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Living by InchesThe Smells, Sounds, Tastes, and Feeling of Captivity in Civil War Prisons$
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Evan A. Kutzler

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653785

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653785.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Listening through the Cacophony

Listening through the Cacophony

(p.83) Chapter Four Listening through the Cacophony
Living by Inches

Evan A. Kutzler

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter listens to captivity through the ears of Civil War prisoners. A full accounting of the cacophony of Civil War prisons includes the animate and inanimate sounds of domination, resistance, and survival. Examining how prisoners listened—a selective process of winnowing this cacophony—reveals how prisoners organized chaotic acoustic environments. Through the sounds and silences of church bells, rumours, nature, destruction, celebration, suffering, and perseverance, prisoners attempted to understand their present, reconcile it with their past, and predict the future. Listening also empowered prisoners because human vulnerability to noise—having no earlids—went both ways. In addition to creating their own interpretations through listening, prisoners made tactical use of sound and silence to resist captivity.

Keywords:   animate sounds, inanimate sounds, music, church bells, listening, resistance

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