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The Jewish Confederates

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In The Jewish Confederates, Robert N. Rosen introduces readers to the community of Southern Jews of the 1860s, revealing the remarkable breadth of Southern Jewry’s participation in the war and their commitment to the Confederacy. Intrigued by the apparent irony of their story, Rosen weaves a complex chronicle that outlines how Southern Jews―many of them recently arrived immigrants from Bavaria, Prussia, Hungary, and Russia who had fled European revolutions and anti-Semitic governments―attempted to navigate the fraught landscape of the American Civil War.

This chronicle relates the experiences of officers, enlisted men, businessmen, politicians, nurses, rabbis, and doctors. Rosen recounts the careers of important Jewish Confederates; namely, Judah P. Benjamin, a member of Jefferson Davis’s cabinet; Col. Abraham C. Myers, quartermaster general of the Confederacy; Maj. Adolph Proskauer of the 125th Alabama; Maj. Alexander Hart of the Louisiana 5th; and Phoebe Levy Pember, the matron of Richmond’s Chimborazo Hospital. He narrates the adventures and careers of Jewish officers and profiles the many Jewish soldiers who fought in infantry, cavalry, and artillery units in every major campaign.

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