Saint Patrick's Battalion by James Alexander Thom
A Novel

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They were proud and doomed, Irish rogue cannoneers under a green silk banner, fighting against their former comrades-in-arms to defend Catholic Mexico against the invading U.S. Army.

Their choices were to win, die in battle, or hang as deserters. To the Mexicans they were heroic saviors, but they were seen as despicable traitors by the West Point officers who faced their grapeshot and cannonballs on every major battlefield Matamoros to Mexico City.

Survivors of the Irish battalion's deadly gunnery would later lead armies against each other in Civil War, many of them - Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Braxton Bragg - ironically deemed the same sort of traitors. This astonishing true tale from an almost forgotten war is told through the eyes of two boys who know and admire the idealistic Irish leader John Riley: an Army camp errand boy who keeps a diary, and a Mexican military school cadet whose widowed mother becomes the Irishman's tragic lover.


About James Alexander Thom

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James Alexander Thom was formerly a U.S. Marine, a newspaper and magazine editor, and a member of the faculty at the Indiana University Journalism School. He is the acclaimed author of Follow the River; Long Knife; From Sea to Shining Sea; Panther in the Sky, for which he won the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award for best historical novel; The Children of First Man; The Red Heart; Sign-Talker; and Warrior Woman, which he co-wrote with his wife, Dark Rain Thom. The Thoms live in the Indiana hill country near Bloomington.
Published April 11, 2012 by Blue River Press. 288 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Saint Patrick's Battalion

Publishers Weekly

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Not only a striking (and often horrific) account of pre–Civil War army life, Quinn's narrative beautifully conveys the boy's coming of age against a backdrop of eerily familiar war and rebellion.

Jun 19 2006 | Read Full Review of Saint Patrick's Battalion: A ...

Historical Novel Society

Veteran historical novelist Thom (Sign Talker, Follow the River) leads readers through the conflicted mid- 19th century war with Mexico, as seen through the first person viewpoints of Paddy, an impoverished young camp boy for the American army, and a young Mexican cadet, Augustin.

| Read Full Review of Saint Patrick's Battalion: A ...

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