The Jewish Confederates

The Jewish Confederates

by Robert N. Rosen


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In his latest study of the Civil War, Robert N. Rosen introduces readers to the community of Southern Jews of the 1860s, heretofore lost to historians and the general public. With the exception of Judah P. Benjamin, Jewish Confederates are largely unknown even to specialists of American Jewish history and Civil War history. Rosen reveals the remarkable breadth of Southern Jewry�s participation in the war and strength of Jewish commitment to the Confederate cause. Intrigued by the apparent irony of their story, Rosen weaves a surprisingly complex chronicle that dispels common misconceptions about the Confederacy, its leadership and soldiers, and its Jewish population.

Rosen finds that although many members of the established, prominent Jewish communities of Charleston, Richmond, and Savannah volunteered for battle, the majority of Jewish Confederates were recent immigrants. He describes the communities they established throughout the South and explains their reasons for supporting the cause of Southern independence.

This chronicle relates the experiences of officers, enlisted men, businessmen, politicians, nurses, rabbis, and doctors. He recounts the careers of such important Jewish Confederates as 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 Johnny Rebs" who fought in infantry, cavalry, and artillery units in every major campaign.

About the Author:
Robert N. Rosen was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. Three of his grandparents were emigrants from the "Pale of Settlement"—Russia, Poland, and Belorus. The other grandparent was born in this country just after her parents arrived from Austria in the 1890s. Rosen attended public schools in Charleston, where his high school history teacher was the Charleston historian Solomon Breibart. He studied at the University of Virginia and at Harvard University, where he received an M.A. in history, as well as at the University of South Carolina Law School. The author of A Short History of Charleston and Confederate Charleston: An Illustrated History of the Place and the People During the Civil War, he has practiced law for twenty-six years in Charleston and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. Rosen has served on the boards of the South Carolina Historical Society and Historic Charleston Foundation, and he chairs the Arts and History Commission of the City of Charleston.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570033636
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Publication date: 10/28/2000
Pages: 517
Sales rank: 629,947
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 10.16(h) x 1.43(d)

What People are Saying About This

Willaim C. Davis

Perhaps no identifiable group of Southerners represented a greater paradox than the Jewish community spread all the way from Richmond to New Orleans. In The Jewish Confederates Robert N. Rosen opens a window on the unlikely story of a people apart, with their own religion and cultural customs, functioning within a Southern community that regarded itself as separate and distinct from other Americans. Through the lives of people as diverse as the Confederate statesman Judah Benjamin and the Louisiana teenager Clara Solomon, Rosen reveals the surprising tolerance in the South for this one minority, and the sacrifices they made to prove themselves full citizens of the supposedly xenophobic Southern republic

Alan M. Dershowitz

An eye-opening, myth-shattering, stereotype-breaking work of originality, elegance, and wisdom. A must-read for Civil War buffs, Jewish history fans, and all Americans interested in learning—and you will learn much—about Jewish southerners who placed loyalty to their adopted states above the moral teachings of their tradition (at least as we now interpret them). You may not agree with these Jewish Confederates, but you will surely understand them better.

Gary W. Gallagher

Apart from a few prominent individuals such as Judah P. Benjamin and Phoebe Yates Pember, Jewish Confederates have been virtually invisible in the massive body of published work on the Civil War. Robert N. Rosen's impressive study illuminates the world of southern Jews and their role in the Confederacy's bid for independence. It is a major contribution to Confederate studies, and to the broader literature on the Civil War.

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The Jewish Confederates 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Jamie638 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a engrossing look at a little-known segment of Confederate society. Before reading this book, I had no idea that Jews other than Judah Benjamin played such a significant role both as soldiers and non-combatants in the South during the Civil War.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! What an eye opener. Plenty of pictures and just chock full of all kinds of tasty nuggets of informaiton. The auther goes into incredible detail on a host of subjects but still manages to keep your attention and not get bogged down. This book should be required reading in every Jewish home. When looking at the pictures of these southern Lions of Judah. One cannot help but notice the farmilar look on their faces. Kind of like looking at old family photos. What the Southerner's called the map of Isreal on their faces. When you read this book it's almost like discovering a branch of the your family you didn't know about
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, though factual and historical has an amazing perspective, one that has never been shown before. Countless misconceptions have been broken, and the ideas brought forth in this book have changed Southern Jewry forever. Bravo!