The sun sets over cannons arrayed on the Civil War battlefield at Manassas, Va., in 2011. (Chris Sullivan/AP)

On March 16 at 7 p.m., archaeologist, historian and author Damian Shiels  will introduce his new book, “The Forgotten Irish: Irish Emigrant Experiences in America,” at a free National Archives event. Shiels researched the Archives’ Civil War records to find the material to write about the impact of the war on the lives of 35 Irish soldiers and their families.

The event will be the U.S. launch of the book and features a reading by Shiels, followed by a panel discussion and a book signing. Michael Hussey, an Archives archivist and historian, and David T. Gleeson, a professor of American history at Northumbria University and author of “The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America,” will be the co-moderators.

When the Civil War began, there were an estimated 1.6 million Irish-born people living in this country. Favorite places to settle included Northern cities such as New York, Boston and Chicago. During the war, many of the newest arrivals were recruited “right off the boat” to fight with the Union Army, a job many of them welcomed because it promised a regular paycheck.