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Author, Jean Powers Soman, has leveraged her knowledge to delve into her family history, discovering two distinguished ancestors, both of whom boast German-Jewish heritage. Her great-great-grandfather, Colonel Marcus Spiegel, fought during the Civil War as a soldier in the Union Army. Ms. Soman began investigating the colonel as an undergraduate history major and continued to reserach his life after college graduation. In 1985, after many years of hard work on this project, Your True Marcus: The Civil War Letters of a Jewish Colonel, was published. Currently in print from the University of Nebraska Press, the book is now available under the title, A Jewish Colonel in the Civil War: Marcus M. Spiegel of the Ohio Volunteers. Recently, Jean Soman has focused her research efforts on Samuel G. Alschuler, her great-grandfather and a photographer for President Abraham Lincoln in Illinois. Shortly before Lincoln entered the White House, Alschuler captured the first image of him growing his legendary beard.

Work experience

Jan 1985Present


Self Employed


Jun 1967Jun 1971

Bachelors of Arts

University of Miami