Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Jews and the Civil WarA Reader$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details

Divided Loyalties in 1861

Divided Loyalties in 1861

The Decision of Major Alfred Mordecai

(p.201) 7 Divided Loyalties in 1861
Jews and the Civil War

Stanley L. Falk

NYU Press

This chapter examines how the Civil War ended the military career of Major Alfred Mordecai, a professional soldier with incompatible loyalties to both North and South. Mordecai, a senior officer in the Ordnance Department of the U.S. Army, was forced by the advent of the Civil War to make a most difficult choice. Southern born and oriented, Mordecai was sympathetic to the Southern position. On the Northern side, he had served the United States faithfully for more than four decades, and he loved and firmly believed in the Union. Torn by divided allegiances, Mordecai postponed his choice as long as he could. In the spring of 1861, however, he made the only decision that logic and conscience allowed. This chapter recounts the dilemma faced by Mordecai in light of his views about slavery and highlights the psychological dimensions of the inner conflicts and moral quandaries created by the Civil War.

Keywords:   military career, Alfred Mordecai, North, South, U.S. Army, slavery, Civil War

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.