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In an earlier post entitled "SAM HILDEBRAND PAYS A VISIT TO BOLLINGER COUNTY"  I touched on the subject of German immigrants serving in the ranks of the Union Army. How many did not speak English and were not U.S. citizens.

Though they immigrated to Missouri because of a failed Marxist revolution in Germany, they were seen as an asset by those combating Southern nativists throughout the "Civil War". It was only after the war was over that the those who welcomed their presence, realized the threat that they represented. Thus was the case with Carl Shurz.

In "The Wars of Carl Shurz" published in the June 2, 2012 New York Times states:

Carl Schurz German Marxist
Revolutionary, Lincoln Appointee
and Union General
"Schurz was a student at the University of Bonn when, in early 1848, news reached the German states that the French people had deposed their king and established a representative government. He immediately joined a group of revolutionaries determined to fight for civil liberties and national unity in Germany. In those days, the German states were a divided patchwork of independent and absolutist kingdoms and princedoms, and many people, including Schurz, dreamed of a strong German nation that would earn respect abroad and protect freedoms at home."

This proves that while the the German immigrants said they were fighting for the Union to abolish slavery were not being truthful. They were fighting a revolution in Germany for the same reason they were fighting it in America, they were opposed to States Rights and wanted one big central government controlling everyone. They failed in Germany but succeeded in America.

The New York Times article states:

"In the early months of 1862, Carl Schurz took leave of his post as ambassador to Spain to make a daring step he had been contemplating for months: he wanted a commission in the Army. In a face-to-face meeting with Abraham Lincoln in March, the 33-year-old German immigrant explained that he found the luxurious life of a diplomat “intolerable” while his adopted nation “was fighting for its life.” Lincoln acquiesced, though not without pointing out that Schurz was giving up prestige, comfort, and a “large salary” for a position that paid “little” and would bring “plenty of work,” “discomfort,” and “danger." and "He finally got his chance in 1862. In April, Congress confirmed his appointment as brigadier general, and in June he joined John C. Frémont’s command in the Shenandoah Valley. There he was reunited with fellow Forty-Eighters Franz Sigel, Alexander von Schimmelfennig and many others who had fought for freedom in Germany. Together, their presence in the Army would endow the Union cause with moral urgency and worldwide significance."

As stated earlier in this post it was only after the war that Unionists were affected by the beliefs of the "Radicals".

I found an issue of the Lincoln County Herald (Troy , Missouri) dated January 21, 1869 carried the headline that asked the question; "IS SHURZ A CITIZEN!".

The article reads:
"It is well known that Carl Schurz is a "carpetbagger' having been in this State but a short time about two years, when be became connected with the editorial tripod of the Westliche Post, a Radical German paper of St. Louis. But a more important matter is about to come to light, and considerable excitement is being hatched out in reference to bis qualifications as Senator. Is Schirz a citizen of tho United States ? "Let there be light " The Republican's Jefferson City special, of the 24th inst., says : "The General being called on to day by a committee for information as to when he was naturalized, he replied, in September, , 1857, in one of the counties of Wisconsin. Information from that county would indicate that his first papers only were issued at the time. If this be so, he has not been a naturalized citizen for nine years, as the Constitution of the United States requires of a Senator. The legal question is the same as in the case of Gen. Shields when elected Senator from Illinois." Wouldn't this have been doe for the big Drake to quack over?"

The article was referring to the "Drake Constitution" instituted after the war in Missouri , which essentially excluded everyone except Radical Republicans from elected office, public positions and in many cases being a pastor of a church unless absolute loyalty to the Union during the war could be guaranteed (most of the time it could not be).


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"Sam Hildebrand's Confession" is certainly and interesting read. On pages 196-197 Hildebrand writes about a visit to Bollinger County, Missouri on May 25, 1864.

He writes of going in the direction of "Dallas" in Bollinger County [present day Marble Hill, Mo.] and encountering 7 federals [Union soldiers}.

Hildebrand notes that at the time Dallas was garrisoned by approximately 100 "Dutch" soldiers.

During this time it was common to refer to German immigrants as Dutch and Hildebrand relates the story of one that they captured who spoke in "broken English" who they executed stating, "We quietly sent his spirit back to the Rhine where it belonged"

They were seen as foreign invaders upon Missouri soil by native Southerners and it makes one wonder what feelings a citizen would have today if immigrant soldiers were garrisoned in a local community.