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"The Dread Void of Uncertainty": Naming the Dead in the American Civil War

"The Dread Void of Uncertainty": Naming the Dead in the American Civil War ESSAY ...................... "The Dread Void of Uncertainty" "The Dread Void of Uncertainty" Naming the Dead in the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust The Civil War left some 620,000 American soldiers dead--more than the total number killed in all other American wars from the Revolution to Vietnam. But whose responsibility would it be to track soldiers' deaths, inform their families, and record their names? On the battlefield of Antietam, courtesy of the Collections of the Library of Congress. e take for granted the obligation of our government to account for the war dead. We expect the military to do everything possible to gather information about our war casualties, to notify their families promptly and respectfully, and to provide the bereaved with the opportunity to reclaim and bury their kin. Eighteen months after the inauguration of combat in Iraq, the Pentagon takes satisfaction that even though more than twelve hundred American soldiers have died, none is missing or unidentified. The contrasting failure to find every American who fought in Vietnam--an estimated 1,950 remain unaccounted for--continues not just as a burden for their grieving families, but as a political force in a POW/MIA movement now more than three decades http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

"The Dread Void of Uncertainty": Naming the Dead in the American Civil War

Southern Cultures , Volume 11 (2) – Jun 1, 2005

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
Publisher site
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Abstract

ESSAY ...................... "The Dread Void of Uncertainty" "The Dread Void of Uncertainty" Naming the Dead in the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust The Civil War left some 620,000 American soldiers dead--more than the total number killed in all other American wars from the Revolution to Vietnam. But whose responsibility would it be to track soldiers' deaths, inform their families, and record their names? On the battlefield of Antietam, courtesy of the Collections of the Library of Congress. e take for granted the obligation of our government to account for the war dead. We expect the military to do everything possible to gather information about our war casualties, to notify their families promptly and respectfully, and to provide the bereaved with the opportunity to reclaim and bury their kin. Eighteen months after the inauguration of combat in Iraq, the Pentagon takes satisfaction that even though more than twelve hundred American soldiers have died, none is missing or unidentified. The contrasting failure to find every American who fought in Vietnam--an estimated 1,950 remain unaccounted for--continues not just as a burden for their grieving families, but as a political force in a POW/MIA movement now more than three decades

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 1, 2005

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