casanare Swamps and over the Andes, O'Leary received a saber wound in the battle of Pantano de Vargas but he quickly recovered and took part in the battle of Boyaca on August 9. Shortly after this, O'Leary became aide de camp to Bolivar. Two years later, after much more fighting, Venezuela was freed. During the next few years, as the fight continued to free the rest of South American from Spanish domination, O'Leary would perform many dangerous missions for "The Liberator," rising ever higher in his esteem. O'Leary continued to serve Bolívar well through the political and military intrigues that followed the freeing of South America from the Spanish. After the death of Bolívar in
December 1830, the new Venezuelan government exiled O'Leary to Jamaica. There he wrote extensive memoirs that were later edited by O'Leary's son, Simon Bolívar O'Leary, and published in the 1870s and 80s. Simon was the eldest of six children O'Leary had with his South American wife. In 1833, O'Leary was able to return to Venezuela. He held a number of diplomatic posts for the Venezuelan government for the next 20 years, and on at least two occasions was able to visit his boyhood home of Cork. When O'Leary died in Bogota in 1854, he was buried there in Colombia's capital. The Venezuelans named a plaza after him in Caracas. In 1882, they obtained permission to take Daniel O'Leary's body from Bogota to Caracas, where it was laid to rest in the National Pantheon of Venezuela to lie forever in death next to the man had served so faithfully in life, Don Simon Bolívar.
DOMHNAIGH -- On February 24, 1841, John P. Holland, the father of the modern submarine, was born in Liscannor, Co. Clare. As a boy Holland wished to go to sea but was prevented by bad eyesight. He took vows as a Christian Brother in 1858 and taught in their schools, but he left the order and came to the United States in 1872.
John Philip Holland, father of the modern submarine.
While living in and teaching in Paterson, New Jersey, he began experimenting with the design of small submarines. In 1879 he came to the attention of Irish rebel expatriate John Devoy who financed the building of one of Holland's submarines with money from Clan na Gael. The vessel was dubbed The Fenian Ram and it was hoped that it would one day be used against English vessels along Ireland's coast. This plan never worked out, but Holland didn't give up. In 1895 he formed a company to build submarines. Ironically, the British government, his original ship's planned first target, was the first to purchase one of his submarines. The U.S. government soon followed, naming the first ship the USS Holland. Devoy and Clan na Gael's support of Holland, which so advanced submarine-building technology, would still bear fruit against Ireland's nemesis eventually, through the devastating German submarine campaigns of World Wars I and II. John Philip Holland would not live to see it; he died in Newark, New Jersey, on August 12, 1914.
National Library of Ireland Edward Daly, 1916 martyr, in his Irish Volunteers uniform.
LUAIN -- On February 25, 1891, Edward "Ned" Daly, one of the leaders of the Easter Rising, was born in a home on Frederick Street in Limerick city. Edward's family was staunchly republican. His father and uncle were Fenians. His uncle, John, served 12 years in English prisons. Edward's sister, Kathleen, married Thomas Clarke, another leader of the Easter Rising. Edward joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and became captain of one of their companies and then advanced to a battalion command. His unit was charged with holding the Four Courts area during the Rising, which took place in April 1916. Though pressed hard and attacked by superior numbers of British troops, Daly's men managed to hold out until the very end, inflicting heavy casualties. After Patrick Pearse ordered the surrender Saturday evening, Daly was held at Kilmainham Jail. He was given the same quick sham court-martial at Richmond Barracks as the other leaders of the Rising. On the morning of May 4, Edward Daly died for Ireland, shot against a cold damp wall at Kilmainham Jail.
Read more about the history of the freedom struggle in Ireland.
CÉADAOIN On February 27, 1735 Thomas Conway, a soldier in French and U.S. armies, was born in Cloghane, Co. Kerry. Conway was taken to France at the age of six to be educated and in 1749 he joined the Irish Brigade of France and served in the Clare Regiment. He served in the French army until 1776, seeing combat and rising to the rank of colonel. When the Americans came looking for officers to help their fledgling army against the much better trained and armed British, Conway volunteered. He was made a brigadier general on arrival in America and served well in several battles. But when Washington refused to promote him to major general over several American generals, Conway turned against him. He entered into discussions and intrigues with several other officers with the intent of replacing Washington with General Horatio Gates. This group was later named after him as the "Conway Cabal." It failed, but in spite of Washington's objections, Conway was promoted to major general and Inspector General of the army over those American brigadiers.
