Sketches From the Seat of War
by "A Jewish Soldier"
|Beginning in November, 1861, "The Jewish Messenger" printed a
remarkable series of letters, entitled "Sketches From the Seat of War", and
signed only by "A Jewish Soldier". This anonymous Jewish recruit in the Army of
the Potomac described basic training, the city of Washington, D.C. and its defenses,
discussed the issue of Jewish chaplains in the Union Army (this is found elsewhere on
this website in the
Letters of Rabbi Arnold Fischel).
The name and regiment of "A Jewish Soldier" are not known, but he was obviously
a very intelligent, highly educated and devout young man. From his Hebrew
pronunciation it is likely he was a Sephardi. On March 21, 1862, "The
Jewish Messenger" reported: "Our esteemed correspondent, a "Jewish
Soldier", having left Washington for the South, his "Sketches from the seat of
war" are necessarily discontinued for the present, to be resumed we trust, at an
early date." No more letters from "A Jewish Soldier" appeared after that.