Val Merlina uses a Civil War kepi as a gateway to discuss immigrant culture in America during the 1860s.
By Kristen M. Trout ’15
German immigrant Lorenzo Stocker enlisted in the 40th Pennsylvania Regiment of Volunteers in September 1861 in response to President Lincoln’s call for 75,000 troops. Private Stocker was one of the 800 Pennsylvania-Germans who enlisted in the regiment at Camp Worth in West Philadelphia. The regiment, which would be called the 75th Pennsylvania Regiment after the reorganization of the Army of the Potomac, participated in the battles of Cross Keys, Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, and Knoxville.
Born in Mittlesinn, Hessen, Johannes Sachs was a veteran before he left Germany for the United States in 1850. He fought in the extremely chaotic rebellions of 1848 for the liberal idealism of equality and popular sovereignty in Germany. When these rebellions largely all failed, Sachs joined countless others in the 1848 “Revolution” in moving his family to the United States. Upon arrival in the United States he changed his name to John. After their arrival in Baltimore, Sachs found work in Adams County, moving there in 1856. When war broke out in 1861, Sachs moved the family back to Baltimore and enlisted in the 5th Maryland. He survived the bloody Battle of Antietam. He promoted to First Lieutenant a year later.
By Heather Clancy, ’15 In a changing historical landscape that is constantly evolving to include complexities of race, gender, regional identity, social class, and more into our dialogue about the past, ethnicity is a factor in historical analysis…
In a changing historical landscape that is constantly evolving to include complexities of race, gender, regional identity, social class, and more into our dialogue about the past, ethnicity is a factor in historical analysis that is becoming difficult to ignore. Indeed, in this era fraught with ongoing immigration disputes and the resultant beginnings of a full-on American identity crisis for some, viewing historical events such as the Civil War through the lens of ethnicity is an absolute necessity. German-American immigrants were one group which participated robustly in the Civil War, but whose story is often overshadowed.