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GENERAL JOHN MURRAY CORSE, USA - History

GENERAL JOHN MURRAY CORSE, USA - History


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VITAL STATISTICS
BORN: 1835 in Pittsburgh, PA.
DIED: 1893 in Winchester, MA.
CAMPAIGN: New Madrid, Island #10, Corinth, Farmington, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, Altoona Pass, Savannah and the Carolinas.
HIGHEST RANK ACHIEVED: Major General.
BIOGRAPHY
John Murray Corse was born on April 27, 1835, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When he was seven years old, Corse moved with his family to Burlington, Iowa Territory. His father became a six-term mayor, and owned a book and stationary business, in which young Corse became a partner. Young Corse studied law and was admitted to the bar, and also attended the US Military Academy at West Point. He graduated from West Point in 1855. In June of 1861, he became major of the 6th Iowa Infantry, serving on Maj. Gen. John Pope's staff early in 1862. Corse worked with Pope during the operations against New Madrid and Island No. 10. Returning to his regiment in May, he fought at Corinth and Farmington, and became a lieutenant colonel. Corse fought well at Vicksburg, and was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers in August of 1863. He was placed in command of the 4th Brigade/4th Division/XV Corps/Army of the Tennessee, which he led in the Chattanooga Campaign. During that campaign, Corse was injured at Missionary Ridge, and went to Iowa to recuperate. Upon his return to duty, he was made inspector general to Maj. William T. Sherman. Corse served in this capacity until July of 1864, hen he was sent to a division in the XVI Corps. Sherman sent Corse to secure the strategic Allatoona Pass when Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood tried to cut off Sherman's communications with the Union rear. On October 5, 1864, Corse was able to secure the pass for Sherman's Union troops. Corse commanded 2,000 troops to secure the pass, suffering heavy losses, but holding the position until reinforcements arrived. Corse joined Sherman in his march through Georgia, took part in the Siege of Savannah and the Carolinas Campaign. Brevetted a major general, he left the armed forces in April of 1866. After the war, Corse became a collector of internal revenue for Chicago, and built railroads and bridges. He later moved to Massachusetts, and became chairman of the state Democratic committee and postmaster of Boston. Corse died on his 58th birthday, on April 27, 1893, in Winchester, Massachusetts.

GEN John M. Murray

General Murray was commissioned as an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army upon graduation from the Ohio State University in 1982. Throughout his career, General Murray has served in leadership positions and commanded from Company through Division, with various staff assignments at the highest levels of the Army.

General Murray has held numerous command positions. His command assignments include: Commanding General Joint Task Force-3 Deputy Commanding General – Support for U.S. Forces Afghanistan Commander Bagram Airfield Commanding General 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia Commander, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas while serving in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Commander, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany Commander, C Company, 1-12th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Carson, Colorado.

Previously, he was the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, in the Pentagon Director, Force Management, the Pentagon Assistant Deputy Director for Joint Training, J-7, Joint Staff, Suffolk, Virginia Director, Joint Center for Operational Analysis, United States Joint Forces Command, Suffolk, Virginia Deputy Commanding General (Maneuver), 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas Deputy Commanding General (Maneuver), Multi-National Division-Baghdad OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq G-3 (Operations), III Corps, Fort Hood, Texas Chief of Staff, III Corps and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas C-3, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq G-3 (Operations), 1st Infantry Division, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany Chief, Space Control Protection Section, J-33, United States Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado S- 3(Operations), later Executive Officer, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas Chief, Plans, G-1, III Corps and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas.

General Murray’s awards and decorations include: the Distinguished Service Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster, the Defense Superior Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

General Murray hails from Kenton, Ohio. He and his wife, Jane, have three lovely daughters and seven grandchildren.


Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Murray, John (1768-1827)

In 1811 Murray succeeded his elder half-brother, Sir James Murray Pulteney, in the baronetcy and a fortune of over half a million, and also as member for the boroughs of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, which he represented until the dissolution of 1818. Murray appears to have applied for employment in the Peninsular army. But in a letter in February 1811 Lord Wellington recommended that his application should be passed over : 'He is a very able officer, but when he was here before he was disposed not to avoid questions of precedence, but to bring them unnecessarily to discussion and decision' (ib. iv. 588). Murray became a lieutenant-general 1 Jan. 1812, and later was appointed to the army in Sicily under command of Lord William Bentinck [q. v.] On 26 Feb. 1813 he arrived at Alicante, and took command of a motley force of Anglo-Sicilians there, of which Major-general John Mac- ​ kenzie had been in command since the retirement of General Frederick Maitland [q. v.] in the previous November. Wellington suggested the recapture of Tarragona,' which with the means at your command should not be a difficult operation (ib. vi. 389, letter dated 29 March 1813). The French under Suchet attacked Murray in a strong position at Castalla, vhither he had advanced, and were defeated by him on 13 April 1813. On 31 May 1813 Murray sailed from Alicante, and on 3 June disembarked before Tarragona. He had then at his disposal, including Spaniards, a force of twelve thousand men, of whom only 4,500 were British and Germans. On the approach of Suchet to raise the siege, Murray, whose movements had been marked by great indecision, hastily re-embarked his troops on 12 June, leaving his guns and stores behind him (see Napier , Hist. Peninsular War, rev. edit. vol. v. bk. xxi. chap. i. cf. Gurwood , vi. 565-9). Instead of obeying his instructions to proceed to Valencia (ib. vi. 426-9), to support the Spaniards there in case of withdrawal from Tarragona, Murray landed a part of his troops at the Col de Balaguer, where Lord William Bent inck arrived and assumed command four days later. Wellington condemned Murray's disregard of his instructions and his ready sacrifice of his guns and stores, which Murray defended on principle as having been resorted to successfully by French strategists. 'I have a very high opinion of . talents,' Wellington wrote in a passage which is anonymous in his published despatches, but evidently applies to Murray, 'but he always appeared to me to want what is better than abilities, viz. sound sense' (ib. vi. 665-7). Wellington recommended that Murray should be tried by court-martial, and as it would not be fair to take the officers from the Peninsular army, officers to form the court should be sent from England and Gibraltar to some Mediterranean port, where the witnesses could readily be assembled. After long delay Murray was arraigned at Winchester on 16 Jan. 1815, before a general court-martial, of which Sir Alured Clarke [q. v.] was president, and General George, afterwards first lord Harris [q. v.], Sir Samuel Auchmuty [q. v.], Sir George Beckwith [q. v.], Sir Edward Paget, and other distinguished officers were members. The three charges were very verbose the first alleged unmilitary conduct, the second neglect of duty and disobedience of the Marquis of Wellington's written instructions, and the third, neglect of proper preparations and arrangements for re-embarking his troops, 'to the prejudice of the service and the detriment of the British military character.' After sitting for fifteen days the court acquitted Murray, except so much of the first part of the third charge as amounted to an error in judgment, for which they sentenced him to be admonished. The prince regent dispensed with the admonition, and Murray was afterwards made a G.C.H., and in 1818 was transferred from the colonelcy 3rd West India regiment to that of 56th foot. He became a full general in 1825. He had the decorations of the Red Eagle of Prussia, and St. Januarius of Naples.

He died at Frankfort-on-Maine 15 Oct. 1827. Murray married, 25 Aug. 1807, the Hon. Anne Elizabeth Cholmley Phipps, only daughter of Constantine John, lord Mulgrave. She died 10 April 1848 she had no issue.

Murray was a liberal patron of art, and collected some good pictures. His portrait appears in the first of a set of four pictures of patrons and lovers of art, painted by Pieter Christoph Wonder. The pictures were commissioned by Murray about 1826, and are now in the National Portrait Gallery (see Catalogue, 1881, p. 516).

[Foster's Baronetage, under ‘Murray of Clermont’ Philippart's Roy. Military Calendar, 1820, ii. 227–8 Letter of the Rev. G. P. Badger in Times, 31 May 1858, on Perim Mill's Hist. of India, vol. vi. Napier's Hist. Peninsular War, rev. edit. Gurwood's Wellington Desp. vols. i. ii. iii. vi. Shorthand Notes of Trial of Sir John Murray Gent. Mag. 1827, ii. 560.


