Friday, November 29, 2013


This is coolbert:

Here with a tentative listing of German nationals during the American Civil War being appointed to flag rank [general officer].

Having include only those men either possessing a formal German military academy education or military experience as a German officer prior to emigration. [German in the sense of Prussian or the armies of the various principalities.]

These men almost exclusively so if not exclusively so adherents to the Federal cause, and also men having left their homeland in the aftermath of the various European 1848 failed revolutions

Germans referred to as the Forty-Eighters.

"The Forty-Eighters were Europeans who participated in or supported the revolutions of 1848 that swept Europe. In Germany, the Forty-Eighters favored unification of the German people, a more democratic government, and guarantees of human rights"

Germans anti-slavery, socialists, republicans. Even some favorably disposed to the theories of Karl Marx.

That not totally inclusive list to include:

1. Adolph von Steinwehr.

2. Alexander Schimmelfennig.

3. August Willich.

4. Franz Sigel.

5. Frederick Salomon.

6. Louis Blenker.

7. Max Weber.

8. Peter Osterhaus.

General officers in the Union army each and every one, and often preferring to recruit regiments of ethnic Germans, fellow immigrants to the United States. German speakers leading units consisting of German speakers.

To what extent these general officers and their enlisted charges were American citizens or resident legal aliens I cannot say.

And my thought originally was that these German-American experienced and formally trained commanders leading units of their compatriots, enlisted German-Americans, would have given a good account of themselves on the battlefield. Perhaps better or even much better than average.

But this does not seem to be the case. NO worse than average, but not much better than average. Just about the equal of those regiments during the American Civil War consisting of native born Americans.

These German-Americans felt a natural affinity to the Union cause during the American Civil War, the fight as they perceived it commensurate with their personal political beliefs. AND willing to put their bodies where their mind and mouth was.


1 comment:

Steiner said...

Germans were by far the largest foreign-born component of the Union army. This did not go unnoticed in the South: Margaret Mitchell has her characters complain twice about the German contribution to the Federal war effort in Gone With the Wind.