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Morgan’s Magnitude

April 2024
1min read

I was wondering if Mr. Gordon in his research ever found out why J. P. Morgan did not join the Union Army during the Civil War. Morgan was in his mid-twenties, an ideal time to volunteer or be drafted. I would guess he paid some German or Irish immigrant to go in his place. Edmund Morris, in his biography of Theodore Roosevelt, tells how Roosevelt’s father, “an ardent Union man,” hired a substitute during the Civil War. Shelby Foote, in his three-volume book The Civil War: A Narrative , describes how the classes at Harvard and Yale over the four-year period were little disturbed by the need for manpower. I guess the cliché used at the time that it was “a rich man’s war but a poor man’s fight” was quite true.

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