Ohio: Jewish Service in the American Civil War

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Publication Date: November 19, 2020
By Shapell Manuscript Foundation
Runtime: 77 minutes

 

The Shapell Manuscript Foundation and the Columbus Jewish Historical Society share soldier stories from the Shapell Roster of Jewish Service in the American Civil War with a connection to Ohio.

You’ll learn about an active veteran from Columbus with no service records; a runaway who joins the Navy; and the troubled, too-short life of a heroic soldier. We’ll discuss the difference between Simon Wolf’s methodology and ours; what we’ve discovered about the six Civil War soldiers buried in the Veterans Memorial section of Walnut Hills Jewish Cemetery in Evanston; and our latest statistics about Jewish service in the Civil War from Ohio.

Transcript

Adrienne Usher:
So, looks like everyone’s here. So, let’s get started with introductions. My name is Adrienne Usher. I’m the Director of the Shapell Roster. I’m currently located in Kearneysville, West Virginia, which is pretty much in between Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg and Charles Town. I’ve been onboard with the Shapell Roster Project for almost 10 years. That’s me.

Eliza Kolander:
My name is Eliza Kolander, and I’m the Strategic Partnership Manager for the Shapell Manuscript Foundation. I am the non-research team member of the Roster Project. I currently live in Omaha, Nebraska, and I’ve been with the project since October of 2018.

Toby Brief:
I’m Toby Brief. I’m the Director of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society and the Eleanore G. Yenkin Curator of the Historical Collection of CJHS.

Alex Apito:
Hi, I’m Alex Apito. I am a researcher on the Shapell Roster. I live in Medford, Massachusetts, which is a suburb of Boston. I’ve been on the project now for seven years.

Caitlin Winkler:
My name is Caitlin Winkler. I have been on the project for eight years now, and I am currently located out of Great Falls, Montana, because I’m an Air Force wife.

Adrienne Usher:
Okay, so that’s all of us, we’re ready to get going. On behalf of the Shapell Manuscript Foundation and my colleagues, I’d like to extend our thanks to Toby Brief. Toby was one of very first collaborative partners back in 2013. Her enthusiasm for and contributions to our project have inspired us to reach out to similar organizations, and her efforts to promote this event are greatly appreciated. We also very, very much appreciate each of you for attending today.

Adrienne Usher:
Toby’s going to speak next, and then I’ll come back and tell you about the roster. Then, Caitlin and Alex will tell you about some of our Ohio soldiers.

Toby Brief:
So, I’m from the Columbus Jewish Historical Society, as I told you. For anybody that doesn’t know us, we are actually celebrating our 40th anniversary this year as Central Ohio’s only Jewish archive. We are open by appointment, fell free to come and see us or call us or contact us through our website. We also want to thank you today for joining us. This is going to be a fascinating program.

Toby Brief:
CJHS met Shapell, as Adrienne mentioned, back in 2013. We had posted on Ancestry looking for some information on a soldier who actually had been listed as Jewish and we were pretty sure wasn’t. We got to know Adrienne, and we immediately began sharing information. She told us about a Civil War soldier we didn’t know, and we gave her some information on a couple of soldiers that she hadn’t run across yet. That collaboration exists until literally today. We are still talking about who are soldiers are, trying to locate them, and you’re going to get some more information on that a little bit later.

Toby Brief:
So again, thank you so much for being here. We appreciate it, and we hope you enjoy the afternoon.

Adrienne Usher:
For those of you not familiar with the organization behind our project, The Shapell Manuscript Foundation is based in Israel, with offices in California, dedicated to collecting and exhibiting 19th and 20th-century manuscripts and documents with a focus on unique themes in US history and the Holy Land. The Foundation has many projects in development, one of which is the Shapell Roster. If you’d like to know more about the foundation, please visit our website.

Adrienne Usher:
The Shapell Roster of Jewish service in the American Civil War, when it goes live, will be a free-to-the-public, online searchable database of vet service in the Civil War. It is a 21st-century, historically accurate update to Simon Wolf’s The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier and Citizen. It is the result of more than a decade’s worth of dedicated research into the lives of Jewish-American soldiers and sailors, before, during and after the Civil War. I think I speak for all of us when I say the Shapell Roster is unique and groundbreaking.

Adrienne Usher:
Who is all of us? We are a small team of six, currently located in West Virginia, Montana, Massachusetts, Virginia, California and Nebraska. We come from different disciplines. Museums, public history, historic preservation, genealogy, art history, and Caitlin is a lawyer with a passion for Civil War history. What we all have in common is curiosity and a dedication to bringing this research to the public.

Adrienne Usher:
Before I tell you more about the Shapell Roster, let’s use that raise hands feature. Can I see a show of raised hands if you have heard of Simon Wolf? For those of you not familiar with him, he was a prominent Washington, DC-based Jewish lawyer, author and philanthropist who first settled in Ohio after he emigrated from Germany. If he was alive today, we’d probably call him a social justice warrior. In response to a growing wave of general antisemitism, and published allegations that Jews were not willing to fight for their country, Wolf wrote a book called The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier and Citizen that was published in 1895. It included nearly 10,000 names of Jewish Civil War soldiers and sailors, and ever since then, that 10,000 number has become synonymous with Jewish and Civil War.

Adrienne Usher:
In addition to the soldiers listed by state, he also included a section called Brother in Arms about families divided by the war. Rosters of officers in the regular Army and Navy, and a list of seven Jews who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for Meritorious Service during the Civil War. Of the seven, four served in Ohio regiments.

Adrienne Usher:
When I first started on this project, I was informed that all of the names in Wolf’s roster were Jewish and needed no further research other than to confirm their service information. This is probably a good time to mention that I myself am not Jewish, but having done academic research my entire professional career, when someone tells me no further research is needed, I assume the opposite is true. So, when we started clues that some of the names in Wolf’s roster might not be Jewish, I started asking questions.

Adrienne Usher:
The first seed of doubt was planted courtesy of a Massachusetts soldier named Henry Marks. Good Jewish immigrant name, right? The problem was he was brought up on charges for stealing a ham for his own use. Like I said, I’m not Jewish, so I asked around, and I was told that dietary restrictions could be lifted during extenuating circumstances, and a Civil War would certainly qualify as meeting that criteria. Made sense to me.

Adrienne Usher:
The next anomaly was an obituary for the mother of a soldier named Philip Halpin. The problem was, it stated that she’d lived a true Christian life. Again, I asked for guidance and was told that marriage and conversion to the Christian faith was not uncommon. That also made sense.

Adrienne Usher:
But, what really convinced me that Wolf made use of the 19th-century accepted practice of name profiling was the following. Carl Moritz, Captain of the 37th Ohio Infantry, Gustav Rosenfeld, also in the 37th Ohio, but mistakenly assigned to the 38th regiment. Pretty solid Jewish names, right? Genealogical research revealed that both of their middle names were Christian. All right, let’s use that raised hand feature again. Raise your hand if there’s anyone in your family tree who is both Jewish and named Christian. I don’t see any hands raised.

Adrienne Usher:
I want to be clear that we don’t believe that Wolf was being nefarious or duplicitous, however, he had a clearly stated agenda to prove that the enlistment of Jewish soldiers, north and south, reached proportions considerably in excess of their ratio to the general population. Wolf’s goal was an admirable one, despite significant obstacles, including a 30-year gap between the end of the war and the publication of his book, a lack of access to the military and genealogical resources we have today and name profiling as his primary research methodology. The result? A disappointing, but not surprising, number of names in his roster who were not Jewish.

