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Jews and the Civil WarA Reader$
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Jonathan D. Sarna and Adam D. Mendelsohn

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814740910

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814740910.001.0001

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Jewish Chaplains during the Civil War

Jewish Chaplains during the Civil War

(p.335) 13 Jewish Chaplains during the Civil War
Jews and the Civil War

Bertram W. Korn

NYU Press

This chapter examines a notorious episode of prejudice against Jews during the Civil War: the battle to amend the military chaplaincy law, passed in 1861, that stipulated that a regimental chaplain be a “regular ordained minister of some Christian denomination.” Protestant chaplains and, to a certain extent, Catholic ones, made the most of their opportunity to influence the troops in the field. By contrast, Jewish chaplains were officially barred from the ranks, putting Jewish soldiers at a great disadvantage and, in effect, rendering the Jewish faith illegitimate in the military. This chapter considers the controversy surrounding the right of rabbis to serve as military chaplains during the war.

Keywords:   prejudice, Jews, Civil War, military chaplaincy law, Protestant chaplains, Jewish chaplains, Jewish soldiers, rabbis, military chaplains

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