Southern Jews may not readily come to mind when considering the Civil War. After all, they were a tiny minority.
Yet Jews in the South contributed directly and indirectly to the Confederate cause. Some owned slaves. Others fought alongside their Christian brethren against the bluecoats. Jewish merchants were active in sustaining the agricultural economy that depended on slave labor.
Jews also were among the abolitionists and critics of the injustices of human bondage.
That history is the subject of a three-day conference titled “Jews, Slavery and the Civil War,” presented by the College of Charleston’s Jewish Studies Program.