In honor of the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Civil War (1861-2011), the AJA presents a concise history of the conflict through rare documents and images in its collection. Jewish soldiers—at least 8000—wore both the blue and the gray. As Confederates and Unionists, Jewish civilians who did not fight on the battlefield showed their loyalty in many ways. The documents displayed in this exhibit touch upon a number of important themes that directly affected Jewish life during those four watershed years and beyond—slavery, abolition, religious observance, antisemitism—and perhaps most importantly, acculturation.
Photograph of Menken Brothers. PC-4899. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.