Adrienne Usher:
What was surprising, at least to us, was the difference between Ohio and the Union overall, with regards to the Jewish and not Jewish results of our research. As you can see in this slide, the names we classify as to be determined, aka we can’t find evidence that they were Jewish nor can we find evidence that they were not Jewish, are in the same ballpark for the Union and for Ohio. The percentage of Jewish and not Jewish for the Union overall is also similar, but in Ohio, the percentage of not Jewish soldiers from Wolf is almost three times that of the percentage of Jewish soldiers. The Ohio not Jewish names is also double that for the Union, and the names from Wolf that were actually Jewish is roughly half the percentage for the Union. And remember the four out of seven Medal of Honor recipients from Ohio I mentioned earlier, in reality only one of them, David Urbansky, was actually Jewish.

Adrienne Usher:
What any of this means is anybody’s guess, but we do think it reveals Ohio as unique within Wolf’s roster. We suspect that the accurate data from Ohio, given the rather large Jewish population at the time, would have negated the premise for his work. And given his emotional ties to Ohio, we can see why that would have been a problem for him. But make no mistake, we don’t consider Ohio finished. Some of these TBD names are Jewish, we’re confident of it. We just have not yet found evidence of it, and we believe that there are more names out there waiting to be discovered.

Adrienne Usher:
In addition to the names in Wolf, we’ve added a few of our own discoveries. As of today, just over 1300 additions in both the Union and the Confederacy. New names come from our own research but also from descendants, historians, genealogical organizations, synagogues, cemeteries and the general public. In fact, there’s two in our database that are credited to Toby and the Columbus Jewish Historical Society. We collaborate with organizations and individuals all the time, and if you are interested in volunteering with us, please reach out to Eliza.

Adrienne Usher:
In addition to our ongoing collaboration with Toby, I’ve been working with Peggy Schmidt at the Hamilton County Genealogical Society since 2016, when I first discovered their Index to Civil War Veteran Burials in Hamilton County Database. When the National Archives reopens, I look forward to picking up where I left off on identifying the military service of the six Civil War veterans buried in the Veterans Memorial Section of the Walnut Hills Jewish Cemetery in Evanston. If it wasn’t for Peggy and her colleagues’ project, I would have assumed the details of those soldiers’ military was lost forever.

Adrienne Usher:
So, how does a soldier who is not in Wolf get into the Shapell Roster? We have two requirements, proof of service and evidence that the soldier was Jewish. We’ve received names from descendants who are definitely Jewish, but research has not found proof that their ancestor served. We’ve also received names where the soldier’s service is well-documented, but evidence that he was Jewish remains just out of reach. To be added to the Shapell Roster, both must be true.

Adrienne Usher:
Service Requirements. While many of our soldiers have pre and post-Civil War military service, the Shapell Roster only tracks their service between April 12th, 1861 and May 9th, 1865. Eligible service include federalized state service, unfederalized, home-guard militia or state service, regular service in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Air Force and Confederate service. At this time, we do not include settlers in the database, but we do recognize the value of their contributions to the soldiers. If you have an ancestor who was a Jewish settler, do please let us know. As an aside, we tend to use the term soldier rather broadly. What we mean is those who served in the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. That’s right, I did say Air Force. The Civil War era Air Force was known as the Balloon Corps, and I believe we have two Jewish aeronauts in the database, one Union and one Confederate, which I think is pretty remarkable. In addition to the regular military branches, we also have a cabinet member and even a few spies.

Adrienne Usher:
Jewish Requirements. We have a very inclusive approach to who is considered Jewish. Briefly, Jewish law, the obvious definition. Genealogy, anyone whose father, maternal/paternal grandparents, and in some cases, their maternal/paternal great-grandparents, is considered Jewish by genealogy. Self-identification, anyone who self-identifies considers himself to be Jewish. And then the last one is according to his peers, anyone identified as Jewish by his contemporaries. This is usually found in newspaper accounts, regional histories published circa 1900 or via affidavits in pension files.

Adrienne Usher:
Our first step is to consult primary resource documentation to determine if service requirements have been met. Primary resources or military-issued documentation that include service records from federal, state or county repositories, rosters, adjutant general’s office reports and records, US Army and Navy registers of enlistments and rendezvous, National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers registers, court martial records and pension files. All of these documents are accessed onsite or online at sites like Fold3, Ancestry or FamilySearch, depending on where they are located and if they have been digitized.

Adrienne Usher:
If we cannot confirm service via primary resources, all hope is not lost. Confirming service on the basis of secondary resources is a recent modification to our methodology, primarily added to account for Confederate service. Whereas Union records were already in the possession of the Federal Government at the end of the war, the Confederate records were not. Lost, burned, possibly never even created, we know that the Confederate service records that exist today do not account for every soldier who served in the Confederacy. You’ll hear more later in the presentation about how we employ the special concession known as inferred service, in which we utilize sources that include diaries and memoirs, letters, membership in veterans’ organizations such as The Grand Army of the Republic, which was a Union veterans’ organization, its counterpart the United Confederate Veterans and the Hebrew Union Veterans Association. As an aside, as far as we know, there is no Jewish Confederate veteran organization. We also look in newspapers, and we use the 1890 Veterans Census.

Adrienne Usher:
We won’t exclude someone who kept a diary during his service or wrote letters from the field just because we can’t find his actual service records. Likewise, membership in a veterans’ organization is based upon proof of service, so we feel comfortable assuming service for members of these groups. I should note that using secondary resources is always done on a case-by-case basis, and no soldier gets into the database without a regiment.

Adrienne Usher:
Today, the military collects information about a soldier’s religious affiliation at enlistment, but this was not the case during the Civil War. So, we have to be more creative than just checking his enlistment papers. Finding what we call proof of Jewish, or POJ, is often the most challenging, yet interesting, part of the job. In general, Union pension files are where we find the most proof. For those of you not familiar with these records, when a soldier applied for a pension, the Bureau of Pensions assigned an investigator to the case. There are two types of pension claims, soldiers and then widows/dependents. Depending on the nature of the claim, which in the case of soldiers, involved a declaration of disability incurred during the war, or in the case of a widow, proving that she was legally married to the deceased soldier. The investigator was required to collect evidence supporting the veracity of the soldier or widow’s claim. This sometimes involved interviewing and collecting affidavits from fellow comrades, friends and neighbors.

Adrienne Usher:
This is why one of the most valuable skills we have is the ability to read handwriting. Words like coreligionist, mosaic or sheeny are sometimes the only clue we find in an affidavit or a letter. A widow’s pension file is our favorite resource. If we are lucky, the widow submitted her ketubah as proof, but finding a ketubah in a pension record is always a bittersweet moment. While it confirms the soldier is Jewish, its presence means that the document was not returned to the soldier’s widow. To date, we’ve found nearly 50 ketubah in Union pension files.

Adrienne Usher:
Where else do we find our POJ evidence? Birth, marriage and death records, letters, diaries, census records, regional histories, biographical profiles, newspaper clippings, obituaries, cemetery records and from descendants. These documents, a mix of primary and secondary resources, are evaluated, and if we have enough evidence to meet at least of our Jewish definitions, he gets added to the database.

Adrienne Usher:
So, what do we do with all of the information and documentation we find? Well, in the database, each soldier has his own page with multiple sections. We include, if we have it, birth and death data and location information, a detailed accounting of the Civil War military service, marriage, residence and occupation details, the connections, if any, between him and other individuals in the database, and then, we attach historical documents that provide insight into their lives before, during and after the war. We build each soldier’s military service history as best we can, given the information available to us, and we scan and attach records about their military service on a case-by-case basis. Some soldiers, like Lee Rothschild and Philip Friedberger, who you’ll hear about today, get an in-depth soldier story treatment. You can view all of our soldiers stories on our website.

