A few years ago, viewers were wow'd by one of the greatest history documentaries ever made; Ken Burns' American Civil War.
One of the "stars" of the series was Shelby Foote, author of a magnificent narrative history of the war in three volumes. Foote's easy Southern charm, his mastery of anecdote and his perspective on the war itself were perhaps one of the best things about the series of programmes.
Foote died in 2005. Here are contributions in one video posted on the blog of Kevin Levin, a historian and teacher.
Shelby Foote’s Greatest Hits
Foote's most striking remark to me is that "The greatest display of bravery in the war was the attack by the Union troops at Fredericksburg". Of course, at Fredericksburg (Dec, 1862), the Irish particularly distinguished themseves. We tend not to count the American Civil War as an incident in Irish history. But IMHO its influence may be second only to the First World War.
Irish casualties in the ACW were certainly comparable with any other major war - it may have seen the biggest spiilage of Irish blood in history, particularly if you count 1st and 2nd generation Irish-Americans.