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Signers Matthew Thornton, George Taylor and James Smith were all born in Ireland.
The Catholicism practiced by Irish immigrants was of little concern to Southern natives.
The two groups had little initial interaction in America, as the 18th-century Ulster immigrants were predominantly Protestant and had become settled largely in upland regions of the American interior, while the huge wave of 19th-century Catholic immigrant families settled primarily in the Northeast and Midwest port cities such as Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Buffalo, or Chicago.
However, beginning in the early 19th century, many Irish migrated individually to the interior for work on large-scale infrastructure projects such as canals and, later in the century, railroads.
Civilian leaders of the Irish and the South did embrace the Confederate national project and most became advocates of a 'hard-war' policy.
Irish nationalist John Mitchel lived in Tennessee and Virginia during his exile from Ireland and was one of the South's most outspoken supporters during the American Civil War through his newspapers the Southern Citizen and the Richmond Enquirer.They became the primary cultural group in these areas, and their descendants were in the vanguard of westward movement through Virginia into Tennessee and Kentucky, and thence into Arkansas, Missouri and Texas.By the 19th century, through intermarriage with settlers of English and German ancestry, the descendants of the Scots-Irish lost their identification with Ireland.The Irish were willing to take on potentially high-mortality occupations, thereby sparing valuable slave property.