Just over a year after Robert E. Lee relinquished his sword, a band of
Union and Confederate veterans dusted off their guns. But these former
foes had no intention of reigniting the Civil War. Instead, they fought
side by side to undertake one of the most fantastical missions in
military history: to seize the British province of Canada and to hold it
hostage until the independence of Ireland was secured.
time that these invasions--known collectively as the Fenian raids--began
in 1866, Ireland had been Britain's unwilling colony for seven hundred
years. Thousands of Civil War veterans who had fled to the United States
rather than perish in the wake of the Great Hunger still considered
themselves Irishmen first, Americans second. With the tacit support of
the U.S. government and inspired by a previous generation of successful
American revolutionaries, the group that carried out a series of five
attacks on Canada--the Fenian Brotherhood--established a state in exile,
planned prison breaks, weathered infighting, stockpiled weapons, and
assassinated enemies. Defiantly, this motley group, including a
one-armed war hero, an English spy infiltrating rebel forces, and a
radical who staged his own funeral, managed to seize a piece of
Canada--if only for three days.
When the Irish Invaded Canada is
the untold tale of a band of fiercely patriotic Irish Americans and
their chapter in Ireland's centuries-long fight for independence.
Inspiring, lively, and often undeniably comic, this is a story of
fighting for what's right in the face of impossible odds.