History of Waterloo, New York, USA

Visit Waterloo, New York, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and genealogy.

Are you from Waterloo? Do you have ancestors from there? Tell us YOUR story!

Fun fact: Waterloo, NY is the birthplace of Memorial Day.

The story of Memorial Day begins in the summer of 1865, when a prominent local druggist, Henry C. Welles, mentioned to some of his friends at a social gathering that while praising the living veterans of the Civil War it would be well to remember the patriotic dead by placing flowers on their graves. Nothing resulted from this suggestion until he advanced the idea again the following spring to General John B. Murray. Murray, a civil war hero and intensely patriotic, supported the idea wholeheartedly and marshalled veterans’ support. Plans were developed for a more complete celebration by a local citizens’ committee headed by Welles and Murray.

On May 5, 1866, the Village was decorated with flags at half mast, draped with evergreens and mourning black. Veterans, civic societies and residents, led by General Murray, marched to the strains of martial music to the three village cemeteries.

There is MUCH more to discover about Waterloo, New York, USA. Read on!

  • 1854 - Waterloo
    Waterloo, a post-village of Waterloo township, and semi-capital of Seneca county, New York, is pleasantly situated on both sides of the outlet of. Read MORE.


US Army Futures Command chief: How the new command will change the service

This increasingly complex security environment is defined by rapid technological change, [and] challenges from adversaries in every operating domain . we must make difficult choices and prioritize what is most important to field a lethal, resilient, and rapidly adapting Joint Force. America’s military has no preordained right to victory on the battlefield.

Throughout history we have adapted our Army to changing conditions. In the face of major strategic shifts, we have done more than adapt we have fundamentally restructured our institutional base. Following the near disaster of the Spanish-American War, Secretary of War Elihu Root modernized the Army’s institutional structure to account for America’s increasingly global role. In the first year of World War II, Gen. George Marshall merged 20 Army agencies into three commands — reforms vital to win the war. In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, Gen. Creighton Abrams established U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and U.S. Army Forces Command to transform a troubled Army, ill-prepared to fight the Soviet military, into the one of Desert Storm.

Today our country is engaged in long-term strategic competition with determined adversaries. Within this is a protracted struggle among militaries to out-innovate one another during a period of rapid technological change. Our military capabilities, relative to those of our adversaries, will depend on the relative responsiveness, effectiveness and efficiency of our force modernization enterprise. The U.S. must produce better war-fighting solutions, faster, with greater return on investment than anyone who might threaten the U.S. or its allies.

In the last 50 years, the Department of Defense has undertaken or been the subject of more than 63 acquisition reform initiatives. Intermittently, over the last 20 years, the Army adjusted different parts of its force modernization enterprise — we modified our concepts framework, refined how we determine requirements, consolidated research and development activities, etc. However, these disjointed efforts have not allowed the U.S. Army to outpace adversary modernization, which has been steadily narrowing U.S. military advantages for nearly two decades. We need a solution that addresses the problem holistically.

Force modernization encompasses everything we do to transform the Army we have today into the one we need, by making changes across DOTMLPF-P (doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel, facilities, policy). This includes anticipating future military problems, developing how future organizations will fight with new technology and concepts, and following-through to ensure timely delivery of the right war-fighting capabilities. Successful force modernization requires sound assessments of the future, clear strategy and close collaboration among all force modernization functions — e.g., concepts development, requirements determination, technology development and acquisition.

Before Army Futures Command, or AFC, the interoperating components of our force modernization enterprise were distributed across the Army. Key functions were led by different leaders with different responsibilities and visions of the future. The structure, processes and governance of that enterprise lent themselves to stovepiped execution of force modernization functions. AFC will unify that enterprise, integrate force modernization functions and synchronize Army-wide processes so that the whole works together to deliver overmatch at scale.

