Chapter

: Nativism and German Ethnicity after Chancellorville

Christian B. Keller

in Chancellorsville and the Germans

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780823226504
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823234899 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823226504.003.0007

Series: The North's Civil War

: Nativism and German Ethnicity after             Chancellorville

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The aftermath of Chancellorsville confirmed for most northern Germans that the hated nativism of the 1850s had returned. The Eleventh Corps was split up in the fall of 1863, one division headed for the sea islands of South Carolina and the other two, along with the Twelfth Corps, were sent west to relieve the Confederate siege of Chattanooga. Despite a good fighting record and participation in some of the bloodiest battles of the war, the legacy of Chancellorsville haunted the German regiments of the now shrunken corps. Open, public prejudice against the Germans from Anglo Americans never reoccurred to the extent it had after the battle, but the Germans, their ethnic consciousness now on high alert, were sensitive to even the slightest insult. The German-language press, its indignance somewhat assuaged by the victory at Gettysburg and subsequent triumphs, nonetheless quickly condemned any instances of nativism that cropped up, and it persisted in defending Franz Sigel as the champion of German Americans, interpreting political events, such as the election of 1864, through ethnically tinted lenses.

Keywords: Chancellorsville; nativism; Eleventh Corps; German regiments; prejudice; Anglo Americans; ethnic consciousness; Franz Sigel; German Americans

Chapter.  10467 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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