In this Book

Chancellorsville and the Germans
summary
Often called Lee's greatest triumph, the battle of Chancellorsville decimated the Union Eleventh Corps, composed of large numbers of German-speaking volunteers. Poorly deployed, the unit was routed by StonewallJackson and became the scapegoat for the Northern defeat, blamed by many on the flightof German immigrant troops. The impact on America's large German community was devastating. But there is much more to the story than that. Drawing for the first time on German-language newspapers, soldiers' letters, memoirs, and regimental records, Christian Keller reconstructs the battle and its aftermath from the German-American perspective, military and civilian. He offers a fascinating window into a misunderstood past, one where the German soldiers' valor has been either minimized or dismissed as cowardly. He critically analyzes the performance of the German regiments and documents the impact of nativism on Anglo-American and German-American reactions-and on German self-perceptions as patriots and Americans. For German-Americans, the ghost of Chancellorsville lingered long, and Keller traces its effects not only on ethnic identity, but also on the dynamics of inclusion andassimilation in American life.

Table of Contents

  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Title Page
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  1. Contents
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  1. List of Maps
  2. p. ix
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-9
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  1. 1. German Americans, Know Nothings, and the Outbreak of the War
  2. pp. 10-23
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  1. 2. Before Chancellorsville: Sigel, Blenker, and the Reinforcement of German Ethnicity in the Union Army, 1861–1862
  2. pp. 24-45
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  1. 3. The Battle of Chancellorsville and the German Regiments of the Eleventh Corps
  2. pp. 46-75
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  1. 4. ‘‘Retreating and Cowardly Poltroons’’: The Anglo American Reaction
  2. pp. 76-91
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  1. 5. ‘‘All We Ask Is Justice’’: The Germans Respond [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 92-122
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  1. 6. Nativism and German Ethnicity after Chancellorsville
  2. pp. 123-145
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  1. 7. Chancellorsville and the Civil War in German American Memory
  2. pp. 146-167
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 169-196
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 197-214
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 215-222
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  1. Other Books in The North’s Civil War Series
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