When Service Is Not Enough: Charity's Purpose in the Immediate Aftermath of the Civil War

When Service Is Not Enough: Charity's Purpose in the Immediate Aftermath of the Civil War <p>Abstract:</p><p>This essay argues that antebellum notions of charity persisted during the Civil War and its immediate aftermath. Sympathy, rather than an obligation owed those who had served their nation in good stead, remained the criterion on which relief workers judged petitioners. To make the case, the essay considers how the largest wartime private relief agency, the United States Sanitary Commission, provided aid to soldiers who made the wartime transition to veteran status due to injury or illness and those veterans who were mustered out of service in 1865-1866. Equally important, it surveys intellectual and cultural currents that informed the war generation&apos;s understanding of charity. Sympathy, it demonstrates, demanded affinity, a shared sense of feeling, an appeal to the heart rather than to reason, but it did not demand inclusivity.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

When Service Is Not Enough: Charity&apos;s Purpose in the Immediate Aftermath of the Civil War

The Journal of the Civil War Era, Volume 9 (1) – Mar 1, 2019

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

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>This essay argues that antebellum notions of charity persisted during the Civil War and its immediate aftermath. Sympathy, rather than an obligation owed those who had served their nation in good stead, remained the criterion on which relief workers judged petitioners. To make the case, the essay considers how the largest wartime private relief agency, the United States Sanitary Commission, provided aid to soldiers who made the wartime transition to veteran status due to injury or illness and those veterans who were mustered out of service in 1865-1866. Equally important, it surveys intellectual and cultural currents that informed the war generation&apos;s understanding of charity. Sympathy, it demonstrates, demanded affinity, a shared sense of feeling, an appeal to the heart rather than to reason, but it did not demand inclusivity.</p>

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 1, 2019

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