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Civil War History: Archive

June 2020, Volume 66, No. 2

Mar 17th, 2020

Civil War History 66.2


Civil War Soldiers and Dreams of War
By Dillon J. Carroll

This article analyzes the dreams of soldiers and former soldiers of the American Civil War to argue that the experiences of battle, hospital and prison could be emotionally and psychologically damaging for the men who survived them. It uses what we know about trauma and the mind to get beyond asylum records. For veterans, the memory of the war could be nightmarish, but most found ways to cope and never entered an asylum or hospital. However, some admitted to be haunted by specific dreams from their time in uniform: most commonly dreams of the battlefield, the hospital ward or the prison pen. Analyzing these dreams can get us closer to understanding how the war may have affected the mental health of the average Civil War veteran.

A Region Which Will at the Same Time Delight and Disgust You”: Landscape Transformation and Changing Environmental Relationships in Civil War Washington, DC
By Nathan A. Marzoli

This article explores how Union soldiers protected the capital from enemy attack by permanently changing Washington’s landscape. These men disassociated Washington from its antebellum rural ties by creating a new landscape of war that literally and figuratively cleared the way for it to become a more urbanized city. This article also studies how these soldiers viewed the capital’s relationship with nature, as well as their perspectives on the massive changes that they themselves wrought on the landscape. The goal is to gain a fresh perspective on the complex relationships that American cities had, and continue to have, with nature, as well as to provide a more nuanced way in which to study soldiers and the destructiveness of the Civil War.

David Brown is senior lecturer in American studies at the University of Manchester. He is the author of Southern Outcast: Hinton Rowan Helper and the Impending Crisis of the South (2006), coauthor of Race in the American South: From Slavery to Civil Rights (2007) and coeditor of Creating Citizenship in the Nineteenth-Century South (2013). He is currently working on the first scholarly study of the Manchester Union and Emancipation Society and the London Emancipation Society, which led an antislavery revivial in Britain during the US Civil War.

Dillon J. Carroll teaches history at Butte College. He earned his PhD from the University of Georgia and is currently completing a manuscript titled “Invisible Wounds: Veterans of the American Civil War.”

Mischa Honeck is a visiting professor of North American History at the Humboldt University of Berlin. His main research interests are the histories of race, ethnicity, gender, and youth in the United States and the transatlantic world. He is the author of We Are the Revolutionists: German-Speaking Immigrants and American Abolitionists after 1848 (2011).

Vitor Izecksohn is associate professor in the Graduate Program of Social History at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He has a PhD in history from the University of New Hampshire. Izecksohn is the author of Slavery and War in the Americas: Race, Citizenship, and State Building in the United States and Brazil, 1861–1870 (2014).

Nathan A. Marzoli is a historian in the Force Structure and Unit History Devision at the US Army Center of Military History in Washington, DC. He holds degrees in history from the University of New Hampshire.

Erika Pani is research professor at the Centro de Estudios Históricos at El Colegio de México. She has published Para mexicanizar el Segundo Imperio. El imaginario politico de los imperialistas (2001) and Historia mínima de Estados Unidos de América (2016) and coedited El poder y la sangre: Guerra, estado y nación en la década de 1860 (2014).

Wang Xi is professor of history at Peking University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
His publications include The Trial of Democracy: Black Suffrage and Northern Republicans, 1860–1910 (1997), Principles and Compromises: The Spirit and Practice of the American Consitution, Expanded Edition (Chinese, 2014) and the Chinese translations of Eric Foner’s The Story of American Freedom (2002) and Give Me Liberty: An American History (2010).


Book Reviews

Saavedra, Yvette J. Pasadena before the Roses: Race, Identity, and Land Use in Southern California, 1771-1890. Reviewed by Karen R. Roybal.

Levine, Alan, Thomas Merrill, and James Stoner, eds. The Political Thoughts of the Civil War. Reviewed by Matthew Warshauer.

Reidy, Joseph P. Illusions of Emancipation: The Pursuit of Freedom and Equality in the Twilight of Slavery. Reviewed by Kellie Carter Jackson.

Varon, Elizabeth. Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War. Reviewed by Richard Reid.

Dal Lago, Enrico. Civil War and Agrarian Unrest: The Confederate South and Southern Italy. Reviewed by Edoardo M. Barsotti.

Cimbala, Paul A. and Randall Miller. The Northern Home Front during the Civil War. Reviewed by Judith Giesberg.

Sandow, Robert M., ed. Contested Loyalty: Debates over Patriotism in the Civil War North. Reviewed by Asaf Almog.

Faust, Eric R., ed. Conspicuous Gallantry: The Civil War and Reconstruction Letters of James W. King, 11th Michigan Volunteer Infantry; Faust, Eric R. The 11th Michigan Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. Reviewed by Jason R. Kluk.