The Belfast News-Letter, Monday, 17 March, 1864
At the Cork Assizes several men pleaded guilty of offences against the Foreign Enlistment Act. Both the Attorney-General and Judge Keogh spoke in earnest terms in reference to the war in America, and the impropriety of Irishmen taking any part in the struggle. The Attorney- General said:- " Irishmen have been slaughtered wholesale. It is said that two hundred thousand of them have already lost their lives, from first to last; and is it not very dreadful that men of our blood and race should be arrayed in both the contending armies, and butcher each other ruthlessly in a controversy which is not theirs, and for objects with which their country is in no way identified? If it be true, as has been stated, that in December last there were in New York one hundred and eight thousand nine hundred and eleven persons, born in Ireland, in a condition of pauperism, of whom sixty-five thousand five hundred were Irishwomen, it is surely impossible to offer proof more appalling of the wretchedness which has been borne of this war, or argument more persuasive of the propriety of effort to save our people who still remain at home from the calamities they tempt by seeking to engage in it." In the same strain the Judge said - " Natural born subjects of this country are enlisted to fight one against the other in a cause in which they have no concern whatever. Hundreds and thousands of them have fallen 'unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.' Their bones are bleaching on a foreign soil, where they have been received to fight the battles of those who ought to have fought their own battles - where they have been entrapped by hope of reward and promises of enormous wages. Whether those promises will be fulfilled or not we shall see in time."
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