Battle of Knocknanuss Memorial

Knocknanuss Memorial in Castlemagner


Knocknanuss is a townland in the northwestern end of the parish of Castlemagner in the barony of Duhallow, Co. Cork

It was the site of bloodiest battle of the English civil war, between the faction who supported Charles I (the "Royalists") and the faction who supported Parliament under Oliver Cromwell (the "Parliamentarians"). The battle was fought on Saturday, November 24, 1647 between approximately 2pm and 5pm.

The Royalist army was made up of 1,800 horse, all ranks, and 4,500 foot soldiers, all ranks, totaling 6,300 in all. They were commanded by a 25 year old County Sligo man, Theobald Lord Taffe, the Royalist Lord President of Munster. About 2,500 foot soldiers were under the direct command of Taffe who also commanded two squadron of horse, each squadron comprising 500 horse with 150 in reserve. The left squadron was led by Lord Castleconnell and the right squadron by Major General Purcell. A further squadron of 500 horse was led by McDonnagh McCarthy of Kanturk. The Munster regiment of the Royalist army was made up of three small regiments and was led by the Dal Riada Prince, Sir Allister McDonnell. McDonnell's regiment comprised 2,000 men, all ranks.

The Parliamentarian army was commanded by Murrogh O'Brien (a.k.a. Lord Inchequin), the Parliamentarian Lord President of Munster and a direct descendant of Dalcashin O'Briens, kings of Munster and Thomond. The Parliamentarian army was composed of three regiments of foot soldiers, totaling 4,500 men, all ranks, and two squadron of horse each of 700, with 150 in reserve (1,700 all ranks). The right squadron of horse was under Colonel Edmund Temple and the left squadron was led by Sir William Bridges. The left regiment of infantry was led by Major Grey of Buttevant and the center regiment was led jointly by Major General Craig and Colonel Simon Needham and the right-hand regiment of infantry led by Colonel Frank Roe (total foot soldiers 3,700, all ranks). Approximately 4,500 men were killed during three hours of battle

A full account of this battle is available in:

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