Honoring the Civil War Dead
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By: John R. Neff
Commemoration and the Problem of Reconciliation
By the end of the Civil War, fatalities from that conflict had far exceeded previous American experience, devastating families and communities alike. Commemorating the 620,000 lives lost was a persistent obstacle to reuniting the nation, as every memorial compelled painful recollections of the war. Commemoration provided Americans with the quintessential forum for engaging the war’s meaning. However, the process of reconciliation that has been so much the focus of recent literature neglects the persistent reluctance of both Northerners and Southerners to “forgive and forget,” especially where their war dead were concerned.
Hardcover, 328 pages