Florence Burke, American Civil War soldier and my great-great-grandfather

200,000 Irish-born immigrants volunteered to fight in the bloody war

Chest full of letters and photographs belonging to Florence and Ellen Burke.

Chest full of letters and photographs belonging to Florence and Ellen Burke.

“If I am doomed to fall on the field of battle and we are destined to never meet again on earth, may we be so prepared to meet in heaven.”

These are the final words written on June 15th, 1864 from my great, great grandfather, Florence Burke, to his wife and children back home in West Springfield, Massachusetts. He was writing from a filthy trench deep in the Virginia battlefields. He was one of 200,000 Irish-born immigrants who had volunteered to fight in the bloody American Civil War.

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