Remembering the Civil War at LSU Press

12/23/2014 02:59 PM

BATON ROUGE – Long after the Civil War ended, one conflict raged on: the battle to define and shape the war’s legacy. “Across the Bloody Chasm: The Culture of Commemoration among Civil War Veterans” deftly examines Civil War veterans’ commemorative efforts and the concomitant – and sometimes conflicting – movement for reconciliation.

Though former soldiers from both sides of the war celebrated the history and values of the newly reunited America, a deep divide remained between people in the North and South as to how the country’s past should be remembered. Union soldiers could not forget that their southern counterparts had taken up arms against them, while Confederates maintained that the principles of states’ rights and freedom from tyranny aligned with the beliefs and intentions of the founding fathers. Through regimental histories, speeches at veterans’ gatherings, monument dedications, and war narratives, M. Keith Harris uncovers how veterans from both sides kept the deadliest war in American history alive in memory at a time when the nation seemed determined to move beyond conflict.

Harris is an independent historian.

Edited by Samuel C. Hyde Jr., “The Enigmatic South” brings together leading scholars of the Civil War period to challenge existing perceptions of the advance to secession, the Civil War, and its aftermath. The pioneering research and innovative arguments of these historians bring crucial insights to the study of this era in American history.

Contributing scholars consider the ways politics, religion, and education contributed to southern attitudes toward secession in the antebellum period; others into the challenges the Confederate South faced as it sought legitimacy for its cause and military strength for the coming war with the North; while still others offer new perspectives on the changes the Civil War wrought on the economic and ideological landscape of the South. The essays in “The Enigmatic South” speak eloquently to previously unconsidered aspects and legacies of the Civil War and make a major contribution to our understanding of the rich history of a conflict whose aftereffects still linger in American culture and memory.

Hyde is the Leon Ford Professor of History at Southeastern Louisiana University and the author of several books, including “Pistols and Politics: The Dilemma of Democracy in Louisiana’s Florida Parishes, 1810–1899.”

For more information, contact Jenny Keegan at 225-578-6453 or or visit

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2014