Many nationalities represented in Confederacy

Published 12:46 am Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dear editor:

April is designated Confederate History Month in Alabama by the governor and State School Board.

The Confederate States Army and Navy included in their ranks a remarkable range of nationalities, who were not born in America, but later immigrated and fought for the Voluntary Union of the Confederate States.

Among them were Germans, Scots, English, Irish, Italians, French, Poles, Spanish, Mexicans, Cubans, Belgians, Hungarians, Russians, Swiss, Swedes, Danes, and Chinese.

Predominant among these were the European Confederate Veterans.

The European Brigade of Louisiana had 2,500 Frenchmen, 800 Spaniards, 500 Italians, 400 Germans, Dutch and Scandinavians and 500 Swiss, Belgians, English and Slovenians.

The Foreign Legion of Virginia was mostly English-born soldiers. The Foreign Legion of Louisiana included a company of Belgians and one of Swiss.

There were several Irish Regiments in the Confederate States Army and entire companies of Germans, Scots, Frenchmen, Poles, Italians and Spaniards.

The Louisiana Polish Brigade consisted of two Regiments, and the 1st Louisiana Regiment offered men of 37 different nationalities for Southern Independence.

Five Confederate Generals were born in Ireland, two in England, two in France, two in Germany and one in Scotland.


Source: Foreigners in the Confederacy, by Ms. Ella Lonn (published 1940).


Roger K. Broxton