Hartford, Press Of The Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co., 1894. Item #37386
1st edition. Original Blue and White Boards. 13 leaves plates ; 22 cm. In English. This is a poem about the Battle of Antietam written by a Jewish Union surgeon who served in the battle, and throughout the civil war. Mayer wrote the poem for the dedication of a monument established for his 16th Connecticut regiment. “Although Jews had not been allowed to serve in the military throughout most of European history, they had played a role in the defense of their communities in North America since the 1600s… Dr. Nathan Mayer joined the army as an assistant surgeon in a Connecticut regiment of volunteers. He soon became a full surgeon and served at many of the most important battles of the war. At Antietam, he used a farmhouse as a field hospital where he had some success using chloroform, an early anesthetic. ” The battle of Antietam was the bloodiest single-day battle in America History. In the poem, Mayer writes, “To all who in this holy strife/Went forward with their sweet young life/Prepared to give. And let it show/Set high in noonday’s golden glow/Upon this verdant field of blood/That life is not the highest good/but higher, holier, sweeter far/Are life’s ideals. Like a star…” Mayer was later captured with his regiment and held by confederate troops for seven months. (History of the Jews in America: Civil War Through the Rise of Zionism, Volume 2, by Shelley Kapnek Rosenberg, 2005) OCLC lists 19 copies worldwide. Includes period photographs of the monument and of Mayer. Full page inscription about the history of Mayer’s long military career written on the first inside page by Nathan M. Stern, a Jewish sergeant in the Spanish American War. Institutional Stamp. Cover is lightly worn. Inside pages are in very good condition. (AMR-48-23-D).