Adrienne Usher:
Speaking of soldier stories, one of the things you won’t be hearing about from us today is about Ohio’s most famous Jewish Civil War veterans. In part, because we don’t have anything new to tell you about them that you couldn’t find on the Google, but mostly because we get really excited about soldiers you’ve never heard about.

Adrienne Usher:
The two questions we get asked more than any other are, how many Jews served in the Civil War, and when will the roster be available? The answers are we don’t know, because the numbers change every day, and some time in the next few years. While we are far from done with the Union, we have devoted the bulk of our time to it and are now focused on the Confederacy. We believe the Confederacy will take less time, but the reality is, while Wolf listed far more Union names, we believed he missed more Confederate names than Union, and we know he missed a ton of Jews in Union regiments.

Adrienne Usher:
So, that’s it for my portion of the presentation, and I’m going to turn over the rest of it to my colleagues, Alex and Caitlin, so they can tell you about some of the soldiers in the database who have a connection to Ohio. I’ll be back during the Q&A at the end, and I look forward to your questions. Thanks for your time and here’s Alex.

Alex Apito:
Hi everyone. I’m excited to tell you about a few of our selected soldiers from Ohio, with Caitlin. The first soldier I want to talk to you about is Charles Baum. He enlisted in the 80th Ohio Infantry, Company C, on November 11th, 1861 at Camp Meigs. He served just over year when he was discharged for rheumatism and cardiac debility on December 5th, 1862. His real name was Kauffman Baum, but he adopted the more Americanized name of Charles after the war. Baum applied for a pension later in life, years after he claimed to start suffering from more related ailments. This, along with having two names in his records, accounts for the large size of his pension file that we were able to review at the National Archives in Washington, DC, giving us a broader view of his time during the war and his post-service life.

Alex Apito:
So, when we review pension records, we’re always on the lookout for names of our other soldiers hidden away in their comrades paperwork. When we kept seeing the name Herman Baum in Charles’ file, we wanted to investigate to see if there was some relation between the two men. Their relationship helped us paint a really interesting picture of their friendship and life within the regiment. Herman Baum also served in the 80th Ohio Infantry Company C, enlisting on the same day and at the same place as Charles. Herman deserted from the regiment after almost seven months, so unfortunately, he does not have a pension record. In fact, Herman left such a small footprint in the historical record, we wouldn’t know much about him at all if it weren’t for Charles’ records.

Alex Apito:
Several of Charles and Herman’s comrades were questioned during the application process for Charles’ pension record, helping us shed more light on their connection. Known by the nicknames [Kauffi and Kosi 00:23:04] by his fellow soldiers, Charles had a reputation for being small and ill-suited to the role of a soldier. First Sergeant Joseph Pershing answered when being deposed that quote, “I, at first, did not remember Kauffman Baum, but when you mentioned him as Kosi, and a Jew, I recall him well. He was a little Jewy fellow, always going to sick call from the first, but what ailed him I cannot tell. But, he was no good as a soldier and was not with us long.” He also mentioned Herman as a member of the regiment, quote, “There were two Baums. This Kosi and a big fellow, Herman Baum, both Jews. They used to quarrel with each other in camp.” From Pershing’s rather prejudiced statements, it became clear that Herman and Charles definitely knew each other and were on intimate enough terms to argue in camp.

Alex Apito:
Sergeant Frank McMarty also recalled the other Baum when being questioned about Charles, quote, “He had a brother, one who claimed to be a brother, a big man, Carl Kauffman, and we called them big nose Baum and little Kosi Baum.” He clarified later in his deposition, saying Charles was quote, “Delicate and the big one, I see on the roster his name was Herman, would often take Kosi’s place when he was detailed to go on guard.”

Alex Apito:
Herman is not mentioned anywhere else throughout Charles’ pension, and we’re not 100% sure that the two were actually brothers, but Herman and Charles definitely had a close relationship, one that resembled a fraternal bond, both with bickering and taking care of one another. Brothers or not, Pershing’s statement allows us to confirm that Herman was Jewish as well.

Alex Apito:
A newspaper article entitled Enterprise and Energy, Businessmen of Prominence describes Baum’s relocation to Washington, DC and his business prowess. Quote, “Mr. Charles Baum is the popular head of Baum’s Store, which as everyone knows is located at 416 7th Street.” His store, which specialized in corsets and hoop skirts, evolved into a department store, which saw great success. At the time the article was written in 1889, he had over 25 departments in his store, specializing in dry goods, millinery, which are ladies’ hats, and ladies’ cloaks. The article notes that, “Business sagacity and honorable dealings have given Mr. Baum a commanding position among the leading commercial houses of this section of the country.”

Alex Apito:
Something especially interesting about Charles is that records from his pension record show us that he knew Simon Wolf. He is not our first soldier that we’ve come across that knew him, but the sheer volume of paperwork mentioning Wolf, or directly provided by him, is unprecedented in any of the other records that we’ve come across. His pension file has five affidavits and depositions from Wolf on Charles’ and his widow’s behalf and numerous references to Wolf and the two’s friendship. Wolf attested to everything from Baum changing his name and his level of disability, to him and his wife’s marital status.

Alex Apito:
Charles was the President of the Washington Hebrew Congregation in DC, which Wolf was a member of, but according to Wolf, he knew Charles even before this. Wolf said that he was, quote, “Well and intimately acquainted with Charles before he enlisted” when the two lived together in New Philadelphia, Ohio. After the war, they remained close personal friends. Wolf would visit Charles’ store, and the two would visit each other’s houses often to play cards. Wolf said he typically saw Charles several times a week, and they lived close to one another. A former neighbor recalls, in the early days of their friendship, writing, “I knew Charles Baum well, and all the time he lived in New Philadelphia, Ohio. When he and I lived there, there were but three Jewish families in that town, Simon Wolf’s family, Charles Baum’s family and my family. I was naturally well-acquainted with Charles all during the time that he lived in New Philadelphia.”

Alex Apito:
Being some of the only Jews in town, it makes sense that Wolf and Baum formed such a close friendship, and it’s amazing they kept their relationship across multiple cities and for over 50 years. This, however, makes it all the more interesting that Charles Baum somehow ended up getting multiple listings on Wolf’s roster. Baum is listed once as Kauffman Baum in the Ohio section, and then listed again as Charles Baum in the late editions, being given this description: “Charles Baum served in the 80th Ohio Infantry during the Civil War. Mr. Baum is now a resident and leading merchant of Washington, DC.” Wolf testified that he knew Kauffman and Charles were one and the same person to the Bureau of Pensions, so why did he think he missed Charles? This is definitely an oversight on Wolf’s part and an example of some of the issues with his book.

Alex Apito:
The next soldier I want to talk to you about is Adolph Mayer. Mayer enlisted on the 27th Ohio Infantry, Company B, on August 2nd, 1861, and was detached as a clerk to the pay department. He was discharged in 1863 and remained in the Memphis pay department as a civilian employee. After the war, Mayer returned to Germany, got married and raised a family. Over a decade after his death, Mayer’s widow, Friedreike, applied for pension. Because so much time had passed, Friedreike sent the Bureau of Pensions everything she could find pertaining to the soldier’s time in America, providing us with an extensive and fascinating pension file filled with unusual and unique documents that we don’t normally find.

Alex Apito:
Friedreike submitted Mayer’s certificate of discharge and a letter from his commanding officer to prove that he served during the war. The certificate of discharge includes his signed oath of identity on the back. This would’ve provided Mayer safe passage around Memphis to report to his new job and would be evidence that he wasn’t a deserter if he was stopped. Friedreike also submitted really interesting documents pertaining to Mayer’s civilian service. One of the coolest passes that we have ever found is this 1864 document, in the bottom left of your screen, that allowed Mayer to move freely throughout Memphis, quote, “At all hours until further orders and to carry one pistol.” This would have been a really important document for Mayer to carry with him, as he would have been traveling around a Union-occupied southern city with a gun during the war. So, imagine being stopped without the proper identification.