The geopolitical and technological changes to which we are responding


Samuel G. French and John Corse Civil War correspondence

Samuel Gibbs French (1818-1893) was born on November 22, 1818 in New Jersey to Samuel and Rebecca Clark French. He graduated from the U. S. Military Academy in 1843. He married twice, first to E. Matilda Roberts in 1853 and then to Mary Fontaine Abercrombie in 1865. He had four children from these marriages. French was an artillery officer under Zachary Taylor during the Mexican War. Gibbs was running a plantation in Mississippi when the state seceded from the Union in 861. He joined the Confederate Army as a major of artillery. He was eventually promoted to major general in 1862 and his division fought in the battles of Kennesaw Mountain and Nashville. At the end of the war, he returned to Mississippi. In 1876 he moved to Columbus, Georgia and in 1881 he moved to Winter Park, Florida where he grew oranges. Before his death on April 20, 1910, he published his autobiography, Two Wars.

John M. Corse (1835-1893) was born on April 27, 1835 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He began studying at West Point Military Academy but left before graduation to pursue a law career. He entered the Federal Service in 1861 as a major of the 6th Iowa Regiment. He served with Major General John Charles Fremont in Missouri and then was made lieutenant colonel and transferred to General William T. Sherman’s division. He was promoted again in 1863 to brigadier general and was best known for holding his position against great odds in the Battle of Allatoona Pass. The Battle of Allatoona Pass took place in Allatoona, Georgia in early October, 1864. The battle was a decisive Union victory despite a much larger attacking Confederate force. At the end of the war, French led a campaign against the Indians of the northwest. Following his campaign in the northwest, he was involved in railroad construction, and he served as post-master of Boston. He died in Winchester, Massachusetts on April 27, 1893.


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And improvements won’t wait on full fielding.

Realistically, Murray said, the Army will be able to field about a brigade’s worth of NGCVs each year under current budgets. That means 20 years before all Army ABCTs are fielded. But version two of the NGCV won’t wait on version one in the fielding calendar. New iterations will fill the inventory as the vehicle advances.

Here’s how the Army acquisition chief plans to equip soldiers for the next war

Changes underway in acquisitions look to streamline programs and emphasize funding for the Army's top priorities.

2. Multi-Domain Operations is the concept that ties all efforts together.

Past efforts at radical change to Army platforms, such as failed efforts to effectively field the Comanche helicopter, Crusader self-propelled artillery and Future Combat Systems brigade-level manned-unmanned vehicle teams, faced a number of challenges that led to their cancellations, Murray said.

The current push has the MDO concept of future warfare driving the individual programs, cross-functional teams and the futures command.

Part of the past failures involved messaging. As Murray explained, when the Army went to Congress and said it needed a cannon that fired twice as far, the explanation was because it was better to fire twice as far. By pointing to the near-peer threats and realistic scenarios on actual terrain such as regional flare-ups with China and Russia, there’s more understanding of why the Army needs what it needs and why it’s important.

3. Budget delays will slow programs and reduce quantities.

The use in recent years of a continuing resolution to intermittently fund Pentagon priorities rather than a full, annual budget will have impact on Army priorities.

Murray said that the Army will continue to prioritize readiness over future commitments.

That means that if budgets are delayed or they dwindle, the projected timelines will shift out longer. Also, quantities of items that the Army needs will take a hit.

Anticipated quantities of vehicles, tactical kit, weapons and necessary munitions for both current operations and stockpiles may be reduced.

4. The Army’s culture of risk aversion needs to change.

He was pushed by many early after his appointment that the Army culture would have to change if it wants to work with top flight technology companies, firms and employees. The general doesn’t necessarily agree.

The core values and initiatives of the Army must remain the same, he said. But what will have to change is the Army’s culture of risk aversion, Murray said.

In the past few decades, anytime something failed in acquisition, a new regulation, instruction or law was put in place. That’s resulted in a maze of regulations that slow-walk items through development and discourage risk taking.

Murray cautioned that the first true test will come when something fails. If the Army or Congress crushes the responsible individual or program then they’ll never change the risk-averse Army culture.

And the Army must better communicate what it does and why it does it, he said.

He was asked about protests by some Microsoft employees after learning that their HoloLens technology would be the base component of the new Integrated Visual Augmentation System, which will blend augmented reality, night vision, way-finding and targeting information much like a jet fighter pilot’s helmet but in an infantryman’s goggles.

As artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent, ultimately the American people will decide what is the ethical application of AI and what is not, he said. The military-to-industry and military-to-civilian conversation is important, he said.