His fortunes in the US army went downhill from there. He asked to be Lafayette's 2nd in command but Lafayette refused and Conway had to accept being 3rd in command. Later he complained to his friends in Congress who had gotten him the first promotion, threatening to resign, as he had the first time. But his star was on the wane this time and they accepted it. Things went from bad to worse when he fought a duel with a militia general (some say over Conway's attitude toward Washington) and was shot in the mouth.
Conway lived, and during his recovery he wrote a conciliatory letter to Washington, but he never replied. The ill-starred general returned to France in 1779 and was welcomed back into the French army, shortly earning the rank of major general. He was made governor of all French possessions in India in 1787, but following the Revolution his royalist leaning caused him to be returned to France. There the veteran conspirator returned to that activity, this time in favor of the royalty. Unlike some other Irish Brigade veteran's he escaped with his head and was for a time an officer in attempted "Irish Brigade" in the British army. He died in 1800.
sequel to "The Irish Volunteer,"
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'The Irish performed there the most important piece of service for Louis XIV, that, perhaps, any King of France ever received from so small a body of men since the foundation of that monarchy. This action by the Irish, by any impartial way of reasoning, saved the whole French army in Italy.' -- The English writer Forman, remarking on the battle of Cremona
'The Rough Riders' by Theodore Roosevelt (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1899) An illustration of William O. "Buckey" O'Neill
'The iron-nerved, iron-willed fighter from Arizona ... a staunchly loyal and generous friend. ... he, alone among his comrades, was a visionary, an articulate emotionalist ... He was less apt to tell tales of his hard and stormy past than he was to speak of the mysteries which lie behind courage, and fear, and love.' -- Teddy Roosevelt describing William "Buckey" O'Neill
'Sergeant, the Spanish bullet isn't made that will kill me!' -- William 'Buckey' O'Neill, just moments before a bullet hit him in the mouth, killing him, July 1, 1898
'When I think of all the boys I have left behind me who died out of loyalty to me ... it's too much.' -- William "Wild Bill" Donovan, lamenting the men of the 69th who were killed in World War I
'We must be prepared … the morning Home Rule passes, ourselves to become responsible for the government of the Protestant Province of Ulster.' -- Sir Henry Carson in a speech at Craigavon, September 23, 1911
'Count Dillon, we knew you to be a brave and able soldier, but we were not
aware that you were so good a lawyer. We have investigated and have confirmed all your judgments, and all your decrees delivered during your government.' -- The British Lord Chancellor to Arthur Dillon after the isle of St. Kitts was returned to the British by treaty at the end of the American Revolution
"In conclusion, it is due that I should mention the gallant bearing of Lieut.-Col. W. P. Lane in the battle. He had his horse shot under him in the charge and fought on foot until he mounted another horse (whose rider had been killed), and continued the fight." -- From Col. E. Greer's report on the battle of Wilson's Creek.
Edward "Butch" O'Hare in his Wildcat fighter.
"As a result of his gallant action--one of the most daring, if not the most daring, single action in the history of combat aviation--he undoubtedly saved his carrier from serious damage." -- From "Butch" O'Hare's Medal of Honor citation.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
'Major Dan O'Mahony is at the barrack-gate
And just six hundred Irish lads will neither stay nor wait.
There's Dillon and there's Burke
And there'll be some bloody work
Ere the Kaiserlics shall boast they hold Cremona
Major Dan O'Mahony has reached the river-fort
And just six hundred Irish lads are joining in the sport.
"Come take a hand," says he,
"And if you'll stand by me,
Then there's glory to the man who takes Cremona.'
-- From 'Cremona" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
'The Navy doesn't like my boats because they have no deck to strut on' -- John Holland, in the years when he was struggling to convince the U.S. Navy to purchase one of his submarines.
Library of Congress The launch of the USS Holland, first U.S. submarine. The submarine was commissioned Oct. 12, 1900.
"What a head he has and he's not yet 28!" -- Simon Bolívar speaking of Daniel O'Leary
'What a glorious reunion we'll have in Heaven, eh? Sure Katie, I'll give Tom* your love. First thing I'll do. As for me, girls, I'm proud of what I did. Next time, we'll win. I'm only sorry I won't be there to do my bit.' -- Edward Daly, during a visit to his cell by his mother and two sisters the night before he was shot. May 4, 1916. *Tom Clarke was Daly's brother-in-law, who was shot earlier that day.
You are, in my eyes the great and good man. May you long enjoy the love, veneration, and esteem of these states, whose liberties you have asserted by your virtues.
-- From Conway's final letter to George Washington.