The War Went On
Reconsidering the Lives of Civil War Veterans
352 Pages / 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.88 in / 1 table
- Hardcover /
- 9780807171981 /
- Published: April 2020
- eBook /
- 9780807173053 /
- Published: April 2020
In recent years, Civil War veterans have emerged from historical obscurity. Inspired by recent interest in memory studies and energized by the ongoing neorevisionist turn, a vibrant new literature has given the lie to the once-obligatory lament that the postbellum lives of Civil War soldiers were irretrievable. Despite this flood of historical scholarship, fundamental questions about the essential character of Civil War veteranhood remain unanswered. Moreover, because work on veterans has often proceeded from a preoccupation with cultural memory, the Civil War’s ex-soldiers have typically been analyzed as either symbols or producers of texts. In The War Went On: Reconsidering the Lives of Civil War Veterans, fifteen of the field’s top scholars provide a more nuanced and intimate look at the lives and experiences of these former soldiers.
Essays in this collection approach Civil War veterans from oblique angles, including theater, political, and disability history, as well as borderlands and memory studies. Contributors examine the lives of Union and Confederate veterans, African American veterans, former prisoners of war, amputees, and ex-guerrilla fighters. They also consider postwar political elections, veterans’ business dealings, and even literary contests between onetime enemies and among former comrades.
Jordan and Rothera's magnificent collection sets a new standard in Civil War studies. Concise, deeply researched, and well written, this volume captures the incredibly diverse homecomings of those who survived America's greatest cataclysm. While each essay makes an invaluable individual contribution to the field, collectively they reflect the absolute best of current scholarship on this important issue. ~Barbara Gannon, author of Americans Remember their Civil War
The War Went On is a valuable and timely collection, reminding us that Civil War veterans, like all veterans, were not a monolithic group. Their postwar lives were often messy and complicated, and not uniformly defined by their war experience. Readers will further gain an excellent sense of current debates over the Civil War’s lasting and significant legacy. ~Lesley J. Gordon, author of A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut's Civil War
The War Went On: Reconsidering the Lives of Civil War Veterans both encapsulates and extends the recent outpouring of work on Civil War veterans. The veterans analyzed from several creative angles engage in politics, recall their prison experience, build memorial halls, and seek pensions. But they also defend the honor of their service, go to live in veterans’ homes, and even seek pensions despite being deserters. This rich collection of essays offers a wide range of veterans’ voices, tackles knotty questions about their experiences, and provides direction for future work. ~George C. Rable, author of Damn Yankees!: Demonization & Defiance in the Confederate South