While treating my wife to a relaxing weekend in Williamsburg, I couldn't resist the temptation to treat myself to a book that I have been wanting ever since I first heard about it on Civil War Talk Radio.
It's called Becoming American Under Fire: Irish Americans, African Americans, and the Politics of Citizenship during the Civil War Era by Christian G. Samito. From what I've read so far, I would not hesitate to recommend this work to anyone interested in learning how 19th century Americans conceptualized citizenship and how two specific groups sought to earn the benefits of citizenship through military service.
Obviously, I am more interested in what Samito has to say about the African American experience, but the totality of what Samito has to say is fascinating.
I'll be sure to post a full review when I am finished.