Google map of Ulster

Area of control in Antrim

Area of control in Down

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Battle of Ballynahinch account

Who's Who of 1798

Intersting picture of Battle of Ballynahinch

Interesting picture of the Battle of Ballynahinch on the Ballynahinch regeneration website

Rebellion in Ulster

Prior to 1798, the army had implemented a reign of terror intimidating many of the United Irishmen in the North into surrendering their arms. The Northern Executive were firm believers in relying on French support and were not willing to come out without it.

In Ulster, the birthplace of the Society,there was no sign of rebellion in late May. Later did the Belfast Executive, led by Henry McCracken and Henry Munroe commit to the uprising. It took a few days for United Irishmen to mobilse for action in the counties of Down and Antrim.

Click for enlarged image on National Library website

The ideals of the United Irishmen joining republicans of all religions did not succeed. Years of distrust between Presbyterians and Catholics as well as news of atrocities reached Ulster prevented a close alliance of forces. Randelstown and Ballymena were captured by the rebels, but the rebel found it very difficult to maintain a strong defense to British counter attacks. Other important towns like Ballynahinch and Newtownards fell to the rebels but armed with cannon, the British Army were easily able to deal with the lines of advancing pike men. Many of the rebels were killed and the remainder forced to retreat.

After some initial success in counties Down and Antrim, some rebel groups surrendered to General Nugent in return for amnesty, while others were defeated by newly-arrived British reinforcements. Many northern United leaders were arrested based on information provided to the government by another spy. The rebellion in Ulster was over.