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Mennonites, Amish, and the American Civil War

Lehman, James O.;Nolt, Steven M.

8 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0801886724 / ISBN 13: 9780801886720
Published by Johns Hopkins Univ Pr, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A., 2007
Used Condition: Very Good Hard Cover

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Mennonites, Amish, and the American Civil ...

Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ Pr, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2007

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author

About this title


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.

Book Description:

I found this book fascinating. It is an easy read, with lots of arresting stories of faith under test. Its amazingly thorough research, which comes through on every page, makes the book convincing.

(Al Keim Shenandoah Mennonite Historian)

Mennonites, Amish, and the American Civil War is well worth exploring.

(Jack Brubaker Lancaster New Era)

Fascinating even to the lay reader.

(Marcia Fulmer Truth (Elkhart))

A valuable book that gives Brethren a source to turn to when considering the experiences of our own spiritual ancestors.

(James L. Benedict Brethren Life and Thought)

Enriches our understanding of the impact of the Civil War on Mennonites and Amish, and on American religious groups in general. In addition, the authors have enhanced our knowledge of the influence that religion had on the war.

(Thomas F. Curran Journal of American History)

By highlighting the struggles of these religious outsiders who strived to keep the church distinct from the world, Lehman and Nolt have produced an insightful study that further elucidates the centrality of religion for a proper understanding of the Civil War.

(Sean A. Scott Ohio History)

Civil War scholars can learn much from this book.

(Stephen Towne Register of the Kentucky Historical Society)

In this well-written and researched volume, Lehman and Nolt offer a much-needed analysis of the Mennonite and Amish experience of the Civil War.

(Jennifer Graber Mennonite Quarterly Review)

Mennonites, Amish, and the American Civil War is solid... the research is meticulous and admirable.

(Edward J. Blum Church History)

Mennonites, Amish, and the American Civil War should attract the attention of both serious religious scholars and anyone else interested in gaining a better understanding of the Anabaptists' wartime experience.

(David W. Rolfs Journal of Illinois History)

Lehman and Nolt have produced a valuable study that reminds scholars of, and would demonstrate for students of the Civil War or religious history, the religious pluralism in the nation and, to a lesser degree, in the South.

(James H. Tuten Journal of Southern History)

An impressive work in every way: gracefully written, broadly researched, careful and measured in its conclusions. It is likely to become the definitive work on its subject.

(Thomas D. Hamm Indiana Magazine of History)

In this fascinating study, Lehman and Nolt perform a miraculous feat: they find a small unexplored backwater in the immense sea of literature on the American Civil War.

(Perry Bush Michigan Historical Review)

A fascinating book... wonderfully written, flows well and offers fresh information and a new perspective on the home front in the Civil War that is rarely (if ever) covered in other works.

(Scott L. Mingus York Sunday News)

Without question, this work by Lehman and Nolt should be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in 'peace churches,' or pacifists, regardless of the time period.

(Rev. Dr. David McDonald Federation of Genealogical Societies)

The first serious, comprehensive study of this important and neglected subject. A well researched and carefully argued treatment that reminds us that not all churches fell into lockstep support for either the Union or the Confederacy.

(George C. Rable, University of Alabama, author of Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg, winner of the Lincoln Prize)

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