This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Vintage Civil War Library)
Drew Gilpin Faust
More than 600,000 soldiers lost their lives in the American Civil War. An equivalent proportion of today's population would be six million. In This Republic of Suffering, Drew Gilpin Faust reveals the ways that death on such a scale changed not only individual lives but the life of the nation, describing how the survivors managed on a practical level and how a deeply religious culture struggled to reconcile the unprecedented carnage with its belief in a benevolent God. Throughout, the voices of soldiers and their families, of statesmen, generals, preachers, poets, surgeons, nurses, northerners and southerners come together to give us a vivid understanding of the Civil War's most fundamental and widely shared reality.
94 E797, NARA. 14. Moss, Annals, pp. 508, 439. U.S. Christian Commission, Record of the Federal Dead Buried from Libby, Belle Isle, Danville and Camp Lawton Prisons and at City Point and in the Field Before Petersburg and Richmond (Philadelphia: J. B. Rodgers, 1866). See U.S. Christian Commission, Correspondence Concerning “Record of the Federal Dead,” RG 94 E795, NARA. 15. Charles J. Stillé, History of the United States Sanitary Commission (New York: Hurd & Houghton, 1868), p. 451; George M.
Print) Collection, LC-USZC2-3015. Chapter 7 “Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia—Decorating the Graves of the Rebel Soldiers.” Harper’s Weekly, August 17, 1867. Widener Library, Harvard College Library, P 207.6 F. Chapter 7 “Confederate Cemetery of Vicksburg.” Photo by David Butow, 1997. © David Butow/CORBIS SABA. Chapter 8 Walt Whitman. Photograph by Mathew Brady. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Brady-Handy Photograph Collection, LC-DIG-cwpbh-00752. A Note About.
Which to salve these deep spiritual wounds. Ideas and beliefs worked to assuage, even to overcome the physical devastation of battle. And yet death ultimately remained, as it must, unintelligible, a “riddle,” as Herman Melville wrote, “of which the slain / Sole solvers are.”58 Narratives of the Good Death could not annul the killing that war required. Nor could they erase the unforgettable scenes of battlefield carnage that made soldiers question both the humanity of those slaughtered like.
Very presence of the corpse.”34 Whitman became a tireless hospital visitor, spending seven or eight hours each day ministering to patients, chiefly in Washington, D.C., where almost fifty thousand men lay sick and wounded. His efforts were less medical than consolatory; he provided rice puddings, small amounts of spending money, stamped envelopes and stationery, peaches, apples, oranges, horseradish, undershirts, socks, soap, towels, oysters, jellies, horehound candy—and love, comfort, and.
Hundred newspapers and periodicals for publication. Announcing that the United States Quartermaster General had ordered the preparation of a “record…of all Union soldiers who have been buried in the Rebel States,” Whitman requested assistance in locating the fallen. Whitman later reflected, after completion of the assignment, how important this circular had proved not simply in generating information but in engaging the broader public. His communication, he judged, had proved critical in creating.