Alex Apito:
Another fascinating document submitted by Friedreike provides us with primary source evidence of when non-citizens were granted voting rights. This document on the top left of your screen shows Adolph was granted permission to vote in 1865, one year before he became a naturalized citizen. A State of Tennessee Act, dated June 5th, 1865, provided a special provision specifically in the case of Union soldiers, quote, “That the said Commissioner shall issue certificates of registration to every white soldiers who may have served in and been honorably discharged from the Army or the Navy of the United States, since the first day of January 1862, upon the production of the proper certificate of such service and discharge, or legal evidence of the loss of such discharge.”

Alex Apito:
When Adolph returned to Germany, he was married to Friedreike in 1870 in a civil ceremony. The soldier’s death certificate, which is on the right, allows us to confirm that he was Jewish. This certificate states both that Mayer was of the Jewish faith and that his father, Dr. Samuel Mayer, was an attorney at law and rabbi. Friedreike makes no mention of her faith or whether she and Mayer shared the same religion.

Alex Apito:
Back in Germany, Mayer formed a business with his half-brother [Sigmund 00:30:19] and brothers Albert and [Ferdinand Mass 00:30:20]. Ferdinand’s son, [Otto 00:30:22], recounted the soldier’s deteriorating mental health that was due to his time during the war. Otto said, quote, “I know by declarations of my father that Mr. Adolph Mayer had acquired his sickness in the nerves of the American war. I know by own contemplation that Mr. Mayer was not able to lead alone business, therefore he never participated at the direction of the business, but has only done most simple works. He suffered of constant convulsions of the figure and was never in society. It was often spoken in my presence that not only the death of Mr. Mayer was due to a disease contracted in his military service during four years, but also his mournful life.”

Alex Apito:
Mayer’s physician, Dr. [Lowenstein 00:31:03], gave a more clinical description of the soldier’s illness, explaining that Mayer suffered, quote, “A severe sickness of the brain, which was of service origin. A connection which is frequently observed with partakers of the war.” The mental illness described by the doctor seems to be some form of PTSD. This condition was not well understood at the time and was often referred to as a number of different ailments, including softening of the brain, war-related melancholia and soldier’s heart, to name a few. It wasn’t until after World War I that the term shell shock began to be used. These documents give us some small insights into the treatment and thoughts of the condition at that time.

Alex Apito:
Friedreike also discussed that her husband had suffered mentally from his time at the front, but she did not apply for a pension until 1923, after World War I, when she had become financially responsible for her recently-widowed daughter and her grandson. She wrote to the Bureau of Pensions, “I have a daughter who has become a widow in young years. She is living with her son, also without means. My daughter’s late husband was a very international man. He was a very well-known doctor and did a lot of good as a physician during the World War to the American, English and French prisoners. He was born in Luxembourg, he was not obliged to go to the war. He died of blood poisoning taking care of a wounded soldier in June 1918. The greatest wish of his only son is to live in America, like his grandfather, and to practice there as a physician like his father. You see on his photography that he is a real type of an American boy.” With this, Friedreike did include this amazing photograph of her young grandson and submitted it to the Bureau of Pensions.

Alex Apito:
Philip Friedberger enlisted in Company I of the 16th Ohio Infantry on November 1st, 1861. He was a German immigrant and left only a very small footprint in the historical record. He died at the young age of 38, tragically of suicide, while out of town looking for a job. He appeared on only one US Census record in 1870, and we have no indication of when he emigrated to America. Historical newspapers, which usually yield some marriage or death information, only report on the share of sale of his belongings and his membership to the local chapter of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith.

Alex Apito:
His military service records provide only an enlistment and discharge date, however, his widow’s pension claim paints a vivid picture of his life. According to his sergeant, Friedberger, quote, “Was small for his age, not very muscular, but in the best of health.” He was mustered out with his company on October 31st, 1864 at Camp Chase in Columbus after fulfilling his service commitment. Because he was never captured or wounded, the muster rolls of the 16th Ohio provide no additional details of his time with the regiment.

Alex Apito:
The sergeant, however, gave a great account, writing to the Bureau of Pensions on behalf of his widow, remembering Friedberger more than 30 years later. He writes, “I cannot remember his ever being off duty,” and, “He was a boy of remarkable grit. Whilst six-footers were falling by the wayside, Little Phil, as we called him, never left the ranks. His grit never forsook him, even in the last six months, when I could see that hard service was telling on him, and he really was not able for duty yet. Phil insisted on holding his place in the ranks. He had a bad cough, becoming round-shouldered and very much reduced in flesh. He was the best soldier in Company I. Do his widow justice and do it quick.”

Alex Apito:
After the war, Friedberger settled down in the territory of his former foes, in Uniontown, Alabama. When he married Ardele Unger in 1870 in a ceremony performed by a rabbi, he became the lone Union veteran in a large family of Confederates. Ardele’s father, brother and three of her brothers-in-law were Jewish Confederate veterans. Friedberger continued to struggle with his health. The deterioration from his time at war, described by sergeant, never improved. Neighbors in Uniontown recounted that he had a hacking, serious cough and that his lungs seemed to be seriously affected from when he returned from the war until his death.

Alex Apito:
On the 1870 Census, Friedberger was listed as a merchant, and in 1873, he lost a lawsuit to another merchant house and was forced to give up his stock and shop equipment for a share of sales. His luck did not improve, and by 1879, he was out looking for a job, 20 miles from his home, in Greensboro, Alabama. An acquaintance recounted running into him on the day that the veteran died and how unfortunate circumstances played out.

Alex Apito:
He said, quote, “Friedberger came here looking for employment. I met him on the street and shook hands with him during the day sometime. That night, about 12 or one o’clock, he died. When I met him on the street, I noticed nothing in particular the matter with him. About midday, I saw him being led to the hotel. I heard he was sick, about dark, I went over to the hotel to see him. I found Friedberger lying in bed, breathing hard. I called him by name, and he looked up at me and then dropped off to sleep, then I remained with him until he died. I understood that he had taken a dose of morphine or something of the same nature, whether it with suicidal intent, I do not know, but that was the supposition.” We don’t know what his actual medical condition was, but Friedberger was struggling with constant lung problems, and there would have been few options for him but morphine to alleviate his suffering during this time.

Alex Apito:
Friedberger never applied for a pension himself, which may have relieved some of his financial and physical burdens. His widow did not apply until over a decade after his death. Residing in the south during the reconstruction era, Friedberger may not have known that a pension would have even been available to him. The US Government did not start advertising their availability in newspapers until much later.

Alex Apito:
Otto Nusbaum. So, Otto Nusbaum is a soldier who is not listed in Wolf’s 1894 roster. He was brought to our attention as a potential new soldier by Toby Brief, who joins us today. As Adrienne mentioned at the beginning of our presentation, we have pretty strict guidelines for adding a new soldier to our roster. We must have proof in the form of, preferably, a primary source, but also second source documents, that one, there person was a soldier who served during the war. So, April 1861 to roughly April 1865. And two, that the person was actually Jewish.

Alex Apito:
Otto was an important figure in the Jewish history of Columbus, and for years, Toby had been seeing references to his Civil War service without ever being able to lock down official service records for him. Toby was able to tell us that Nusbaum was the first Jewish child to live in Columbus. His uncle, [Judah 00:37:36], was the first Jewish person to permanently reside there in 1838, and two years later, Judah’s brother Sam arrived with Otto in tow. Same was a peddler and Otto was a traveling salesman, which is very similar.

