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Jewish Generals and Admirals in America's Military

Brig. Gen. Alfred Mordecai, Jr.:
Civil War Hero and Commandant
of the Springfield Armory

by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Brigadier General Alfred Mordecai, Jr., was a Jewish Civil War hero and he was the Superintendent and Commandant of the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts.

He was the son of Major Alfred Mordecai who graduated from West Point, in 1823, when he was fifteen years old. His father was the first of his class. When the Mexican War erupted, 1845-1847, he was recognized for his meritorious service.

When the Civil War started, his father, a Southerner, was torn between the South and the North and he resigned from the Army. Alfred Mordecai, Jr., was less sensitive to his Southern heritage than his father and he joined the North in 1861.

He became a 2nd Lieutenant on July 2, 1861. On March 3, 1863, he was promoted to Captain. He received another promotion to Major on September 7, 1863. He became a Lt. Colonel on March 13, 1865.

Mordecai received a Distinguished Medal for outstanding leadership and faithful service in the field by the order of the Department of War.

Colonel Mordecai became the Superintendent and Commandant of the Springfield Armory from 1892 to 1898. When he left the Army, he was promoted to Brigadier General. He died in 1920.

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