Greeetings from Andersonville. We had an exciting week last week when we had about 30 people in attendance for the dedication of the new memorial plaque dedicated to the Irish soldiers of the Civil War. Caoimhe Ni Chonchuir, Consul General of Ireland, Eamonn McConville, Deputy Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau and Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister for Housing, Heritage, and Local Government for the Government of Ireland all spoke, with Darragh O’Brien being one of the primary speakers. Dr. Damien Shiels’ research, partially funded by a grant from the Friends of Andersonville, sparked an interest in erecting this monument. Dr. Shiels uses our burial data to trace the lineage of our fallen Union soldiers back to Ireland and develops history of that soldier. Following the dedication, he provided a walking tour and told many stories of those interred in our cemetery. He has identified over 900 Irish soldiers so far and he expects to find more. Dr. Nicholas Allen and other staff at the University of Georgia led the effort for the memorial. We are truly honored to have witnessed this moving tribute.
Work continues on the national cemetery trees and sod. The Minnesota monument was recently cleaned and is looking great. With the additional funding for the cemetery and funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, our staff is over 20 now and it’s wonderful to see so much work getting done. We are hiring a term curator this month to help with backlog cataloging in the museum and a Visual Information Specialist, part-time, is starting soon. We look forward to increasing our social media presence, waysides, and printed materials through her work.
Looking ahead, the Living History weekend is happening on November 4/5 this year and Wreaths Across America will be held on December 16. We are looking forward to seeing you at these events. As always, thank you for your continued support.