Alex Apito:
Otto’s career as a traveling salesman probably began in the 1860s, and we know that the majority of his career he worked for Capital and then Born Brewers, a large beer manufacturer in Columbus. He is credited, though unconfirmed, with starting the Union of Commercial Travelers there. He served on Columbus City Council from 1888 to 1898, and he remained heavily involved in local politics. A newspaper article calls him “The Father of the Municipal Lighting Plan.” In 1893, he was the author of an ordinance to allow saloons to open on Sunday afternoons and nights, and this was very controversial at the time, with opponents bringing up the point that he was a traveling man for a brewery. They happened to not mention that his brother also owned a saloon. Otto was one of the founder of the first B’nai B’rith lodge in Columbus and remained extremely involved with it throughout his life, and he was also very involved and a major supporter of the synagogue. He was pretty well off, and he also built a brand new home in a fashionable neighborhood of town.

Alex Apito:
The images you see on your screen here are some of our evidence of Otto in the historical record. So, on the left, that’s him on the 1870 Census, living in Columbus. His marriage record in the center, bottom right, is an announcement of his marriage in a newspaper, and then his death certificate on the top right. Otto gave us a run for our money as far as proving that he was a soldier during the war. Almost all of our Union soldiers have official service records that are housed at the National Archives in Washington, DC, but we have yet to find for Nusbaum. We do have a few examples of men who we think lied about serving during the war, whether it be to talk themselves up to their family or their friends or their communities, however, we find this is extremely uncommon, and we do not think this is the case with Nusbaum.

Alex Apito:
On the 1890 Veteran Schedule of the US Census, Otto claims to have served in the 101st Ohio Infantry Company B, however, it also notes that his discharge has been lost, and he does not include his dates of service. We do have other soldiers’ records who served in this regiment, so where are Otto’s? Multiple obituaries for Otto claim that he was both a veteran of the Civil War and that after the war that he served in the Ohio National Guard. A 1910 newspaper article describing the celebrations for Nusbaum’s 70th birthday, so while he’s still alive, also mentions his service. The icing on the cake for us was a marker from the Jewish War Veterans placed at Nusbaum’s grave. All of this evidence combined makes us feel extremely confident that Nusbaum did in fact serve, even if we don’t have any official service records for him in the form of muster rolls.

Alex Apito:
This is a great example of what we’ve had to do when we work with soldiers whose records are lost or incomplete. We have to take each soldier on a case-by-case basis and see if we have enough, preferably primary-source documentation, that proves to us that he served during the war. This led us to create a new designation in our database that we call inferred service, letting us know that we have established service through other forms of proof other than official service records.

Alex Apito:
We suspect in our finding that going forward, the inferred service designation will be extremely helpful in continuing to research Confederate soldiers in particular, whose records are far more incomplete than the Union. Their records sometimes being burned or lost at the end of the war. We are happy that, with this designation, we will be able to include soldiers like Otto Nusbaum in the roster.

Alex Apito:
And now I would like to throw it over to Caitlin, who’s going to tell you about a few more Ohio soldiers.

Caitlin Winkler:
Hi everybody, again. I’m going to start off with Lee Rothschild here. Leopold, or Lee Rothschild, enlisted in the US Navy at only 15 years old. Born February 8th, 1849 in Prussia, Rothschild emigrated to the United States in 1863, all alone. His father, Jakob, had left his eight children with extended family to make that same journey years earlier after the death of Rothschild’s mother. Upon his arrival, Rothschild found his father remarried and starting a new family in Pittsburgh. He tried for a few months to meld into this new brood, but teenage angst spurred him to run away to Cleveland to live with his older sister. When Rothschild heard his father had arrived to Cleveland to take him home, he next fled to Cincinnati, where a stranger offered him a different solution than simply running from town to town to hide out.

Caitlin Winkler:
Rothschild stated in an affidavit, almost 40 years later to the Bureau of Pensions, that upon reaching Cincinnati he, quote, “I went to a restaurant and asked for a meal. Here I met someone who talked to me about the Navy. This man took me to a recruiting office on the levy. I was asked my age, and I said I was 15. I recall that this man said to the recruiting officer that it is all right, ‘He is 21.’ After some formality, which I do not recall, I was taking onto the receiving ship, which was tied to the wharf, I think, on the Ohio shore. Within the first hour, someone called out, ‘Fresh fish,’ and I was in a fight. It resulted in my being bitten on the cheek by a man who had been in the service longer than me and whose name was Moore or Williams, I think. I carry this scar to this day.”

Caitlin Winkler:
Lee Rothschild was not the first in his family to join the war effort for the Union. His older brother Louis, who had come to America years before Lee, had enlisted in the 2nd US Artillery in Cincinnati in 1862. He was discharged for disability, the following year, when he was wounded at the Second Battle of Manassas. Although Lee enlisted in June 1864 with less than a year of the Civil War left to go, he saw more action and had more adventures than any 15-year-old could have imagined.

Caitlin Winkler:
He served on four different ships: The USS Grampus, the USS Great Western, the USS Romeo and the USS Cricket. The USS Cricket is the one shown in the photograph, a steamer or a steam ship converted to serve as a gunboat along the navigable rivers of the Confederacy. Once, Rothschild was assigned to act as orderly for General E.R.S. Canby, pictured on the slide, on a day his ship was assigned to take the general up river. He was therefore standing next to the general up on deck, when a lucky shot fired from the banks of the river hit Canby, who was rushed down below to the officer’s cabin. In another affidavit to the Bureau of Pensions, Rothschild explained Canby was hit in a particularly private place but allowed the surgeon to examine him and treat him without any anesthetic. It became a joke amongst the sailors, who stated that, “The ball fired was the most important one of the war, as it wounded General Canby, his staff, and all his privates.”

Caitlin Winkler:
Additional experiences Lee recounted include, getting drunk in New Orleans for the first time, the flag being lowered onboard his ship when they received the news of the assassination of President Lincoln and how medicine given to him for a fever made his teeth loose. His pension questionnaire also shows he partook in another significant part of the Navy culture, and like so many sailors before him, got a tattoo, his initials with a shield beneath on his left forearm, taboo in most Jewish families.

Caitlin Winkler:
When Lee Rothschild was discharged from the service, he was emaciated and jaundiced and spent months recovering with his sister in Cleveland. After his recovery, Rothschild set up shop as a butcher in Bucyrus. His butcher shop is seen here in the photograph. He stayed in Bucyrus for almost two decades until he moved to Nebraska in 1884 and settled with his brother Louis in Omaha. There, Lee ran a successful livestock auction. He died in 1914 from accidental gas inhalation and was buried in the Pleasant Hill Jewish Cemetery.

Caitlin Winkler:
The Rothschild brothers were not included in Simon Wolf’s book. I discovered them searching through the pension indexes at the National Archives and was particularly excited to learn Lee’s story. We love finding these young soldiers’ and sailors’ stories and reconstructing them. They are particularly unique accounts of service during the Civil War. To learn more about Lee Rothschild, and to be able to see these and other documents from his life up close, check out his soldier story on the Shapell Manuscript Foundation’s website. We will be sharing the link with everyone in an email following the presentation.

Caitlin Winkler:
The next three soldiers I will be discussing all served in the 28th Ohio Infantry, also known as the 2nd German Ohio Regiment. This regiment was organized at Camp Dennison, very close to Cincinnati. So far we have confirmed that six Jewish soldiers served in the 28th, five of those six were officers, and three of the six made it all the way to the rank of captain. The Roster Team believes we have more Jewish soldiers to find in this unit, with its Jewish leadership and its proximity to Cincinnati. If you have an ancestor who served with the 28th Ohio, or you have any knowledge of the regiment you are willing to share, please reach out. Eliza will talk more about how to get in touch with us at the end of the presentation. Our research is ongoing, and we hope to report back with progress about the 28th Ohio down the road.

