This paper will examine the involvement of Jewish people during the American Civil War. The first part of the paper will examine the participation of Jews in the North and will discuss such issues as the appointment of Jewish chaplains and the creation of all-Jewish units. The second part of the paper will look at the experiences of Jewish soldiers in the Confederate Army. The last part of the paper will compare Jewish participation in the war to that of German and Irish Catholics, who comprised the bulk of recent immigrants to the United States.
The American Civil War occurred soon after the huge immigration waves of German and Irish during the middle of the Nineteenth Century, but before the large waves of Eastern and Southern Europeans during the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries.