The Germans in the American Civil War with a Biographical Directory


This is the story of 216,000 German-born Americans and well over 300,000 first-generation Americans of German descent who served in the Union and Confederate armies. It includes a 500-name biographical directory of the outstanding German-American officers in the Civil War, as well as bibliographical references, and footnotes. The American Civil War has often been referred to as the defining moment in American history, and the purpose of this work is to illuminate the role of German-Americans in that conflict.

Originally published in 1911, this work has long been considered the standard on the topic. Wilhelm Kaufmann knew, or corresponded with, many German-American Civil War veterans. His articles were first serialized in the German-American press and widely screened and reviewed by readers, many of whom, of course, were veterans of the Civil War. Based on their comments and critiques, Kaufmann polished and re-worked this history for many years.

Finally, he decided to bring out his work in book form. Kaufmann’s history is a German-American history directly based on extensive use of primary sources, and had been widely reviewed by many of its subjects. Of special value is the biographical directory of German-Americans who fought in the war. This work is of great value for all those interested in the Civil War, and especially those interested in German-American involvement.

In the 1990s, Don Heinrich Tolzmann organized an editorial team to get Kaufmann’s work translated and edited, and it was finally published in 1999. It has long since been out-of-print, and fortunately has now been brought back into print. A wealth of maps and an index to full-names, places and subjects add to the value of this work.

Wilhelm Kaufmann, edited by Don Heinrich Tolzmann et al.

(1911, 1999), 2021, 6x9, paper, index, 400 pp.

ISBN: 9780788458897