A respected author,Jean Soman, spent more than a decade researching the Civil War and the life of her great-great grandfather, Union Colonel, Marcus M. Spiegel. She transcribed the voluminous historic letters that he wrote from the battlefields of the Civil War. The book, A Jewish Colonel in the Civil War, Marcus M. Spiegel of the Ohio Volunteers, edited by Jean Soman and Frank L. Byrne, was originally released by Kent State University Press under the title Your True Marcus, The Civil Letters of a Jewish Colonel in 1985. The University of Nebraska Press reprinted the book with its new title, A Jewish Colonel in the Civil War, Marcus M. Spiegel of the Ohio Volunteers, in 1995.A Jewish Colonel in the Civil War, Marcus M. Spiegel of the Ohio Volunteers tells the story of one of the highest-ranking Jewish officers in the Civil War. A German-Jewish immigrant, Spiegel began writing letters to his wife Caroline and other friends and family members while serving in the Union Army. In a relatively short period of time, he learned the English language. His detailed writing is, at times, poetic. The book, A Jewish Colonel in the Civil War, Marcus M. Spiegel of the Ohio Volunteers, includes more than 100 of Spiegel's letters. Soman's family has also preserved, among other relics, the Spiegel Hebrew prayer book and the family Bible. While in the service, Spiegel fought with the Ohio Volunteers and saw action in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Virginia. After bravely leading troops from the 67th and then the 120th regiments for several years, Spiegel died in battle in May 1864.While in college, Jean Soman began researching Spiegel's life while taking a course on the Civil War. She wrote a paper for the class based on her great-great grandfather's Civil War letters. For many years, Jean Soman continued to rigorously investigate the subject in her free time. Eventually, she and Frank L. Byrne completed the book, A Jewish Colonel in the Civil War, Marcus M. Spiegel of the Ohio Volunteers. Aside from A Jewish Colonel in the Civil War, Marcus M. Spiegel of the Ohio Volunteers, Jean Soman is currently working on another book that recounts the history of her great grandfather, Samuel G. Alschuler, a German-Jewish immigrant photographer who captured two of the most famous photographs of President Abraham Lincoln.