South Slavs in the American Civil War


Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
New Orleans was originally French and had a large Catholic population to begin with, so that might have been part of the reason Croats went there. In general, immigrants did not venture into the rural south. There was already a supply of cheap labor and it wasn't a good place to obtain marginal farm land, as most was taken in large estates.

Immigrants in the north and south generally fought for the local side and it didn't have much to do with how they were treated.
New Orleans, despite being in the south and having legalized slavery, had a lot in common with the northern industrialized port cities that were attractive to immigrants. Civil War era New Orleans had a large and diverse immigrant population (though Irish and Germans were the two largest groups), not unlike northern cities.


Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
I watched a powerful movie recently with Tom Berenger as a leader of the Irish San Patricio Battalion of the Mexican army and the plight of mostly Irish catholic soldiers who deserted after encountering religious prejudice in antebellum USA and fought against American army during Mexican-American War. That's why I asked you this question.

One Man's Hero - Wikipedia

The Irish sympathized with the Mexican side for religious reasons and because of the parallel with their own oppression by the English.

There were mostly Irish riots in NYC in 1863 against the draft. There was Irish sympathy for the Confederacy due to parallels with Irish struggles for independence and support for abolition from Puritan New England and protestant religious groups. However, the south was not exactly friendly to Irish immigrants. Most Irish and other immigrants fought for the north, as they were in the north.

The draft riots were partly caused by the provision that you could hire a substitute or pay a $300 fee to avoid the draft. That was part of the impetus for the riots. The somewhat stricter southern draft included a "20 slave rule", giving one exemption for every 20 slaves owned. This is part of why some southerners talked about "a rich man's war and a poor man's fight".
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Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
Lower Styria, Slovenia
Maybe, but most Yugoslav Lazars are named after Lazar Hrebeljanović. Lazar is a very uncommon Croat name. There are some clear Croats in the list. Cognevich was most likely a Croat, but there are some clear Serbs as well.
Anthony Cognevich gives us what, Antun Konjević? The only Konjević I know is the singer Šerif ... :upsidedown: But Antun/Ante is quite a stereotypical Croat name, like Šime or Stipe.

Btw, were there perhaps any Slovenes present in the Civil war? I know there were Slovene missionaries in America already in the begining of the century, but "mass" migrations to America started only towards the end of the 1800s, so probably very few if any at all?


Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
Slovenia, EU
Well, there is apparently some discrepancy regarding his name. StanislaV or StanislaS? If it is Stanislas, then I would be inclined to assume that he wasn't a South Slav at all, but then again his surname Kaluđerović points to South Slav ancestry.
Stanislav was pretty common in Slovenia. I would pressume that it is a catholic name.


Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
Western Eurasia
Stanislav was pretty common in Slovenia. I would pressume that it is a catholic name.
I checked on the digitalized Catholic Church books from Croatia. Unfortunately their searchable indexed records are i think partial and not fully reliable (depending how their indexing volunteers could spell out the names from the baptismal records...), but still, can give an idea. i saw there some 1300 children baptised as Stanislav (more precisely Stanislaus, as in the church books first names were in Latin) between 1820-1840. I picked this time range as i guess most of the ACW soldiers could also born around these years. The number of Catholics in Croatia baptized as Lazar (Lazarus in Latin) in this period was just 42, so it could be indeed uncommon among the Croats. And there were almost 15,000 Antonius ( that is Ante, Antun) :D
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