Caitlin Winkler:
Samuel Rosenthal was born March 5th, 1835 in Hesse. He came to the United States, at 16, in 1851 on a passenger ship, the Eva Dorothea, which unfortunately wrecked off the coast of Baltimore before it could make land. Rosenthal thus landed in America with only the clothes on his back. A compositor back in Germany, he found work doing the same in Cincinnati, which set Rosenthal up for a life in the printing business. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he helped organize the 28th Ohio Infantry, enlisting as a First Sergeant in Company A.

Caitlin Winkler:
Rosenthal’s initiative and intelligence helped him climb the ranks of the 28th Ohio. Entering the war as a noncommissioned officer, he received a commission to second lieutenant only four months later, and was then promoted to first lieutenant only five months after that. He was given important duties within the regiment as well, serving as adjutant and regimental quartermaster before he was mustered out with the rest of his men in July 1864.

Caitlin Winkler:
After his regiments discharge, Samuel Rosenthal returned to Cincinnati and resumed the printing trade. In 1868, he formed his own printing company with partner [Wilhelm Mecklenberg 00:48:53], which would become known as S. Rosenthal & Company after Mecklenberg’s death. The company primarily focused on German-language publications. At the time of Rosenthal’s death, it was the largest union printing office in Cincinnati, according to the International Printing and Pressmen Assistance Union of North America. This organization celebrated Rosenthal as, quote, “A loyal support of organized labor. A counselor and friend. One of the old school, who regarded his workmen as his fellows, whose heart was devoted to the welfare of humanity.”

Caitlin Winkler:
Rosenthal was married to his wife Franziska, or Fannie, Baum for over 50 years, and they had 11 children together, nine boys and two girls. You can see these children listed out on the soldier’s pension questionnaire in the center of the slide, and you can see Samuel Rosenthal, pictured with six of his nine sons, to the right. Samuel is seated on the bottom row, second from the right. All of the photographs we have shared of this soldier, aside from the obituary clipping, were very generously provided to us by one of Samuel Rosenthal’s descendants, Mr. Melvin Davis. Mr. Davis also helped us to confirm some of the biographical information we collected on Samuel Rosenthal and allowed us to paint such a vivid picture of his life for you today. Samuel Rosenthal serves as a fantastic example of how much descendant participation adds to the Shapell Roster and helps us create a fuller picture of these soldiers’ lives.

Caitlin Winkler:
At his death, Samuel Rosenthal’s obituary was published in the American Israelite, which noted his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic or the GAR and in the Pioneer Society, a Cincinnati organization found in 1868 to record and preserve German-American history. We chose to highlight Samuel Rosenthal not only for his exemplary service during the war, but also for his continued devotion to his fellow soldiers after the war. That devotion can be seen not only through his membership in the GAR, but also through the numerous affidavits he wrote on behalf of former comrades seeking pensions.

Caitlin Winkler:
It was common practice for pension examiners to seek out testimony from officers to confirm veterans’ claims of service and injury when investigating pension applications for approval, but Rosenthal went above and beyond in both the quantity and the content of the testimony he provided for his men. We uncovered affidavits he wrote for four of the other five confirmed Jewish members of the 28th Ohio Infantry in their pensions. His dedication is especially seen in the affidavit he provided for Jacob Muller, a Corporal from Company A. Muller was claiming he developed rheumatism during his time in the service, and Rosenthal confirmed this claim, explaining the grueling conditions the regiment faced on the march during Averell’s raid in West Virginia, conducted November 1863, against the Virginia and Tennessee railroad.

Caitlin Winkler:
According to Rosenthal, the men were forced to march through inclement weather and wade through numerous streams, undergoing, quote, “Gratuitous and excessive exposure.” Rosenthal said he could attest specifically to Muller’s ailments and their root cause, because he knew Jacob Muller very well in the service. In 1894, at the time he gave his statement, had known Muller well ever since his discharge. Rosenthal was emphatic, stating Muller was an exceptionally good and faithful soldier and that he became invested in Muller on that account.

Caitlin Winkler:
We love finding these connections between soldiers, especially when they show maintained relationships with comrades after the war. This particular instance was great, because Jacob Muller is a new discovery for us, and the information available on him is more limited. This detail that a corporal remained friends with his first lieutenant, after the war, gives us a little insight into his life that we would have not had otherwise.

Caitlin Winkler:
We found Jacob Muller’s name in the Ohio Soldiers’ Graves registration cards, which show that he was buried in Judah Touro Cemetery, and then we retrieved his military service and pension records at the National Archives. These provided us a little more information about the soldier but not a lot. Jacob Muller was born January 27th, 1830 in Germany. He enlisted as a private in Company A of the 28th Ohio Infantry on June 13th, 1861. He was wounded at the Battle of Antietam in September 1862 but not severely enough that he claimed any lasting effect in his pension application years later. Two weeks after Antietam, Muller was promoted to corporal. He made it through his regiment’s entire enlistment term, in spite of his suffering during Averell’s raid, and was mustered out with the rest of his men July 1864 at Camp Dennison.

Caitlin Winkler:
His pension record, unfortunately, contains no information about whether Muller was married or had any children. Census records and his pension show the soldier remained in Cincinnati after the war, up through his death in 1907. Muller serves as a good example of the dearth of information we often have to work with when trying to build these records, the opposite of a Samuel Rosenthal, but we hope as more records become available online, and we work with more organizations and descendants, stories like Muller’s can be filled in.

Caitlin Winkler:
So, my last soldier I’m going to talk about today is Leopold Markbreit. Leopold Markbreit is a well-known name in Ohio, but he does not always get acknowledged as being Jewish and was not counted among the soldiers in Simon Wolf’s book. But, with his incredible tale and numerous connections, we felt really fortunate to be able to include him in the Shapell Roster.

Caitlin Winkler:
Markbreit was born March 13th, 1842 in Vienna, Austria. His father, also named Leopold Markbreit, was a successful Viennese businessman, and his mother, Johannah Abele, was the sister of Austrian General Baron Vincenz von Abele. The family came to Cincinnati in 1848, in the middle of the 1848 Revolutions in Europe, when Markbreit was six years old. He was 19 when the Civil War broke out. Despite his young age, Markbreit had recently been admitted to the practice of law in the Ohio Bar and opened a firm with another famous Ohioan, future president Rutherford B. Hayes, R.B. Hayes and Markbreit.

Caitlin Winkler:
According to a newspaper article, Hayes and Markbreit agreed the former would join the war effort and the latter would stay behind and manage the office, but Markbreit ultimately joined the 28th Ohio Infantry anyway in June 1861, enlisting as a second sergeant. Hayes, now a major in the 23rd Ohio Infantry, was therefore very much surprised to find his regiment met by reinforcements led by Markbreit at the Battle of Carnifex Ferry. Hayes was said to have gruffly greeted his partner with, “What are you doing here? Why aren’t you back attending the office?”, but after Markbreit’s performance during the battle, Hayes made no further objection to Markbreit staying in the service.

Caitlin Winkler:
A combination of skill and influence propelled Markbreit far. He was promoted to sergeant major a month into his service, and then received a commission to second lieutenant after three months, in September 1861, for bravery on the field at Carnifex Ferry. He then got another commission to first lieutenant and adjutant after only one month after that, in October 1861. A year later, he was assigned as aid to camp on General George Crook’s staff. General Crook wrote, in a recommendation for Markbreit’s promotion, that Marbreit acquitted himself most gallantly at the Battle of South Mountain and that his thorough knowledge of German, as well as the English language, particularly fit him well for the position of captain and adjutant general in the 28th Ohio Infantry, a position that was granted to Markbreit in 1863.

