Cities of the Dead : Contesting the Memory of the Civil War in the South, 1865-1914

By: Blair, William AMaterial type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on DemandPublisher: Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, 2004Description: 1 online resource (265 p.)ISBN: 9780807876237Subject(s): African Americans -- Southern States -- Anniversaries, etc | Group identity -- Southern States -- History | Memorials -- Political aspects -- Southern States -- History | Political culture -- Southern States -- History | Power (Social sciences) -- Southern States -- History | Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877) | Southern States -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950Genre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Cities of the Dead : Contesting the Memory of the Civil War in the South, 1865-1914DDC classification: 973.7/6 LOC classification: F215 .B625 2004Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Contents -- Preface -- Introduction -- CHAPTER 1 The Commemorative Landscape before the Civil War -- CHAPTER 2 Establishing Freedom's Celebrations, 1865-1869 -- CHAPTER 3 Waging Politics through Decoration Days, 1866-1869 -- CHAPTER 4 The Politics of Manhood and Womanhood, 1865-1870 -- CHAPTER 5 The Era of Mixed Feelings -- CHAPTER 6 The Rise and Decline of Political Self-Help, 1883-1900 -- CHAPTER 7 Arlington Sectional Cemetery -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index -- A -- B -- C -- D -- E -- F -- G -- H -- I -- J -- K -- L -- M -- N -- O -- P -- R -- S -- T -- U -- V -- W -- Y
Summary: Exploring the history of Civil War commemorations from both sides of the color line, William Blair places the development of memorial holidays, Emancipation Day celebrations, and other remembrances in the context of Reconstruction politics and race relations in the South. His grassroots examination of these civic rituals demonstrates that the politics of commemoration remained far more contentious than has been previously acknowledged. Commemorations by ex-Confederates were intended at first to maintain a separate identity from the U.S. government, Blair argues, not as a vehicle for promoting sectional healing. The burial grounds of fallen heroes, known as Cities of the Dead, often became contested ground, especially for Confederate women who were opposed to Reconstruction. And until the turn of the century, African Americans used freedom celebrations to lobby for greater political power and tried to create a national holiday to recognize emancipation.Blair's analysis shows that some festive occasions that we celebrate even today have a divisive and sometimes violent past as various groups with conflicting political agendas attempted to define the meaning of the Civil War.
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F215 .B625 2004 (Browse shelf) http://uttyler.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=413234 Available EBL413234

Contents -- Preface -- Introduction -- CHAPTER 1 The Commemorative Landscape before the Civil War -- CHAPTER 2 Establishing Freedom's Celebrations, 1865-1869 -- CHAPTER 3 Waging Politics through Decoration Days, 1866-1869 -- CHAPTER 4 The Politics of Manhood and Womanhood, 1865-1870 -- CHAPTER 5 The Era of Mixed Feelings -- CHAPTER 6 The Rise and Decline of Political Self-Help, 1883-1900 -- CHAPTER 7 Arlington Sectional Cemetery -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index -- A -- B -- C -- D -- E -- F -- G -- H -- I -- J -- K -- L -- M -- N -- O -- P -- R -- S -- T -- U -- V -- W -- Y

Exploring the history of Civil War commemorations from both sides of the color line, William Blair places the development of memorial holidays, Emancipation Day celebrations, and other remembrances in the context of Reconstruction politics and race relations in the South. His grassroots examination of these civic rituals demonstrates that the politics of commemoration remained far more contentious than has been previously acknowledged. Commemorations by ex-Confederates were intended at first to maintain a separate identity from the U.S. government, Blair argues, not as a vehicle for promoting sectional healing. The burial grounds of fallen heroes, known as Cities of the Dead, often became contested ground, especially for Confederate women who were opposed to Reconstruction. And until the turn of the century, African Americans used freedom celebrations to lobby for greater political power and tried to create a national holiday to recognize emancipation.Blair's analysis shows that some festive occasions that we celebrate even today have a divisive and sometimes violent past as various groups with conflicting political agendas attempted to define the meaning of the Civil War.

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Blair (Pennsylvania State Univ.) adds to a growing literature on public commemorations with this lucid analysis of how Confederate and Union Memorial Days and African American Emancipation Days were used by various racial, sectional, and political constituencies in the post-emancipation South. By tracing these invented traditions and the strong reactions they provoked over the 50 years following the Civil War, Blair demonstrates that they were not mere festive occasions but key elements of political discourse. After an opening chapter on antebellum commemorative culture, Blair traces the evolution of Freedom Days and Memorial Days from 1865 to 1915, with one chapter paying notable attention to the gendered messages they embodied. A concluding chapter on Arlington National Cemetery neatly illustrates the book's argument about the intersection of sectional and national politics within commemorative culture. The study is limited by its geographical focus (mainly Virginia), the narrow range of commemorations discussed, and the concentration primarily on their political functions. Blair's approach, however, allows him to explore his material deeply and to surpass more broadly defined studies to develop understanding of the complex roles commemorations played at the local and regional levels in struggles for political power. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Most levels/libraries. M. Kachun Western Michigan University

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