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The Gentlemen and the Roughs

Violence, Honor, and Manhood in the Union Army

Lorien Foote, 0, 0

Publication Year: 2010

"Lorien Foote in The Gentlemen and the Roughs provides a fascinating perspective on the pervasive issues of manhood and honor that served to undermine the cohesion of the Union army . . . Her research, which looks at the social history of military relationships, is invaluable to broadening our overall undertanding of the American Civil War."

Published by: NYU Press


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p. vii

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p. ix

Many colleagues, friends, and students have aided me in the research and writing of this book. I am grateful for their hard work, support, and advice, and for the personal and professional courtesy that has been extended to me over the course of this project. First I must thank those who offered unusually generous hospitality to me during my...

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Introduction The Contested Terms of Manhood

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pp. 1-16

Abraham Lincoln once termed the American Civil War “a people’s contest.” In contrast to European wars of empire waged by kings and aristocrats, Lincoln believed, it was the northern people who fought the war...

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1. “A Good Moral Regiment” Conduct Unbecoming a Gentleman

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pp. 17-40

John Hartwell was by no means a rich man when he enlisted as a private in Company C of the 121st New York Volunteers. It would be a stretch to label him as middle class. He was a thirty-three-year-old carpenter who lived on a small subsistence farm outside the town of Herkimer, New York...

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2. “The Model of the Gentleman”Gentility and Self-Control

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pp. 41-66

Francis Lieber, émigré professor of political philosophy and author of General Order 100, the code that governed the conduct of Union armies, was also the north’s expert on gentlemanly behavior. His book on that subject, The...

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3. “A Regular Old-Fashioned Free Fight”

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pp. 67-92

Even a cursory reading of Union Army records and the letters and diaries of Civil War soldiers and officers uncovers the rampant minor tussles and even brutal fighting that made up every day life in the army. Moral and self-controlled Union soldiers generally avoided physical confrontations with...

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4. “If You Will Go with Me outside the Lines”

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pp. 93-118

In June 1863, Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside was in command of the Department of the Ohio and his headquarters were located in Cincinnati. Several captains who served on his staff shared an office in departmental headquarters. On June 18, Capt. Charles Gordon Hutton was seated at a desk...

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5. “The Thick-Fingered Clowns”

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pp. 119-144

Northern men pieced together their manly identities in a bewildering variety of ways. Some men adhered to a strict moral character while maintaining a sense of honor that required violent retaliation. Other men defined honor in terms of virtue and viewed traditional honor as a loss of...

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6. “The Shoulder-Strap Gentry”

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pp. 145-170

Capt. Daniel Link of the First Maryland Cavalry had posted his guards over a store near a railroad depot in West Virginia in late December 1864. Carloads of Union soldiers, often drunk or rambunctious, passed through the depot on their way to the fighting in Virginia. To maintain order and protect the store, Link gave his guards orders that only three men could...

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pp. 171-180

regiment that exemplified the war for manhood in the Union Army was the 58th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The officers and enlisted men of this unit present a portrait of the different types of men that contended...


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pp. 181-184


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pp. 185-212


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pp. 213-224


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pp. 225-236

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About the Author

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pp. 237-238

Lorien Foote is Associate Professor of History at the University of Central Arkansas and the author...

E-ISBN-13: 9780814727959
E-ISBN-10: 0814727956
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814727904
Print-ISBN-10: 0814727905

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 697174420
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Gentlemen and the Roughs

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Honor -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
  • Masculinity -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
  • Violence -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
  • United States. Army -- Military life -- History -- 19th century.
  • Social conflict -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
  • United States. Army -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Social aspects
  • Soldiers -- United States -- Social conditions -- 19th century
  • Social classes -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
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