Mennonites, Amish, and the American Civil War

Mennonites, Amish, and the American Civil War

by James O. Lehman, Steven M. Nolt
     
 

During the American Civil War, the Mennonites and Amish faced moral dilemmas that tested the very core of their faith. How could they oppose both slavery and the war to end it? How could they remain outside the conflict without entering the American mainstream to secure legal conscientious objector status? In the North, living this ethical paradox marked them as

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Overview

During the American Civil War, the Mennonites and Amish faced moral dilemmas that tested the very core of their faith. How could they oppose both slavery and the war to end it? How could they remain outside the conflict without entering the American mainstream to secure legal conscientious objector status? In the North, living this ethical paradox marked them as ambivalent participants to the Union cause; in the South, it marked them as clear traitors.

In the first scholarly treatment of pacifism during the Civil War, two experts in Anabaptist studies explore the important role of sectarian religion in the conflict and the effects of wartime Americanization on these religious communities. James O. Lehman and Steven M. Nolt describe the various strategies used by religious groups who struggled to come to terms with the American mainstream without sacrificing religious values—some opted for greater political engagement, others chose apolitical withdrawal, and some individuals renounced their faith and entered the fight.

Integrating the most recent Civil War scholarship with little-known primary sources and new information from Pennsylvania and Virginia to Illinois and Iowa, Lehman and Nolt provide the definitive account of the Anabaptist experience during the bloodiest war in American history.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801886720
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
10/28/2007
Series:
Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
376
Sales rank:
828,807
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.13(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents


List of Tables and Maps     vii
Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction. Religion, Religious Minorities, and the American Civil War     1
Politics and Peoplehood in a Restless Republic     17
Our Country Is at War     30
Conscription, Combat, and Virginia's "War of Self-Defense"     56
Negotiation and Notoriety in Pennsylvania     76
Patterns of Peace and Patriotism in the Midwest     97
The Fighting Comes North     123
Thaddeus Stevens and Pennsylvania Mennonite Politics     143
Did Jesus Christ Teach Men to War?     163
Resistance and Revenge in Virginia     184
Burning the Shenandoah Valley     197
Reconstructed Nation, Reconstructed Peoplehood     216
Appendixes
The Sonnenberg Petition     235
Mennonites Identified on Roll of Exemptions     237
List of Abbreviations     241
Notes     243
References     315
Index     341

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