The American Civil War.
For minorities, as for other Americans, the Civil War was an opportunity to prove their valor and loyalty. Among the first mustered into the Union Army were a De Kalb regiment of German American clerks, the Garibakdi Guards made up of Italian Americans, a "Polish Legion," and hundreds of Irish American youths form Boston and New York. But in Ohio and Washington, D.C., African American volunteers were turned away from recruiting stations and told, "This is a white man's war." Some citizens questioned the loyalty of immigrants who lived in crowded city tenements until an Italian American fro…
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