Brian Jordan referenced Julian Scott’s “Going Home” (1887) in a previous post so I decided to look it up since I am only vaguely familiar with the artist. Scott served in the 3rd Vermont Infantry at the tender age of 15 and was awarded the Medal of Honor in February 1865 for rescuing wounded Union soldiers at Lee’s Mill, Virginia.
It’s a powerful painting and perfect to kick off 2015 and the final year of the sesquicentennial. Click here for other Civil War paintings by Scott. Having read Brian’s book I can see why he has taken a fancy to it.
Like many of you I have a lot to be thankful for this past year, including good health and a loving family. As always, thank you for taking the time from your busy day to visit Civil War Memory. Although the real anniversary is not til November, I am thinking of the entirety of 2015 as representing a decade of blogging. Hard to believe. To mark the occasion I will soon be unveiling a custom re-design that is currently in the works. I hired one of my favorite web designers to overhaul the site and so far it looks amazing. [click to continue…]
It is difficult to deny the influence that the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had on recent scholarship about Civil War veterans and the broader genre of studies that now fall under the heading, “dark history.” In the preface to his new book, Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War, Brian Matthew Jordan makes this connection explicit:
But even today, as soldiers return home from new and more complex wars farther away and more difficult to imagine, we still have trouble seeing the pathos of American veteranhood. More than 26,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan dwell in homeless shelters; thousands suffering from posttraumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries have yielded to drugs and alcohol; divorce and suicide rates among recent veterans have reached record highs; and bureaucratic delays have kept some veterans waiting impatiently for promised benefits. These veterans, too, are fighting an unending war. And like their forebear in blue, they will ensure that debates over the meaning of war will be long, difficult, and complex.
Indeed, this short list of postwar maladies and challenges frames Jordan’s beautifully written and accessible book. [I started reading last night and finished late today.] [click to continue…]
I decided this year to discontinue my “Best of…” lists. Simply put, I read a lot of really good Civil War history and I am finding it difficult to single out specific books. Here are some late arrivals to my library in 2014.
Don H. Doyle, The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War, (Basic, 2014).
Brian Matthew Jordan, Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War, (Liveright, 2015).
Brian McGinty, Lincoln’s Greatest Case: The River, the Bridge, and the Making of America, (Liveright, 2015).
Barton Myers, Rebels against the Confederacy: North Carolina’s Unionists, (Cambridge University Press, 2014).