464 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 21 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Littlefield History of the Civil War Era
Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation
As early as 1865, survivors of the Civil War were acutely aware that people were purposefully shaping what would be remembered about the war and what would be omitted from the historical record. In Remembering the Civil War, Caroline E. Janney examines how the war generation--men and women, black and white, Unionists and Confederates--crafted and protected their memories of the nation's greatest conflict. Janney maintains that the participants never fully embraced the reconciliation so famously represented in handshakes across stone walls. Instead, both Union and Confederate veterans, and most especially their respective women's organizations, clung tenaciously to their own causes well into the twentieth century.
Janney explores the subtle yet important differences between reunion and reconciliation and argues that the Unionist and Emancipationist memories of the war never completely gave way to the story Confederates told. She challenges the idea that white northerners and southerners salved their war wounds through shared ideas about race and shows that debates about slavery often proved to be among the most powerful obstacles to reconciliation.
"Thought-provoking. Janney engages with the important question of just how prevalent the culture of reconciliation was when it came to understanding the meaning and legacy of the Civil War."
--Nina Silber, Boston University
"With this beautifully written, deeply researched book, Caroline E.
Janney has produced a magisterial survey of Civil War memory and memorialization that will surely be the standard volume for students, scholars, and interested readers to consult for years to come."
--Joan Waugh, author of U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth
"By making the crucial distinction between reunion and reconciliation, Janney offers a bold and persuasive reinterpretation of the Civil War's aftermath and its legacy. Reunion, the North's primary war aim and the fruits of its victory, came swiftly. But reconciliation--true sectional harmony and a spirit of mutual forgiveness--ran aground again and again on the shoals of pride, grief, and politics. Survivors of the war, soldiers and civilians, persisted in their principles, and in their bitter memories, and Janney skillfully maps their prolonged contest over the war's meaning."
--Elizabeth R. Varon, University of Virginia
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