views on these issues differed from their own. Lincoln's electoral triumph in 1864, to the soldiers who overwhelmingly cast their votes on his behalf, represented his--and their--triumph over the unworthy elements of their own society who inadequately supported the cause for which they suffered and sacrificed so much. The book is well written and well researched, particularly in manuscript collections, though at times one would have appreciated a bit more substantial grappling with recent historiography, like Chandra Manning's work on growing support for abolition among Union soldiers, for instance, though Manning emphasizes the role of idealism in this process. The author's assertion that future American wars would never feature such a profound disconnect between the experiences and attitudes of soldiers and civilians might draw disagreement from veterans of the Vietnam conflict. Civil War historians should be a bit wary of the tendency to claim precedence and uniqueness for the conflict that we study. The author might also be a bit optimistic in asserting that northern wartime divisions and bitterness quickly dissipated following the end of the conflict amid patriotic celebrations of victory like the Grand Review in Washington. The political, economic, and racial conflicts of the Gilded Age
The Journal of the Civil War Era – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Aug 9, 2014
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