Past is Prologue

Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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Irish Brigade honored at re-dedication ceremony

MORE: For complete, continuing coverage from the Battle of Fredericksburg anniversary events, click here.

On a misty Sunday afternoon, families, history lovers and the Irish gathered at City Dock to rededicate the monument honoring the Irish Brigade.

“What they did on the streets of Fredericksburg did make them Americans, but it also shared them so every soldier on this battlefield became a piece of the Irish Brigade as well,” said National Park Service historian Frank O’Reilly at the short ceremony.

A color guard of the Irish Defense Force was in attendance to honor the military unit that fought here on Dec. 13, 1862.

Afterwards, Richard Ehrle explained the monument to his two children, Elisabeth,7 and Christian, 9. The Stafford family has several ancestors who fought in the war. “This is my way of putting my kids in touch with the Civil War,” Ehrle said.

Last year, he had driven past the monument and noticed a wreath falling apart. He righted it, and that led him to join the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

–Katie Thisdell

Richard Ehrle explains the monument to his children, Elisabeth and Christian.