German Americans were one of the largest immigrant groups in the Civil War era, and they comprised nearly 10 percent of all Union troops. Yet little attention has been paid to their daily lives—both on the battlefield and on the home front—during the war. This collection of letters, written by German immigrants to friends and family back home, describe the conflict from a distinctly German standpoint, the editors argue, casting doubt on the claim that the Civil War was the great melting pot that eradicated ethnic antagonisms.
Walter D. Kamphoefner is professor of history at Texas A&M University. Wolfgang Helbich is professor emeritus of North American history at Ruhr Universit¤t Bochum. They have collaborated on four previous books, including News from the Land of Freedom: German Immigrants Write Home and German-American Immigration and Ethnicity in Comparative Perspective.
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