To Appomattox and Beyond: The Civil War Soldier in War and Peace (American Ways)

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An immense literature about the Civil War has nonetheless paid surprisingly little attention to the common soldier, North and South. Historians have shown even less concern for the long-term impact of this military service on American society. Larry M. Logue's To Appomattox and Beyond makes a major contribution in addressing this need. In a compact synthesis that draws upon important new materials from his own research, Logue provides the fullest account available of the Civil War soldier in war and peace—who fought, what happened to them in battle, how the public regarded them, how the war changed the rest of their lives, in what ways they were like and different from their counterparts across the Mason-Dixon line. To Appomattox and Beyond offers surprising conclusions about the psychological impact of warfare on its participants; about the North's generous pension system for veterans; and about the role that veterans played in politics and social issues, notably the Confederate racist reaction of the late nineteenth century. In a final irony, Logue points out, by the twentieth century men who had once been enemies now had more in common with each other than with the new world around them.

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An immense Civil War literature has paid surprisingly little attention to the experiences of the common soldier, North and South, and to the varied impact of his military service on American society. In To Appomattox and Beyond, Larry M. Logue explores this subject in a compact synthesis that draws on important new research. Mr. Logue wants to know which social groups composed the military forces; what happened to the men in battle; how the public and the home front regarded them; how the war changed the rest of their lives; and in what ways they were like and different from their counterparts across the Mason-Dixon line. His conclusions are often surprising - for instance, about the psychological impact of warfare and how it affected the emotional restraint of Union soldiers and the free impulses of the Confederates. Or how Union veterans generally failed when they tried to translate wartime comradeship into peacetime organizations, while Southerners were able to rekindle the solidarity of the war years in the Ku Klux Klan.

About the Author:

Larry M. Logue teaches American history at Mississippi College and is the author of A Sermon in the Desert, winner of the Chipman Prize.

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