Across the Bloody Chasm: Reconciliation in the Wake of Civil War

Harris, Michael Keith, Department of History, University of Virginia
Department of History, University of Virginia

"Across the Bloody Chasm" is the story of the intersection between national reconciliation in the wake of the American Civil War and veterans' efforts to preserve and commemorate the war's memories. Their speeches, parades, monument dedications, and literature reflecting on the war provided the means through which they articulated visions of unity – visions that in essence mirrored the causes for which they had fought. Their challenge was how best to situate former enemies within their commemorative contexts. Fueled by controversy and sustained by argument, veterans constructed their visions of reconciliation on the foundation of their most contentious memories. Though they expressed spread-eagle paeans to postwar unity, veterans recalled their former enemies as base perpetrators of lies who carried with them the spirit of treason or the spoils of tyranny.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
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