He noted that other countries are not having the conversation and are instead leading AI implementation on the battlefield. The U.S. public needs to understand the threats and uses of AI and other advanced tech.

“AI is coming to the battlefield, it’s not a question of if, it’s when and who,” he said.

Soldiers, Marines try out new device that puts ‘mixed reality,’ multiple functions into warfighter’s hands

The system melds navigation, targeting, situational awareness and communications into a single device with advanced thermal and night vision.


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Gen. John M. Murray, Commanding General, Army Futures Command, spoke to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) students and faculty on September 17, 2019 in Eisenhower Aud. at the Lewis and Clark Center, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC), Fort Leavenworth, KS. (U.S. Army photos, Dan Neal) #imptp

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Army Invites Air Force ABMS To Big Network Test: Project Convergence by Sydney Freedberg Jr. of Breaking Defense

SOURCE: Army Multi-Domain Operations Concept, December 2018.

WASHINGTON: Damn the pandemic, full speed ahead. The four-star chief of Army Futures Command plans to hold a high-tech field test in the southwest desert this fall, COVID-19 or no.

Called Project Convergence, the exercise will test sharing of targeting data amongst the Army’s newest weapons, including aerial scouts, long-range missile launchers and armored vehicles. The Army also wants to plug in its new anti-aircraft and missile defense systems, AFC head Gen. Mike Murray told reporters, but those technologies are at a critical juncture in their own individual test programs – some of which was delayed by COVID – and they may not be ready on time for this fall.

“I’m going to try to drag them all into this,” Murray said. The experiment, set to begin in late August or early September, will definitely include the Army’s Artificial Intelligence Task Force, as well as four of its eight modernization Cross Functional Teams. That’s Long-Range Precision Fires (i.e. artillery), Future Vertical Lift aircraft (including drones), and the tactical network, he said, plus the Next Generation Combat Vehicle team in “a supporting role.”

What about the Air & Missile Defense team? “We’ll see,” Murray said. “Right now… I’m very cautious, because of the two major tests they’ve got going on this fall in terms of IBCS and IMSHORAD.” IBCS is the Army’s new command network for air and missile defense units, which had to delay a major field test due to COVID. IMSHORAD is an 8×8 Stryker armored vehicle fitted with anti-aircraft missiles and guns, which Murray said is now delayed “a few months” by software problems.

Meanwhile, the Air Force – with some input from the other services – will be testing its own nascent data-sharing network. That’s the ambitious Advanced Battle Management System, the leading candidate to be the backbone of a future Joint All-Domain Command & Control (JADC2) network-of-networks linking all the armed services.

The Air Force’s ABMS experiment will be separate from the Army’s Project Convergence exercise happening at roughly the same time this fall, Murray said. But he wants to hold a Convergence test each year from now on, he told reporters, and he wants to bring in ABMS in 2021.

“In ’20, we’re parallel, not interconnected,” he said. “Our desire is to bring them closer and closer together, beginning in ’21.”

Sensor To Shooter

Murray spoke via phone to the Defense Writers Group, along with the Army’s civilian chief of acquisition, Bruce Jette. While the two men’s roles and organizations are kept distinct by law, they’ve been joined at the hip on modernization, and Jette – a scientist, engineer, and inventor — is clearly enthused about the experiment.

“You’ve got to create enough capacity so that long-range punch is really a punch,” Maj. Gen. Clint Hinote said.

“We are looking at the potential integration of all of our fires into a fires network,” Jette told the listening reporters. Currently, he explained, the Army has one network, AFATDS, to pass data about ground targets to its offensive artillery units – howitzers, rocket launchers, surface-to-surface missiles. Meanwhile, it’s developing a different network, IBCS, to share data on flying targets – incoming enemy rockets, missiles, and aircraft – amongst its air and missile defense units.

The two networks and the sensors that feed them must meet very different technical demands, since shooting down a missile requires split-second precision that bombarding a tank battalion does not. But there’s also great potential for the two to share data and work together. For example, the defensive side can figure out where enemy missiles are launching from, then tell the offensive side so it can blow up the enemy launchers before they fire again.

