Home page Jews in the Civil War Jews in the Wild West History of Palestine The Occident Virtual Library



Assist the Families of our Soldiers!

Editor of the "Jewish Messenger."

When the first alarm was sounded in this city, there were a number of our co-religionists belonging to the organized military companies, who immediately responded to the call, and were sworn in for the war. Most of them are mechanics, and were earning for themselves and families a comfortable living. They felt a patriotic pride, as Jews, to sustain the government they had sworn allegiance to, and in their enthusiasm did not weigh the chances, as possibly they should have done, of how, and by what means their families were to be supported during their enlistment. The danger to our city was too imminent to be weighed in a scale with mere dollars and cents for the balance, and hence, with pride be it said, they at least were not influenced by any sordid motive. Unlike you in New York, we have no fund to support the families of poor soldiers, and the unhappy consequence is, the wives and the children of these poor men are in abject want. The very few here, who are disposed to give, have done all that lies in their power, but the limited relief afforded has done but little to alleviate their sufferings.

The men, like true soldiers, say, they willingly undergo every and any deprivation, but they feel it hard, indeed, as only our people can feel, to see those they love, and who have a right to look to them for their support, suffer for the necessaries of life. Those who have small families will be able to eke out a scanty living, as soon as the Government pay them their pittance, but a majority of them have large families, who are in want, and must continue to want, unless the large-souled liberality of your people come forward to relieve them. And that they will come forward, my past experience assures me.

They cannot well give to a better cause, and they may rest assured, every dollar will be frugally and well expended.

The Editors of the Messenger have kindly consented to forward donations, and acknowledge the same in their paper, and will guarantee a faithful disposition of the monies so forwarded.

Let the response to this reluctant appeal be immediate, and worthy of the proverbial liberality of the great City of New York.


Washington, D.C., June 23rd, 1861.

Letters of "Semi Occasional"