Brodheads and the Saint Patrick’s Battalion

My great plus grandfather  Captain Daniel Brodhead from Yorkshire England would be second in command during the Nicholls expedition. He would lead the troops that disembarked Man-O-Wars and take New Amsterdam in 1664. New Amsterdam would be called New York after my great plus grandfather’s homeland. and English speaking rule established. My great plus grandfather brought with him all the racism and negative cultural tendencies of the White Anglo Saxon Protestant.

During the Mexican American war, a cousin, Thorton Fleming Brodhead would serve under the command of General Franklin Pierce. He would serve with the likes of Robert E. Lee, and US Grant along with copious military figures that would fight during the American Civil War.

The protestant dominated US Army would treat the Irish Catholics like crap. So much so that many Irish soldiers deserted and went over to the Mexican side. They would be part of the Mexican army and be called the St. Patrick’s Battalion.

Eventually, they would be either killed or captured. The remaining deserters would be hung just as the American flag was hoisted over the Chapultepec Castle in Mexico city as Thorton looked on. Of course the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo would be signed and what is now known as Colorado would become a territory of the United States Of America.

My great plus granduncle would serve in the U.S. House during that period and vote to fund the war and the troops

Thorton Fleming would be called upon by Abraham Lincoln to form the 1st Michigan Cavalry (Wolverines)  in 1861. He would be among the first to come to the aid of Washington DC. He would fight against the people he served with during the Mexican American War and on the side of emancipation. He would be killed on the same day as Isaac Stevens the first territorial governor of Washington.  George Armstrong Custer would take command of the 1st Michigan. Robert E. Lee would have to ride through the mounted ranks of the 1st Michigan on his way to Appomattox.

Happy St. Patrick’s day.

But then again, we are not ashamed of conquering Mexico and taking the territories of Guadalupe Hidalgo to fulfill our Manifest Destiny.

Irish prejudice would raise its ugly head again when they pitted Irish against Irish at “the stone wall”  at Fredericksburg.

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