Video- Jewisn Confederates

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Video is  From Old Virginia Blog Here is more from the Richmond Times Dispatch

A year after the Civil War ended, Richmond’s Jewish women came together to honor and mourn their own:

Marx Myers, killed at Manassas; Henry Smith, at Fayette Courthouse; Herman Hirsh, in Westmoreland County; Isaac Levy and Gustavus Kann, at Petersburg; Madison Marcus, Henrico County; and 30 other Jewish Confederates from around the South, dead in the defenses of Richmond.

The local men were buried in family plots around Hebrew Cemetery on Shockoe Hill.

Others shared a plot known as the soldiers’ section. Caring for them became the goal of the Hebrew Ladies’ Memorial Association. And in a fundraising letter “to the Israelites of the South” on June 5, 1866, Mrs. Abraham Levy explained that the group intended to place a headstone at each grave and erect a monument to their service.

“In time to come, when our grief shall have become, in a measure, silenced, and when the malicious tongue of slander, ever so ready to assail Israel, shall be raised against us, then, with a feeling of mournful pride, will we point to this monument and say: ‘There is our reply.'”

That reply, bordered by an elaborate iron fence with draped muskets and crossed sabers, remains standing in Richmond, a testament to the service of Jews during the Civil War.

North and South, Jews were very much a part of the wartime response.

They were soldiers and blockade runners, merchants and calligraphers, public leaders and farmers. They died in battle, came home wounded, tended to the sick. Families tore apart as they chose sides. Tales of bravery and heartache lived for generations.

  • Judah Benjamin, sometimes known as “the brains of the Confederacy,” was one of the South’s highest-ranking officials. He served as attorney general, secretary of war and finally secretary of state during the four years that the Confederate capital was in Richmond.
  • Myer Angle, first president of Congregation Beth Ahabah, had six sons who fought for the Confederacy.
  • Phoebe Pember tended the sick and wounded as chief matron at Chimborazo military hospital, where as many as 75,000 were treated during the war.
  • Gustavus Myers, city councilman for 28 years and council president for 12, was one of the men who met with President Abraham Lincoln on a surprise visit to Richmond on April 4, 1865, to talk about an oath of allegiance for former Confederates.

“The President declared his disposition to be lenient towards all persons, however prominent, who had taken part in the struggle, and certainly no exhibition was made by him of any feeling of vindictiveness or of exultation,” Myers wrote in a memorandum the next day.

An estimated 7,000 Jewish Americans served as soldiers for both sides in the American Civil War, possibly 2,000 of them Confederates. Richmond counted 102 Jewish men fighting for secession.

When M.J. Michelbacher, Beth Ahabah’s spiritual leader, requested furloughs for Jewish soldiers on the high holidays, Confederate Inspector General Samuel Cooper said there were so many Jews in the Confederate forces that it would be impossible to give blanket permission for all to leave at once.

The first Jewish person recorded in Richmond was Isaiah Isaacs, who was involved in a suit in 1769 in Henrico County Court. In 1788, Isaacs was elected to Richmond’s Common Hall, the forerunner of city council. He was a founder of Beth Shalome, Richmond’s first synagogue on Mayo Street, where Interstate 95 crosses Shockoe Valley. He owned four house slaves, but freed them at his death. 

Much more at the link!

 

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Happy Birthday to Robert E. Lee

A great man, a humble man, a devoted father, husband, Christian, a military genius, and a heroic figure for anyone who studies his life. Robert E. Lee was born this day in 1807.