The Colonel Marcus M. Spiegel Collection

Marcus M. Spiegel was born in a German village in 1829, the son of a rabbi who raised him with discipline and a sufficient education to value secular learning and libertarian ideals.  After the republican revolution in Germany failed, Marcus set sail for America in 1849.  After modest beginnings as a peddler, he became a small shopkeeper in Ohio.  In 1861, when the call to arms was sounded, Marcus volunteered as a soldier in the Union army.  He rose in a short period of time from the rank of second lieutenant in the 67th Ohio Volunteer Infantry to colonel of the 120th Ohio Infantry.  From the battlefields, Spiegel wrote more than one hundred detailed and eloquent letters to his family and friends. Tragically, he was killed during the war. He was one of the highest ranking Jewish officers in the Union Army.

Using this Collection:

Biographical Sketch

The following biographical sketch was written by Jean Powers Soman in commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War and to honor the memory of her great-great-grandfather, Colonel Marcus M. Spiegel, a German-Jewish immigrant who became one of the highest-ranking Jewish officers in the Union Army. Tragically, he was killed during this fratricidal conflict. 

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