in War Stories

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780226108629
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226108643 | DOI:

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This chapter sums up the key findings of this study of the wartime sufferings of Union soldiers during the American Civil War. It suggests that there was fundamental optimism underlying popular Civil War tales that idealized Northerners' response to suffering but these stories lost their appeal during the Gilded Age when opportunities for ordinary men to earn an independent livelihood declined markedly. This chapter argues that the accelerating social, economic, and cultural change also contributed to the declining appeal of Civil War narratives of suffering and sympathy.

Keywords: wartime sufferings; Union soldiers; American Civil War; Gilded Age; social change; economic change; cultural change; sympathy

Chapter.  6108 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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