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Wars within a WarControversy and Conflict over the American Civil War$
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Joan Waugh and Gary W. Gallagher

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832752

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807898444_waugh

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Walt Whitman's Real Wars

Walt Whitman's Real Wars

Chapter:
(p.137) Walt Whitman's Real Wars
Source:
Wars within a War
Author(s):

Stephen Cushman

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807898444_waugh.10

This chapter draws upon Walt Whitman's Memoranda During the War, with its allusion to “the seething hell and the black infernal background of countless minor scenes and interiors” of the war, to underscore the tension between those who understand the conflict as a contest between generals and armies, and those who prefer to highlight the common folk who shouldered the burden of killing and suffering. It presents Whitman as a pioneer of the type of “bottom-up” history that would sweep the scholarly world more than a century later. However prescient Whitman might have been, he reached an infinitesimal audience compared to Hollywood's filmmakers.

Keywords:   Memoranda During the War, bottom-up history, Civil War

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