JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Jewish Confederate Soldier - Omaha #general

Marian Merritt <mmerritt@...>

I'm researching my husband's great-grandfather, John Merritt (London,
England > Louisiana > Omaha). He was a Confederate Soldier who moved to
Omaha right after the war. I'm curious to know why a Jewish person >from
the "wrong side of the war" would choose to move west, unless he was
rejoining family. I'm interested to hear suggestions that might indicate
new research paths for me. You've already helped me enormously!

As I've learned, Omaha was mostly a Union area during and after the
Civil War. John Merritt moved there sometime between his surrender at
the Battle of Vicksburg (July 4th, 1863) and his marriage to Caroline
Rosenthal of Omaha in November, 1874. (According to the marriage
license, the witnesses were Samuel and Fanny REICHENBERG, in case any of
you are related to them.)

One theory put forth >from the historian with the US Park Service at the
Vicksburg Battle museum,..."it is possible that rather than return to
Confederate service following his exchange, he opted to sign an Oath of
Allegiance and served in U.S. forces on the frontier for the duration of
the war. Confederate soldiers who later served on the frontier in Union
blue are referred to as "galvanized Yankees." I've not found any proof
of that, so far, however.

Thank you,
Marian Merritt
Los Angeles, CA

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