Using Jeremy Taylor’s The Rule and Exercise of Holy Dying (1651), Faust examines the way Americans understood death and how to properly die. In one of Abraham Lincoln’s most famous speeches, he honored the fallen soldiers and committed them forever in the hallowed ground of Gettysburg. It seeks to describe how between 1861 and 1865–and into the decades that followed–Americans undertook a kind of work that history has not adequately understood or recognized. But because of much higher levels of military mobilization in the white South, mortality rates for southern soldiers were twice, not three times, as great as those for northern soldiers. Book Review: This Republic of Suffering – Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust. : Harvard University Press, 1989), and Jerrold Seigel, The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe Since the Seventeenth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005). [6]Civil War Americans often wrote about what they called “the work of death,” meaning the duties of soldiers to fight, kill, and die, but at the same time invoking battle’s consequences: its slaughter, suffering, and devastation. Not only were residents of the former Confederate States left to deal with locating and reburying their dead without government help, Faust points out that in addition to Southern funerals and cemetery dedications serving to honor the dead, they become a mechanism and symbol for honoring the principles of the Confederacy. GENERAL HISTORY [4] [Francis W. Palfrey], In Memoriam: H.L.A. Javascript is not enabled in your browser. Witnesses at field hospitals almost invariably commented with horror on the piles of limbs lying near the surgeon’s table, dissociated from the bodies to which they had belonged, transformed into objects of revulsion instead of essential parts of people. Families and communities must repair the rent in the domestic and social fabric, and societies, nations, and cultures must work to understand and explain unfathomable loss.This is a book about the work of death in the American CivilWar. During the war years, the federal government began establishing and using national cemeteries and, after the war, made a concerted effort to retrieve the bodies of Union soldiers buried in southern battlefields; to identify them; and to rebury them in the north.

Interestingly the quotes prove how high the standards of English were back then, as common soldiers wrote beautiful prose today most are incapable of—as one soldier writes about a wounded sergeant: ‘A bullet had clipped a groove in his skull, above the temple; from this the brain protruded in bosses, dropping off in flakes and strings. By Drew Gilpin Faust. David E. Stannard introduced American interactions with death in his 1977 book, The Puritan Way of Death. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 20o8. Pre-publication book reviews and features keeping readers and industry influencers in the know since 1933.

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