The Civil War Veteran presents a profound but often troubling story of the postwar experiences of Union and Confederate Civil War veterans. Most ex-soldiers and their neighbors readjusted smoothly. However, many arrived home with or developed serious problems; poverty, drug and alcohol addiction, and other manifestations of post traumatic stress syndrome, such as flashbacks and paranoia, plagued these veterans. Black veterans in particular suffered a particularly cruel fate: they fought with distinction and for their freedom, but postwar racism obliterated recognition of their wartime contributions. Despite these hardships, veterans found some help from federal and state governments, through the establishment of a national pension system and soldiers' homes. Yet veterans did not passively accept this assistance-some influenced and created policy in public office, while others joined together in veterans' organizations such as the Grand Army of the Republic to fight for their rights and to shape the collective memory of the Civil War. As the number of veterans from wars in the Middle East rapidly increases, the stories in the pages of The Civil War Veteran give us valuable perspective on the challenges of readjustment for ex-soldiers and American society.
|Publication date:||1st January 2007|
|Author:||Larry M. Logue|
|Publisher:||New York University Press|
|Categories:||History of the Americas, Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, American Civil War, Welfare & benefit systems,|
Larry Logue is Professor of History and Political Science at Mississippi College. Michael Barton is professor of American studies and social science at Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg and author of Goodmen: The Character of Civil War Soldiers. Logue and Barton are co-editors of The Civil War Soldier: A Historical Reader (NYU Press, 2002).More About Larry M. Logue