Along with the blacks and the Irish, the Germans were fair game for the pens of songwriters during the War Between the States. Written in dialect, "Corporal Schnapps" pokes fun at a German emigrant who enlists in the Union Army at the urging of his sweetheart, only to have her run off with another man and return to Germany as soon as he's gone. Despite his heartache, however, Corporal Schnapps is loyal to his new homeland and stays at his post, determined to fight "de pattles of te flag."

Although ethnic parodies of this kind would not be tolerated in today's society, they were commonplace during the War and were considered acceptable as public entertainment.

For more information on Germans in the Civil War, visit Scott Franks' excellent Web site of the same name.

"Corporal Schnapps"