“If I can bring the two of them together,” Jette said, you can use a sensor the Army already developed, bought and fielded to spot targets for one weapon – say, the Q-53 artillery radar – to feed targeting data into a totally different type of weapon – say, a Patriot battery. Artificial intelligence could pull together data from multiple sensors, each seeing the same target in different wavelengths or from a different angle, to build a composite picture more precise than its parts.

“We’re moving past just simple concepts of sensors and shooters,” Jette said. “How do we get multiple sensors and shooters [integrated] such that we get more out of them than an individual item could provide?”

Looking across the Army’s 34 top modernization programs, Murray said, “an individual capability is interesting, but the effect is greater than the sum of the parts. There have to be connections between these [programs]. And that’s really the secret sauce I’m not going to explain in detail, ever.”

Testing, Testing

What Murray would share, however, was that the Army got to test a slightly less ambitious sensor-to-shooter link in Europe earlier this year, as part of NATO’s Defender 2020 wargames. The field experiment fed data from a wide range of sources – in space, in the air, and on the ground – to an Army howitzer unit, he said.

However, the Army had also wanted to experiment with new headquarters and organizations to command and control ultra-long-range artillery, Murray said, and those aspects of the massive exercise had to be cancelled due to COVID. The service is looking at alternative venues, such as its Combat Training Centers, but “it’s just hard to replicate what Defender 2020 offered us,” he said. “What we lost was the largest exercise we’ve done and the largest deployment of forces in a very, very long time.”

That makes the stakes even higher for Project Convergence. “You can call it an experiment, you can call it a demonstration,” Murray said. “Right now, the plan is we’re going to do this every year… every fall as we continue to mature… this architecture that brings the sensors to the right shooter and through the right headquarters.”

While this year’s Convergence exercise will focus on the Army, Murray is already working with the Air Force to meld the two next year. “We have been in discussion with the Air Force for the better part of the year on how we integrate with the effort they have going on,” he said. “I was actually out at Nellis the last time they had a live meeting on JADC2 [Joint All-Domain Command & Control] with all of the architects of ABMS.”

Those discussions made very clear to both the Army and the Air Force participants that “it all comes down to data and it all comes down to the architectures you build,” Murray said.

“As Bruce [Jette] talked about, it’s not a specific sensor to a specific shooter,” he said. “On a future battlefield… just about everything is going to be a sensor. So how you do you store that data and how do you enable a smart distribution of data to the right shooter? Because we can’t build architectures that are relying upon huge pipes and just massive bandwidth to make it work.”


GENERAL JOHN MURRAY CORSE, USA - History

North Irishmen, South Irishmen, Catholics and Protestants they were in jovial yet serious mood, for they had come together to inaugurate a new historical confraternity which was to do honor to the land of their forefathers, and which they hoped would grow in stature and in membership down the years.

On that night, within the hallowed walls of the old hotel, after weeks of discussion and preparation, these fifty adopted a Constitution and By-Laws and brought into being the American Irish Historical Society.

The official founding date of the Society is January 20, 1897, but the unofficial beginning goes back before that many a year. It goes back to the early 1880s and the younger days of Thomas Hamilton Murray patriot, editor, scholar, and eventually the first Secretary-General of the American Irish Historical Society.

A close friend of another distinguished Irish writer, patriot and poet, John Boyle O’Reilly, editor of The Boston Pilot, Thomas Hamilton Murray was editor of The Daily Sun, Lawrence, Massachusetts. For years he had been writing articles on Irish pioneers and Irish families in New England, and with every bit of research work that he did in connection with these articles, realization crowded in on him more and more that historians of the day – either by accident or design – had omitted from their records all reference to the part played by Irishmen and Irish families in the history of the early United States. A few of the writers so distorted the truth that they even denied there had been any Irish in America prior to 1840.

It is true that the records of Irish families in America were not easy to trace. Often they existed only in land grants, in Wills probated, in marriage and the giving in marriage. But as Mr. Murray continued his research, he found the names of many Irishmen who had fought in American wars and who had helped in other ways to shape the destiny of this country.

