Especially considering that England basically took away any and all means for the Scots and Irish men to support their families. It was a very common practice for those men to enlist in other nations armies just so they could send money home. They were called the flying geese. When I make a quilt I always add a bit of the flying geese pattern on the back, in memory of those poor souls and the injustices England constantly battered them with. But it is a bit ironic that they would come and fight the Southerners, considering there were many a Southerner that had ancestors from Ireland or Scotland. I guess people will do what they have to, to feed their families.
How ironic. Seems that I remember reading that one of the Confederate Irish yelled at the Yankee Irish: 'What are you thinking?"
The brigade suffered its most severe casualties in December at the Battle of Fredericksburg where its fighting force was reduced from over 1600 to 256. The brigade was involved in the northern battleground at Fredericksburg where they assaulted the sunken road in front of Marye's Heights. Coincidentally, one of the regiments manning the sunken road defenses was a predominantly Irish Regiment commanded by Brigadier General Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb. Knowing that Cobb's men manned the wall, and that both Cobb's and Meagher's units contained members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, an organization dedicated to gaining military experience in the United States, then freeing Ireland from Britain after the Civil War, Lee ordered reserves sent to the position. He need not have worried. Cobb's men helped decimate the Irish Brigade before the reinforcements could settle in place. It was at Fredericksburg that Lee allegedly referred to Meagher's regiment as the "Fighting 69th".