The thing is this. In terms of Civil War imagery appearing here and there in popular culture and visitor center gift shops, the Irish Brigade seems to get more than its fair share of face time.
Now I am not in any way denying that these guys deserve accolades – they did…and still do. But I am interested in why people today find them so compelling among the many units of distinction.
Points of possible discussion include, but are certainly not limited to:
1) the fantastically maudlin scene in the film Gods and Generals, where the Irish Brigade face their Irish Confederate counterparts at Fredericksburg. You remember….they burst in to tears as they blaze away at each other – oy.
2) the imbalance favoring the Irish Brigade in the broader collection of popular Civil War artwork. Having a look at paintings by Dan Nance and Don Troiani would be a good place to start. And as a side note – I have always wondered why these paintings show the regimental and national colors flapping furiously in the wind…while none of the soldiers’ hats are flying off.
Fág an bealach!!