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Swiss American Historical Society Review

Swiss American Historical Society Review

Authors

Keywords

Switzerland, Swiss history, European history

Abstract

More Swiss participated in the American Civil War than in any other foreign conflict except the Battle of Marignano in 1515 and Napoleon's Russian Campaign of 1812. This work has rescued this important and little-known fact from oblivion, and it is a privilege to introduce this concise study by my friend, Heinrich L. Wirz, and his collaborator, Florian A. Strahm. Mostly as volunteers, the Swiss fought either to maintain the Union, or they risked their lives for the independence of the South. These men believed it was honorable to fight for their new homeland where they had migrated in search of prosperity. Many men fought for the ideals of their respective countries, but relatively few risked their lives either for the abolition of slavery or for its preservation. These men often shared the same political ideals that were the founding principles of modern Switzerland, including freedom and independence. As men with high ideals, they deserve our respect.

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