Despite an initial outpouring of patriotism, divisions within the Catholic Church over the Civil War and the continuing influence of anti-Catholicism and nativism greatly affected the future of Catholicism in American history. Catholics have been largely ignored in secondary scholarship on the Civil War. Scholars of American Catholic history also tend to skip the Civil War. This book seeks to tell as broad a story as possible about Catholic clergy, laypeople, foreign-and native-born individuals, and men and women during the Civil War era. It relies on newspaper accounts and opinions to make up for a relative dearth of extant primary sources from the poor, German Catholic immigrants, and Catholic laywomen.
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