What I have been able to confirm is that my Irish Heffernan great-great grandfather was a Civil War general with the 55th Illinois Regiment, fought at Shiloh (Corinth, Mississippi). After the war ended, he applied to the country of Mexico to fight in the Mexican American War (against Texas), but was turned down.
Next, he and his Hibernian Brotherhood buddies tried to invade Canada to help liberate it from the British. Instead of being prosecuted, it was recommended that he move his family to the American Southwest, namely southwest Colorado. He was quite the dreamer, and he sailed to Nicaragua in search of Gold (he capitalized it in his letters home). He died on that voyage and was buried in a veterans' cemetery in Louisiana, but has a headstone in Durango, Colorado.