The outlandish, untold story of the Irish American revolutionaries who tried to free Ireland by invading Canada
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 were bound by a common goal: to seize the British province of Canada and to hold it hostage until the independence of Ireland was secured.
By the time that these invasions--known together as the Fenian Raids--began in 1866, Ireland had been Britain’s unwilling colony for seven hundred years. Thousands of Civil War veterans considered themselves Irishmen before they were Americans. They were those who fled rather than perish in the wake of the Great Hunger, and now they took their cue from a previous generation of successful American revolutionaries. With the tacit support of the U.S. government, 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.