Chancellorsville and the Germans
Nativism, Ethnicity, and Civil War Memory
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Fordham University Press
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In a project of this size, spanning several years, it is difficult to recognize all the people who helped make it possible. The generous advice, support, professional courtesy, and prompt service that so many individuals provided during the course of researching and writing this book is staggering. If I have inadvertently forgotten someone, the negligence is a result...
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General after Union general appeared before the stern-faced and forthright politicians comprising the powerful Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War and nervously took their seat, not knowing if they would suddenly find their careers at an end. These were some of the most important men in the Federal army: Sickles, Pleasonton, Birney, Warren...
1. German Americans, Know Nothings, and the Outbreak of the War
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The most significant reason Chancellorsville later became so important for German Americans had to do with a pre–Civil War sociopolitical movement called the ‘‘Know Nothing’’ or ‘‘American’’ Party. This nativistic, anti-immigrant group of Anglo Americans strove to curtail immigrant voting rights, attacked immigrant religion...
2. Before Chancellorsville: Sigel, Blenker, and the Reinforcement of German Ethnicity in the Union Army, 1861–1862
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Although Civil War soldiers everywhere collectively shared many things—the drudgery of drill, sickness, hunger, the terror of battle, and a yearning for loved ones at home—ethnicity undoubtedly influenced the experiences of German American soldiers in the eastern ethnic regiments and inspired in them different reactions and...
3. The Battle of Chancellorsville and the German Regiments of the Eleventh Corps
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In the months prior to Major General Joseph Hooker’s spring campaign of 1863, the veteran German American regiments of the newly formed Eleventh Corps moved from their encampments at Fairfax to winter quarters at Stafford Court House, north of Fredericksburg. Arriving at the scene of battle too late to have taken part in Ambrose...
4. ‘‘Retreating and Cowardly Poltroons’’: The Anglo American Reaction
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Just as the German soldiers in the Eleventh Corps began to recover from the shock of their losses and attempted to reorganize their shattered regiments in the days after the battle, they were attacked again, this time by their own comrades in the Army of the Potomac. Non-Germans in the Eleventh Corps itself railed against the ‘‘damn Dutch,’’ but...
5. ‘‘All We Ask Is Justice’’: The Germans Respond [Includes Image Plates]
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Three realizations quickly dawned on the German Americans of the Eleventh Corps even before the battle of Chancellorsville had concluded. The first was disbelief at what had just befallen them. For a day or two most soldiers still suffered from a state of shock, unsure just how they, as a corps, had been overwhelmed, and how as individuals...
6. Nativism and German Ethnicity after Chancellorsville
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The aftermath of Chancellorsville confirmed for most northern Germans that the hated nativism of the 1850s had returned. In the last two years of the war, the residue of the battle lingered long, especially among German soldiers and civilians from the eastern states. The Eleventh Corps was split up in the fall of 1863, one division headed...
7. Chancellorsville and the Civil War in German American Memory
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In the November 1883 issue of the Deutsche Pionier, a Cincinnati-based historical, news, and literary journal for German Americans, an article appeared entitled, ‘‘The Assimilation of the Germans.’’ Its main theme questioned the need for Germans to quickly Americanize. About half-way through, the author, ‘‘J. G.,’’ included...
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Other Books in The North’s Civil War Series
Page Count: 244
Publication Year: 2007