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Swiss American Historical Society Review

Swiss American Historical Society Review

Authors

Keywords

Switzerland, Swiss history, European history

Abstract

As scholars commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, it remains vital to consider the words of that era's contemporaries. Zurich-born Henry Hotze's Three Months in the Confederate Army is a particularly noteworthy example of valuable primary source material, though one with an unusual dual purpose. On the surface, it is the chronicle of a soldier's experiences during the heady early days of the war. Digging deeper, Hotze's work represents a piece of Confederate propaganda designed to glorify southern esprit de corps and endear a foreign public to the South's bid for independence. Indeed, readers will find the work difficult to place along the spectrum stretching from factual account to stylized proselytism. When taken in context, however, one may appreciate the work for the interesting niche it was designed to fill at the time-a sympathetic, even chimerical, portrayal of the Confederate cause whose advocates desperately sought allies across the Atlantic .

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