image preview

Creation Date

Fall 2017


Enlisting in Providence, Rhode Island on December 2, 1861, as a private and mustering out on August 3, 1865, as a corporal, William E. Walsh's "Notes in Brief” records his experiences during the Civil War. Dated May 17, 1865, and based on his memory and notes taken while in the field, this is the first reminiscence of an Irish immigrant serving in the Civil War to be uncovered in Rhode Island.

The dairy includes comments on Civil War battles his unit participated in, conditions in Libby Prison, prominent military figures, such as George A. Custer, the treatment and performance of Irish recruits and other ethnic groups in the ranks, and life in the Union Army. In addition, a copy of Walsh's enlistment papers and a statement of his military service is included in the collection.