With all the crusading strength of his virile pen he endeavored to right the cruel wrong that had been done by the historians but the task grew to be too much for one writer the load too great for one man. He enlisted the help of others, particularly that of James Jeffrey Roche, who had succeeded John Boyle O’Reilly as editor of The Boston Pilot Joseph Smith, editor of The Boston Traveler Thomas J. Gargan, noted lawyer, and Thomas B. Lawler, a member of the publishing firm of Ginn & Company.

These men met often to ponder ways to correct the injustices the early historians had done they talked to others who had the love of Ireland and of justice in their hearts and their numbers grew. Finally, when there were thirty of them, all outstanding figures in the life of the nation, they drew up a Murray-inspired letter calling for the organization of the American Irish Historical Society “whose special line of research shall be the history of the Irish element in the composition of the American people.”

On December 26, 1896, the letter was mailed to persons all over the United States who might be interested in the new movement. One of the signers was Henry Stoddard Ruggles, descendant of an Irishman who had settled in this country in 1657. Others were eighth and ninth in descent from early Irish settlers. One was Richard Worsam Meade, Rear Admiral, U.S.N., a nephew of General George Meade, who commanded the Union forces at Gettysberg. Another was Theodore Roosevelt, later the 25th President of the United States, a descendant from an old Dublin family named Barnwell.

Others were the Reverend George C. Betts, rector, St. James Protestant Episcopal Church, Goshen, NY John Cochrane, president of the New York Society of the Cincinnati General James R. O’Beirne Robert Ellis Thompson, president, Central High School, Philadelphia, PA Major General St. Clair Mulholland, Philadelphia, PA Reverend George W. Pepper, Minister of the Park Methodist Church, Cleveland, OH Abram Shuman, Jewish philanthropist, Boston, MA William M. Sloan, professor of English literature, Columbia University Colonel O’Brien-Moore, soldier and journalist (father of Erin O’Brien-Moore, the well-known actress), West Virginia Thomas Dunn English, Newark, NJ, author of “Alice Ben Bolt” Captain John Drum (father of Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum) Augustus St. Gaudens, NY Reverent Thomas J. Conaty, rector of Catholic University, Washington, DC Samuel Sweet Green, president of the American Antiquarian Society Thomas H. Carter, United States Senator from Montana John D. Crimmins, NY Ignatius Donnelly, Nininger, MN Elmer H. Capen, president of Tufts College, MA and Justice Morgan J. O’Brien, NY.

The letter that these men signed said in part: “The American of English stock had his historical society the descendants of the Dutch, Huguenot and Spaniards have associations which specialize the historical work of the bodies they represent and we feel that the story of the Irish element should be told before the mass of legend and fiction flooding the country under misleading designations has completely submerged the facts.”

The principle of the proposed Society as stated was: “To place the Irish element in its true light in American history, and to secure its perspective in relation to historic events on this soil…Its primal object will be to ascertain the facts, weigh them in relation to contemporary events, and estimate their historical value, avoiding in this process the exaggeration and extravagance of poorly informed writers on one hand, and the prejudice and misrepresentation of hostile writers on the other…” Less than a month later, the historic fifth met in the Revere House, and the American Irish Historical Society was born, and – according to the annals of the Society – “expressed themselves in favor of the organization and a desire to be identified with it.” Thirty of those present affixed their names to the formal agreement bringing the Society into being, and tendered subscriptions on the spot. Others subscribed later.

Many of the letters of approval were read from men of prominence throughout the country who were unable to be present at the dinner, including Daniel H. Hastings, Governor of Pennsylvania Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet of New York the Honorable Edward A. Moseley, Washington, DC a descendant of Lieutenant Thaddeus Clark, who came from Ireland and was killed during the Indian War in the defense of Falmouth, now Portland, on May 16, 1690.

Among others who wrote were John P. Donoghue, National Commander of the Union Veteran Legion Wilmington, Delaware U.S. Senator Patrick Walsh, publisher of the Chronicle, Augusta, GA U.S. Senator George F. Hoar of Massachusetts Reverend Cyrus Townsend Brady, Protestant Episcopal Archdeacon of Pennsylvania Theodore Roosevelt, and former Governor Thomas M. Waller of Connecticut.

