LITTLE ROCK, AR -- St. Patrick’s Day was Monday so let’s stay with the Irish theme for today’s Way Back Wednesday.
Today we’re going back to March 16, 1828. That was the day that Patrick Cleburne was born in Ovens, County Cork, Ireland.
Cleburne emigrated to the US as a young man and soon made American military history. What amazing feat did he achieve?
After coming to America in 1849, Cleburne made his way up the Mississippi River and soon found work at a drug store in Helena.
Following his five-year wait for naturalization he immersed himself in his new country and became the highest-ranking Irish-born officer in American history, attaining the rank of major general.
Like many Arkansans of his day he did not support slavery but loved his home state and took up arms on her behalf.
He died while leading a charge against Union forces in Tennessee.
His body is now interred in Helena and Cleburne County was named in his honor.
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