The Irish Ninth in Bivouac and Battle by Michael H. MacNamara

Review by Sandra Merville Hart

The Virginia and Maryland Campaigns

Captain Michael H. MacNamara wrote about the Ninth Massachusetts and published it after the Civil War. He (and others) affectionately refer to this regiment as the “Irish Ninth,” who were known for their bravery and courage.

I loved the rich details of everyday life for the regiment. The author took us through the initial training and then on their journey to drill in Washington DC (then more commonly called Washington City) where they joined thousands of Union soldiers.

The city was a sea of white tents covering the fields in and around the capital. The author painted vivid pictures of camp life, building a fort, and battles.

Pride in his comrades is on nearly every page. He reports on their shenanigans that made the tedium of camp life away from home more bearable.

I was thrilled to find this book. Captain MacNamara showed the fields near a wealthy banker’s mansion where the regiment camped in Washington City. In fact, the book was so helpful to me in my research that I used this regiment in my Civil War novel, Avenue of Betrayal. I even included a scene with Captain MacNamara, the historical figure, to thank him for writing this wonderful account.

I loved this well-written book. Recommended for readers who love to learn about the Civil War and American history.