Mennonites, Amish, and the American Civil War by James O. Lehman
(Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies)

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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.

About James O. Lehman

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James O. Lehman is director emeritus of libraries at Eastern Mennonite University and an archivist for the Virginia Mennonite Conference. He is the author of several books, most recently A Century of Grace: In the Community and around the World. Steven M. Nolt is a professor of history at Goshen College and coauthor of Amish Enterprise: From Plows to Profits and Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities, both published by Johns Hopkins.
Published October 28, 2007 by JHUP. 376 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, War. Non-fiction

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Cannonball reader Jonathan Stayer, head of the reference section of the Pennsylvania State Archives, called my attention to a 2007 book that I was previously unaware of, Mennonites, Amish, and the American Civil War, a treatise that explores the religious minorities of this area.

Jun 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Mennonites, Amish, and the Am...

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