Lionel Jobert and the American Civil War

An Atlantic Identity in the Making

By Stephen D. Bosworth

Subjects: American History, Biography, General Interest
Hardcover : 9781438485096, 206 pages, September 2021
Paperback : 9781438485102, 206 pages, January 2022

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Table of contents


1. The Allure of Aristocracy

2. Opportunity and Indiscretion: Commander of the Haitian Naval School

3. Atlantic Sisyphus

4. A Second Ascent: The Rise of d'Epineuil's Zouaves

5. A Second Descent: Shattered Hope Amid Civil War

6. Paternity and Performance in Philadelphia

7. The Count and Countess d'Epineuil


Tells the exciting tale of a highly ambitious Frenchman who commanded a New York Regiment during the American Civil War.


Millions of soldiers and civilians passionately supported one side or the other in the American Civil War. For Colonel Lionel Jobert d'Epineuil of the Fifty-Third New York Volunteer Regiment, however, his own advancement mattered more than the outcome of the conflict. This biography analyzes the remarkable exploits of a man driven by ambition—and unhindered by scruples—to attain position and prestige in the Atlantic region during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Lionel Jobert (1829–1881) was born in France, but is described as having an Atlantic identity. A ship captain by trade, Jobert exploited unstable governmental conditions in Haiti and the United States to pursue his private interests. Drawing on previously unused sources, Stephen D. Bosworth allows us to view the Civil War from the perspective of a foreign participant whose life constitutes one colorful tile in the vast mosaic that makes up the history of the nineteenth-century Atlantic.

Stephen D. Bosworth is Professor of History at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas.


"Bosworth's crisp and engaging narrative does justice to Jobert's saga. The plot offers readers all the twists, turns, and intrigue of a Victorian novel. Bosworth also provides appropriate historiographical framing to make Jobert's story relevant to scholars." — H-Net Reviews (H-Nationalism)