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Author Topic: German regiments of the Union Army during the American Civil War  (Read 3702 times)

Offline frontal assault

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 179
Hi, I'm looking for information on any German regiments that fought for the Union during the American civil war.  Does anyone know any good sites or books?

Anyone who's got information on German regiments of the Confederate Army is equally welcome to post any useful soruces.

Frontal Assault.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 03:38:38 PM by frontal assault »

Offline joroas

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 7803
Re: German regiments of the Union Army during the American Civil War
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2011, 04:01:20 PM »
Approximately 516,000 (23.4% of all Union soldiers) were German Americans; about 216,000 of these were born in Germany. New York supplied the largest number of these native-born Germans with 36,000. Behind the Empire State came Missouri with 30,000 and Ohio with 20,000.
Scores of individual regiments, such as the 9th Ohio, 74th Pennsylvania, 32nd Indiana (1st German), and the 9th Wisconsin Infantry, consisted entirely of German Americans. Major recruiting efforts aimed at German Americans were conducted in Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Milwaukee, among many other cities.

Commonly referred to as "Dutchmen" among other Union soldiers, and "lopeared Dutch" to Confederates, German-American units in general earned a reputation for discipline and ruthlessness. Most of them were farmers or miners.  Many of the Germans who fought for the Union during the Civil War had been professional soldiers in Germany and had since come to America, many to escape persecution. The revolution of 1848 meant a lot of refugees. Europe was at peace, for the most part, in the early 1860s. Professional soldiers were out of work or stuck in the same rank for a long time. The American Civil War offered them a new venue.

Adapted from Wikipedia

« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 04:21:27 PM by joroas »
'So do all who see such times. But that is not for us to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that we are given.'

Offline Aaron

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2353
Re: German regiments of the Union Army during the American Civil War
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2011, 04:06:39 PM »
You've probably already seen the Wikipedia article, but it is a good starting point. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German-Americans_in_the_Civil_War

I dug around for info on the first regiment listed there (the Ninth O.V.I.) and found this:

The regimental history of the Ninth OVI (in German!)
http://www.archive.org/details/dieneunereinesc00tafegoog

A comprehensive bibliography of the 9th OVI with capsule history
[urlhttp://www.ohiocivilwar.com/cw9.html][/url]

A webpage dedicated to the Ninth including interesting demographic info and links to a couple of pages dedicated to other "dutch" units.
http://web.archive.org/web/20091022110453/http://geocities.com/ohio9reg/9thOhio.html

I would be remiss if I did not also mention the 74th Pennsylvania which recruited companies from here in Pittsburgh. There is an excellent site dedicated to PA regiments with a nice history of the 74th here:
http://www.pa-roots.com/pacw/infantry/74th/74thorg.html

Offline Aaron

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2353
Re: German regiments of the Union Army during the American Civil War
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 04:16:17 PM »
I see Joroas beat me to the wiki punch. One thing I just remembered is that many of the initial German volunteers (like the Pittsburgh company of the 74th PA, the "Pittsburgh Turner Rifles") came from "Turner" societies. These were fraternal organizations founded in Germany and brought to America with the emigrants. Searching for references to "Turner Rifles" might lead to more information.

Offline frontal assault

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 179
Re: German regiments of the Union Army during the American Civil War
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 05:05:14 PM »
Thanks for that lads.

Offline BlindFool

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 68
Re: German regiments of the Union Army during the American Civil War
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2011, 08:45:57 PM »
If I may also recommend:
Don Troiani's Civil War - Militia and Volunteers
You will find plates for
41st NY Volunteer Infantry De Kalb Regt 2nd Yaeger P46
De Kalb, 41st NY Volunteer Infantry 1861 (very nice looking Zouave) P47
8th and 20th NY Volunteer Infantry 1861 P41


 

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