August 3, 1823

Thomas Francis Meagher, exiled Irish nationalist, brigadier general for the union in the U.S. Civil War, and acting governor of Montana, was born on August 3, 1823 in Waterford, Ireland. After joining the Young Irelanders and being tried for sedition following the rebellion of 1848, Meagher was exiled to “Van Diemen’s land” or Tasmania. He fled to America, studying law and journalism and founding a newspaper called “Irish News.” When the civil war broke out, Meagher recruited a full company attached to the U.S. 69th Infantry Regiment. Meagher’s group become known as New York’s Fighting 69. After the war, Meagher was appointed acting governor of Montana, trying to get the territory granted statehood, and died in 1867.

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