History of Hungarian Soldiers in the American Civil War

Local News University

Istvan Kornel Vida, assistant professor of the Institute of English and American Studies of the University of Debrecen has published two books on the history of Hungarian emigres who took part in the American Civil War: the book titled Világostól Appomatoxig: Magyarok az amerikai polgárháborúban (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2011) is for Hungarian,  while Hungarian Émigrés in the American Civil War: A History and Biographical Dictionary (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland Publishers, 2011) is for English language readers.

After the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution in 1848 and 1849, thousands of Hungarians fled to the United States, an influx dubbed the Kossuth Emigration after failed revolutionary leader Lajos Kossuth. During the American Civil War, many of these Kossuth emigres joined the ranks of the Union or Confederate armies. The book explores their motivations and the military role they played, often challenging the hero-making mechanisms of traditional ethnic history-writing that has gone before.

The lengthy biographical dictionary of all Hungarian-born Civil War participants fills a longstanding gap in Civil War genealogy. With a deft blend of modern Civil War studies, military history, migration and ethnic studies, and historical memory, this study makes a significant contribution to the history of Hungarian-Americans and the often overlooked subject of non-nationals in the Civil War.

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