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A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut’s Civil War by Lesley J. Gordon (review)

A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut’s Civil War by Lesley J. Gordon (review) absence of slavery. This last claim is particularly problematic. First, it fails to address a substantial body of scholarship that has recast the Ohio River less as a boundary separating labor systems and more as a conduit con- necting people, commerce, and shared ideas about race. More important, Criblez does not deploy any direct evidence of midwesterners defining themselves as a region liberated from slavery. He does explore the absence and, at times, forced exclusion of African Americans from Fourth of July celebrations (with the notable exception of the Civil War years, when black midwesterners very visibly asserted their presence). Such continu- ity in antiblack sentiments among white midwesterners is important for understanding the broader problem of race and citizenship, and Criblez effectively integrates it into his larger narrative. But what this continu - ity has to do with a regionally specific midwestern identity, especially in terms of slavery, is not explained. More generally, while Criblez shows that nineteenth-century midwesterners were patriotic, he fails to show that they saw themselves as Americans both regionally distinct and superior to those in other parts of the country. Today midwesterners like to think of themselves as the backbone of the American nation, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut’s Civil War by Lesley J. Gordon (review)

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

absence of slavery. This last claim is particularly problematic. First, it fails to address a substantial body of scholarship that has recast the Ohio River less as a boundary separating labor systems and more as a conduit con- necting people, commerce, and shared ideas about race. More important, Criblez does not deploy any direct evidence of midwesterners defining themselves as a region liberated from slavery. He does explore the absence and, at times, forced exclusion of African Americans from Fourth of July celebrations (with the notable exception of the Civil War years, when black midwesterners very visibly asserted their presence). Such continu- ity in antiblack sentiments among white midwesterners is important for understanding the broader problem of race and citizenship, and Criblez effectively integrates it into his larger narrative. But what this continu - ity has to do with a regionally specific midwestern identity, especially in terms of slavery, is not explained. More generally, while Criblez shows that nineteenth-century midwesterners were patriotic, he fails to show that they saw themselves as Americans both regionally distinct and superior to those in other parts of the country. Today midwesterners like to think of themselves as the backbone of the American nation,

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 21, 2015

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