Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

It is gratifying that a book about the power of remembrance should inspire such warm memories of my own past. A few individuals are responsible for the origins of this project. My oldest debt is owed to my parents, Gregory Cloyd and Eileen Kennedy, and my brother Liam, for providing constant encouragement in ways both seen and unseen. When I was an undergraduate...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-3

Few stories are as grim as those of the mishandling of wartime captives throughout history. Regardless of civilization or era, armed conflict traditionally results in the misery of those unfortunate enough to endure detainment. The experience of the United States confirms this pattern. There exists, however, a distinct dividing line in American military history as it pertains...

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1 “Our Souls Are Filled with Unutterable Anguish” ATROCITY AND THE ORIGINS OF DIVISIVE MEMORY, 1861–1865

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pp. 4-30

As the mutual bloodletting of the Union and Confederacy commenced in 1861, the relatively innocuous question of the fate of prisoners of war was of little concern. The excitement over the opportunity to claim prisoners in battle prevented much forethought about what to do with them once captured....

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2 “Remember Andersonville” RECRIMINATION DURING RECONSTRUCTION, 1865–1877

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pp. 31-55

In May 1865, amid the excitement of the transition from war to peace, Union troops arrested a Confederate officer, Captain Henry Wirz, the camp commandant of Andersonville Prison, and transported him to Washington. There the wrath of the enraged northern citizenry awaited him. During the operation of Andersonville...

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3 “This Nation Cannot Afford to Forget” CONTESTING THE MEMORY OF SUFFERING, 1877–1898

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pp. 56-82

period between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and the onset of the Spanish-American War in 1898, despite the passage of time, the contested memories of Civil War prisons remained highly controversial. The dispute over the treatment of Civil War POWs continued—amid the larger national concern with the American future—as a transformative...

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4 “We Are the Living Witnesses” THE LIMITATIONS OF RECONCILIATION, 1898–1914

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pp. 83-110

In 1898, the outbreak of the Spanish-American War confirmed the restoration of the bonds between the North and South. The sweeping success of the United States military in Cuba and the Philippines contributed to the growing feeling that perhaps the terrible divisions of the Civil War could be considered fully...

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5 “A More Proper Perspective” OBJECTIVITY IN THE SHADOW OF TWENTIETH–CENTURY WAR, 1914–1960

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pp. 111-143

By 1914, fifty years separated the Civil War generation, most of them long since gone to their graves, from the terrible suffering experienced in the war’s prisons. Despite the passage of time and veterans alike, the memories of those horrors still evoked powerful emotions, as the controversy over the Wirz monument...

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6 “Better to Take Advantage of Outsiders’ Curiosity” THE CONSUMPTION OF OBJECTIVE MEMORY, 1960–PRESENT

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pp. 144-163

From 1960 through the early twenty-first century, the view that both the Union and the Confederacy shared a generalized measure of responsibility for prisoners’ suffering and that both deserved criticism for their equalized failings became even more firmly entrenched. Instead of leading to the disappearance of the once heated prison controversy, however, the widespread acceptance...

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7 “The Task of History Is Never Done” ANDERSONVILLE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE, THE NATIONAL POW MUSEUM, AND THE TRIUMPH OF PATRIOTIC MEMORY

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pp. 164-179

As a result of its brief but devastating existence during the Civil War, Andersonville became and remains a term synonymous with atrocity. Despite the emergence of the objective memory of Civil War prisons during the twentieth century, the stigma of past bitterness refuses to fade completely...

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Conclusion

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pp. 180-184

From almost the outset of the Civil War down to the present, the controversy over the treatment of Civil War prisoners, and particularly the attempt to pinpoint responsibility for their suffering, captivated Americans struggling to understand first the meaning of the Civil War and later the meaning of modern...

Image Plates

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Notes

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pp. 185-210

Works Consulted

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pp. 211-240

Index

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p. 241