“The Good Death”

This year I am working with a student on an independent study that focuses on how the war effected soldiers’ conception of death during the Civil War.  We are looking specifically at the war in Virginia during 1864.  Over the summer this student read This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Vintage Civil War Library) and we are currently reading Jason Phillips’s Diehard Rebels: The Confederate Culture of Invincibility, both of which I’ve read already read and highly recommend.  Beginning next trimester this student will shift to the Special Collections Department at UVA to look at archival sources.

This is the latest installment of the Museum of the Confederacy’s video series and it focuses specifically on death in the Civil War.

5 thoughts on ““The Good Death”

  1. Tom

    Has your student read “Honoring The Civil War Dead: Commemoration And The Problem Of Reconciliation” by John Neff? It covered some of the same ground as Faust’s book, and frankly, I thought a little better.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      I read Neff’s book and learned quite a bit. We are sticking with soldier studies and primary sources rather than the memory literature. The other book that was released around the same time as Faust’s and that did not receive much attention is Mark Schantz’s, _Awaiting the Heavenly Country_ http://www.amazon.com/Awaiting-Heavenly-Country-Americas-Culture/dp/080143761X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1288540356&sr=8-1 It’s well worth reading.

      Reply
  2. Will Hickox

    It’s too bad the MoC video didn’t mention mourning practices among the lower classes, who, after all, made up the majority of society. I doubt that poor women commonly stayed in mourning for two years or had the means to acquire specialized mourning attire.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Good point, but I think part of the point of these videos is to highlight the museum’s collection.

      Reply
  3. Woodrowfan

    I loved “The Republic of Suffering.” It was one of those books that I was sorry to finish because I enjoyed it so much. (I also liked “Diehard Rebels.”)

    Reply

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