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Battle: The Nature and Consequences of Civil War Combat 1st Edition
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* 6 essays from several Seminary Ridge Symposia, Gettysburg, PA consider the consequences of Civil War combat on the individual (psychological & physical) and at the national level.
* "The Civil War has become the story of our [American] identity - a `myth' ... which is the collective memory of a people about their past, which sustains a belief system that shapes their view of the world ..." (p.x) Definition from James M. McPherson in This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War, NYC: Oxford, 2007, p94.
* Afterword, p140-42.
1. Paul Fussell, "Reflections on the Culture of War," p1-11.
Robert E; Lee allegedly remarked to James Longstreet while viewing the advancing Union Army of the Potomac at Fredericksburg, VA, in Dec. 1863: "It is well that war is so terrible, or we would grow too fond of it." Fussell's words are more direct; delivering a body blow to the gut or a kick in the groin. "Combat is usually [described in] a sort of heroic euphemism. There's no combat involved. It is brutal, man-to-man fighting" (p1).
The Culture of War. Defining "culture [is] not designating merely artistic or ennobling activities but the general forms & usages & techniques of a given society, including military society. [Fussell uses] it in a quasi-anthropological sense" as did T.S. Eliot. "To Eliot, culture includes all the characteristic activities and interests of a people." (p4) "It is a culture hard for civilians to understand, because civilians occupy a world, thank God, that is in large part rational and predictable, a world that makes sense in an old-fashion way" (p5).Read more ›