Caitlin Winkler:
But, no one was a bigger supporter of Markbreit than his older half-brother, the Honorable Friedrich Hassaurek. Friedrich Hassaurek was 10 years older than his brother, a son from their mother’s first marriage. When Markbreit and his parents came to America during the 1848 Revolutions taking over Austria and the rest of Europe, Hassaurek stayed. He was only 16 when the revolution broke out, but he immediately joined the student legion of the University of Vienna and fought until the uprising was put down by the imperial army. He then came to Cincinnati to join Marbreit and their mother, where he became a very successful journalist for different German publications in and around Cincinnati and eventually purchased the German newspaper, the Cincinnati Volksblatt, before becoming a prominent lawyer there.

Caitlin Winkler:
It was under Hassaurek that his brother read for the Ohio Bar. Hassaurek was also an ardent abolitionist and stumped heavily for Lincoln and the Republicans throughout the Midwest in 1860. In return, Lincoln appointed him as Minister to Ecuador. Hassaurek allegedly thanked Lincoln for, quote, “Appointing him to the highest position the administration had to give,” since Quito had the highest altitude of any capital city in the world, a joke Lincoln was said to have enjoyed greatly and shared with many.

Caitlin Winkler:
Hassaurek was therefore in a position to seek Lincoln’s aid in advancing his brother’s career. In the quest for Markbreit’s appointment to captain, Hassaurek wrote both Lincoln and Secretary of the Treasury, and fellow Ohioan, Salmon P. Chase. He told Lincoln that Markbreit had, quote, “Won the respect and esteem of his superiors and the goodwill and affection of his fellow officers and subordinates. General Crook and Cox will recommend him warmly.”

Caitlin Winkler:
Hassaurek’s appeals were successful. His influence was also about to become crucial for his brother in another way. On December 18th, 1863, Markbreit was taken prisoner at Craig’s Creek, near the Virginia-West Virginia border, during Averell’s raid. He was sent to Libby Prison in Richmond and chosen with three others to serve hostages to prevent the execution of four Confederates captured by the Union, who were alleged to have been recruiting behind Union lines in Kentucky. Markbreit and the others were placed in a subterranean dungeon, a literal hole in the ground, where there was barely enough room to lie down, and they were fed only one meager meal a day.

Caitlin Winkler:
All four would likely have starved if not for slaves working in the prison, who would cook rats killed by prisoners and sneak them to the hostages for extra sustenance. Being kept as hostages, their torture was made public and Hassaurek worked tirelessly to get Markbreit released. He wrote Lincoln to implore that a trade be made, the Confederate prisoners for the four Libby Prison hostages, stating, “This would, in my humble opinion, not be a concession to the rebels but to humanity and worthy of the noble and civilized spirit of our God, and it would save a life dearer to me than mine own.” Hassaurek’s efforts eventually paid off, and on February 5th, 1865, after more than 13 months of imprisonment, Markbreit was released. Markbreit’s health never fully recovered from the experience, however. Even his death in 1909, almost 45 years later, was attributed to conditions he suffered from which stemmed back to his time in the hole at Libby.

Caitlin Winkler:
After the war, Leopold Markbreit’s star continued to rise. He was appointed US Minister to Bolivia by President Grant in 1869. Afterwards, he traveled the world before returning to Cincinnati and joining brother Friedrich at the Cincinnati Volksblatt as secretary and business manager. In 1882, he was appointed Treasurer of the United States, at Cincinnati, by President Chester Arthur, for a four-year term. Later in life, he married a popular German actress, a Ms. Bertha Fiebach, and capitalized on his notoriety to become the Mayor of Cincinnati in 1907. His death two years later made the national news.

Caitlin Winkler:
Markbreit was not an actively practicing Jew from what we can tell, but the American Israelite identified him as a, quote, “Distinguished coreligionist.” As a Cincinnati resident, the Israelite would’ve had plenty of knowledge about, and connections to, Markbreit. So, we deem this claim is reliable and falls under our Jewish according to his peers category. With his brother being one of the most famous veterans of the ’48 Revolutions in Ohio, it is not surprising that religion was not a priority for Markbreit. Coming from a group of men choosing to champion democracy and equality, rather than what they saw as the institutions of the past, including organized religions.

Caitlin Winkler:
It is notable that Simon Wolf missed or skipped Leopold Markbreit. Both were prominent lawyers from Ohio involved in national politics. I personally believe that Wolf left Markbreit out intentionally, because he had more presidential friends than Wolf. While Wolf wrote a book entitled The Presidents I Have Known, Leopold Markbreit, along with the connections already mentioned to Lincoln, Grant, Hayes and Arthur, was also close friends with Theodore Roosevelt and stayed with him for two weeks at the White House, after Roosevelt became President following McKinley’s assassination.

Caitlin Winkler:
In actuality, Wolf may have decided not to include Markbreit because he was not an openly-practicing Jew, but unfortunately without a time machine, we will never know for sure. Okay, now I’m going to hand you back over to our intrepid outreach coordinator, Eliza, to give you the lowdown on how you can contact us about your Civil War ancestors or to volunteer with the project.

Eliza Kolander:
Hi, everybody. If your ancestor served in the Civil War, if you have any additional questions or comments, please send me an email, eliza@shapell.org. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. And now, it’s time for our Q&A. If you have any questions, go ahead and throw them into the Q&A. Our first question is from Edward. He asks, “Are there a lot of Jews with non-Jewish names, because they were changed by the 1800 versions of the immigration service, or a Jewish person changing their name upon entry to avoid antisemitism?”.

Adrienne Usher:
Yes and no. All of the above.

Caitlin Winkler:
So, we have a ton of guys who have changed their names, like a lot of guys who’ve changed their names, and we know that especially with the Union soldiers, because like we said, we’ve gone through the pensions. And with the pension records, if you served under one name, and you lived as another name, or you served under one name and lived under that name, but you’re trying to establish your birthdate in Germany, which is listed under a different name, you have to prove that you’re both those people. So, we have a lot of explanations about why people used different names.

Caitlin Winkler:
There’s less formality. I think people think about the Ellis Island story where, “Oh, I said my name was Silverschmidt and they turned it to Silversmith,” and that’s why I am this, “My family came over, they were Shannoleths, now they’re Silverman,” that kind of thing. We don’t see that as much with our Civil War soldiers, because there was no formal as they were coming into the country recording their names down. It does happen a lot when they go to enlist in the service though, when the enlisting officer can’t understand this German accent and doesn’t know what the guy’s name is, and he writes it down as something that sounds more American.

Caitlin Winkler:
So, you have a lot of guys who become known, they’re like, “Oh, I’ll told them my name was Heinrich Himmelman, and they wrote it down as Henry Himmler. And then, everybody knew I was Henry Himmler, and I had all these friends from the war, so I just stayed as Henry Himmler for the rest of my life.” But, the number one reason we see people using different names for the service, or changing their names when they come to America in general, is they’re hiding out from their families, which is interesting. Apparently, lists would be printed back in Europe of casualties from all the major battles in the United States, and no one wanted their parents to find out in some old newspaper article that like, “Hey, your son was killed at Gettysburg,” when they thought they were over in America having this fantastic new life.

Caitlin Winkler:
And so, they changed their names a lot so that family back home in Europe wouldn’t know, or they were underage, and their families here in America, they didn’t want them pulling them out of the service.

Alex Apito:
And as far as antisemitism as a reason for changing your name, we have found maybe one, two, three. You can count them on one hand, examples that we know that this is why they’ve changed their name so people wouldn’t know that they were Jewish. We actually thought that we would find this all the time, and we really don’t. It’s more for the reasons that Caitlin just mentioned.

