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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Across the Divide
Author(s):
Steven J. Ramold
Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814729199.003.0001

This book examines the misunderstanding and ideological separation that arose between Union soldiers and the different civilian communities in the North during the Civil War. Union soldiers went to war expecting to fight their Confederate enemies, but clashes with family and communities at home emerged unexpectedly. Stressed by the demands of combat, often frustrated by the lack of success, and burdened by the hardships of army life, many Union soldiers adopted attitudes and opinions about various facets of the war that diverged from those of civilians, as evidenced by their letters to family members. This book considers why, at crucial times of the war and on specific issues, Union soldiers and civilians differed in their beliefs in order to understand how the social and political outcomes of the Civil War came about. It discusses various divides that led to antagonism between soldiers and civilians, including physical divide, experience divide, communications divide, racial divide (slavery), political divide, and social divides such as gender divide.

Keywords:   family, Union soldiers, civilians, Civil War, communications, gender, slavery, North

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