The officers elected were Rear Admiral Richard Worsam Meade, President-General Thomas Hamilton Murray, Secretary-General John C. Linehan, Treasurer-General Thomas B. Lawler, Librarian-Archivist. Theodore Roosevelt headed the list of the Executive Committee.

From the start the American Irish Historical Society grew in numbers and in importance. When the first Journal of the American Irish Historical Society, edited by Thomas Hamilton Murray and Thomas B. Lawler, was issued in 1898, the original membership of fifth had swelled to over eight hundred.

The first New York headquarters of the Society was in the old Manhattan Hotel at 42nd Street and Madison Avenue. In 1908, the Society moved to the old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, and here the Annual Banquet was held for many years. It was not until 1921, however, that the American Irish Historical Society acquired a building and permanent home of its own.

That year, the Society moved into a four-story home and basement brick building at 132 East 16th Street, which had been bequeathed to it by the late Dr. John T. Nagle. In these surroundings, the Society continued its expansion the library, the collection of manuscripts and Irish memorabilia, which is had been acquiring, increased, and after a while it was found necessary to build an addition to the building to house them.

For nineteen years the home of the Society was at this address, but at the end of that time it had so grown that these quarters were inadequate. Other roomier ones were looked for and found, and on April 14, 1940, it moved into its handsome new home at 991 Fifth Avenue, opposite the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The townhouse in which the Society currently resides is a beautiful five-story limestone building entered through wrought iron grille doors. In the entrance hall there are busts of Charles O’Conor, the famous lawyer, by Augustus St. Gaudens Justice John W. Goff, the noted jurist, by Ordway Partridge and Thomas Davis, the Irish poet, by Albert Power, R.H.A., a gift of the Irish Government. Before the most recent renovations of the building, the first floor constituted the main section of the Society’s library of over fifty thousand volumes, which has yet to be re-opened to the public. The library contains many priceless and exceedingly rare books such as the famous Bedell Bible published in the seventeenth century a first edition of Geoffrey Keating’s History of Ireland and a rare set of the “Annals of the Four Masters.”

Recent acquisitions include a handsomely bound complete set of the Reports of Dail Eireann from 1922, inscribed and presented by His Excellency, Hon. Sean T. O’Kelly, former President of Ireland also the Reports of the Irish Senate, presented by President Eamon De Valera.

Other intriguing objects housed by the Society include Robert Emmet’s pocket book, in which he carried the love letters of Sarah Curran Daniel O’Connell’s silver shoe buckles, the death mask of Wolfe Tone, a facsimile edition of the Book of Kells and original letters of Commander Thomas MacDonough, naval hero of the War of 1812 General Thomas Francis Meagher, Thomas D’Arcy McGee, John Boyle O’Reilly, Horace Greeley, Thomas Addis Emmet, John Blake Dillon, Justin McCarthy and many others.

The Bourke Cockran collection may be found on the third floor of the Society, housed in the beautifully paneled room which is a reproduction of the late Mrs. Cockran’s living room at 1136 Fifth Avenue.

Scattered through the building are busts of Edmund Burke, Robert Emmet, Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins and Admiral Richard Worsam Meade, the Society’s first President-General.

Most of the treasures and books in the building are of Ireland and the Irish chapter in American history. As such, they are precious to Americans of Celtic origin and all who possess a love for Ireland, her poetry and her legends, and who cherish the memory of her sorrow and her dark hours, her grandeur and her greatness.

They are precious, too, as a monument to Thomas Hamilton Murray and those honored others who, on January 20, 1897, assembled in the old Revere House in Boston and brought into being the American Irish Historical Society..

The Society Today
An Invitation

To say that there is a new Ireland, and a new chapter in American history to which the Irish genius is making its contribution is only another way of saying that there is a new stimulus for such effort as only this Society can put forth. What has been achieved by co-operation between writers and members who do not write can be achieved anew by the same method. The good name of the race in America is the concern, not along of those who add their industry to their enthusiasm, but of all who share the common heritage, however much, or little, they may know about it.


Watch the video: An Interview with Gen. John Murray, Army Futures Command (May 2022).