Adrienne Usher:
I have one fun story about name changing. We were looking through pension record indexes and whatnot, and I came across this guy… I think, actually, he was in a burial list on this particular search. His name was Abraham Threefoot, and his wife’s name was Pocahontas. And so, I was ready to just keep driving, because clearly, these were Native Americans, right? No, no, because Threefoot is a direct translation of Dreyfuss, so literally, his name was Abraham Dreyfuss. He ended up settling in Arkansas, and it just so happened that he married the great-granddaughter of Pocahontas of American history. In that family, they name their first-born daughter, Pocahontas, every generation.

Caitlin Winkler:
Why not?

Adrienne Usher:
Right, why wouldn’t you? So, there was Abraham Dreyfuss, now Threefoot, with a wife named Pocahontas, and yeah, I would’ve gone right by that one. But no, he in fact was Jewish, so lots of-

Caitlin Winkler:
There’s a lot of just Americanization, too.

Adrienne Usher:
Yes, right.

Caitlin Winkler:
Alex mentioned one of her guys, he changed Kauffman to Charles. That happens a lot.

Adrienne Usher:
Right. Right.

Eliza Kolander:
Caitlin, are you related to John and Ben Winkler in Columbus?

Caitlin Winkler:
No, so Winkler is actually my husband’s last name. I’m an Eichner from Columbus, so if you know some Eichners from Columbus, then you might know my family.

Eliza Kolander:
Okay, fair. Another question from Fred, this is kind of a two-parter, I’ll ask the first one first. Does the roster include the names of Jewish soldiers who served in the Confederate Army?

Adrienne Usher:
Absolutely.

Eliza Kolander:
Okay. And second part, in light of the focus today on Confederate monuments and the names of forts, is there any concern that Jews who served for the Confederacy were not patriots?

Adrienne Usher:
You know that’s a really interesting question, and one of the things… I forget when it was, but it was maybe three years ago when this topic was heating up, and one of our concerns that the descendants of Jewish Confederates might be reticent about coming forward and telling us about their ancestors, because they didn’t want to be viewed as being part of the bigger problem. In our experience, we believe that certainly immigrants, no matter where they settled, adopted a “when in Rome” situation. That’s pretty standard no matter what country you’re talking about, what time period you’re talking about.

Adrienne Usher:
We definitely see that when you’ve got a situation where everybody is doing this one thing, you have a couple of options. You can leave, but that might mean leaving your business, it might mean leaving your family, or you can stay and just hope it blows over. And so, we still have some time that we need to spend in the Confederacy to be able to give you examples of answers to this question, like we just did with the Union about name changing. I mean, we can assure you that, aliases? Because Jewish mothers then and Jewish mothers now, I mean, nobody wants to worry their mother. We can say that now.

Adrienne Usher:
If you’d asked us that question five years ago, we didn’t have enough data to be able to answer the question confidently, and I feel like we’re with that with the Confederacy right now. We’re on the tag end of finishing South Carolina and Louisiana, and I’m a big believer in let’s get all the data in, let’s look at it. We’re seeing trends. We definitely see soldiers who are like, “I’m all in on the slavery thing,” and then we see soldiers who are like, “You know, I’m just going to try to keep my head low.”

Caitlin Winkler:
“I like the town I live in. I’m very loyal to the Alexandria, Louisiana community I’m living in, so I’m going to go fight with my friends, not necessarily because they believe in the cause itself.” We have examples of a few southern soldiers so far who say that they were actively against slavery, but they ended up joining the Confederate Army anyways. On the flip side, unfortunately, we do have some slaveholders and one or two slave traders, which is not our favorite thing to find, but is what is there. So, we’re going to openly talk about it. We’re not going to sweep that under the rug. This is a conversation we’re going to keep having.

Adrienne Usher:
Absolutely.

Alex Apito:
Also, I just wanted to throw out there, too, that the Confederacy had a pretty ample draft.

Caitlin Winkler:
Yes. Yes.

Alex Apito:
So, if you lived there-

Caitlin Winkler:
You were serving.

Alex Apito:
And you got caught up in the draft, you were going.

Caitlin Winkler:
Yeah.

Alex Apito:
A lot of times-

Caitlin Winkler:
At the end of the war, if you could stand up and you were above 16 and under 60, it was extremely likely that, at some point, you were pulled into a Confederate draft office and told to enlist. Some of the wealthier guys got substitutes, but everyone else had to go. Even if you weren’t able-bodied, like in the Union, we have Confederate guys who they found out you were shoemaker, and they’d ship you to Richmond to have you make shoes for them, even though you couldn’t hold a musket, because you were so weak. They were like, “Good, you make shoes for us,” so a larger percentage of the people in the south got pulled into the war effort than we see up north.

Eliza Kolander:
Okay, we have one last question… Oh, we have another question, “Are we able to search your roster ourselves to find a particular Jewish Civil War veteran, or is that something that’s not available yet?”. Adrienne, do you want to answer that question?

Adrienne Usher:
So, you can’t do it today. I’m just going to be very blunt about this. When I took this job nine years ago, it’ll be 10 next April, it was a part-time job for maybe a year. It was just me and now we have this fantastic team, and we actually have a book coming out. We don’t have a publication date yet, so there’s a lot of things that are happening to keep pushing our launch date. Like, if you look at some of our earlier videos, we were going to be live in 2015, and you know so… Here’s the takeaway is that the longer we get to do this, the better it will be for the public, but theoretically, we’re talking about the Union records going live sometime in the next couple of years.

Adrienne Usher:
What we always say is, if you have question, feel free to reach out to Eliza. She’ll get the questions to us. We will always do research for you until we can make it available, but yes, the goal is that when it is live, all of y’all will be able to go in and do research just like we do.

Alex Apito:
Yeah, so definitely, if you aren’t sure if we have your ancestor or someone you’re thinking about, definitely email us, and if we do have them, we can say, “Yeah, yeah.” But if not, then we would love to include them.

Caitlin Winkler:
Absolutely.

Adrienne Usher:
We’re always happy to trade. If you have something that we don’t have and we have something you don’t have, absolutely we’re all good with that.

Caitlin Winkler:
Totally.

Eliza Kolander:
Yes, we have another question Stephen. He asks, “Are there any valuable artifacts from the Jewish War Veterans of the USA?”.

Adrienne Usher:
I’m not sure I understand. Are there artifacts in existence?

Eliza Kolander:
Are we using any of the resources of the Jewish War Veterans.

Adrienne Usher:
Oh yes, absolutely.

Caitlin Winkler:
Do you want to talk about the HUVA, or do you want me to talk about the HUVA, Adrienne?

Adrienne Usher:
Well, whichever.

Caitlin Winkler:
You go for it.

Adrienne Usher:
First of all, I would say that definitely check out our YouTube channel, because we just did a presentation to them, and we talk a lot about the resources, et cetera. Specific questions, go for it, Caitlin, what do you think about that?

Caitlin Winkler:
So, the HUVA, the Hebrew Union Veterans Association, is the precursor to the Jewish War Veterans. That organization started in the 1890s, unfortunately, they have very limited documentation left from when it was the HUVA, but they really generously let us look at all of it, scan it. We’ve incorporated it into the roster. We’ve added a ton of soldiers based on that information. It was just a treasure trove for us, and like Adrienne said, highly, highly encouraged if you’re interested in that, we did a whole presentation on the HUVA and some of their specific members. It’s on our YouTube channel, so you can learn a lot more there.

Eliza Kolander:
And those are all our questions.

Caitlin Winkler:
Thanks guys.

Adrienne Usher:
Thank you all so much for attending, and I want to give a shout out, thanks Peggy for joining us. I saw my dad in the audience, so hi dad. But thank you, and if you come up with questions later, feel free to reach out. You’ve got Eliza’s email. All right, bye everybody.