Material objects lie at the crux of understanding individual and social relationships in history, and the Civil War era is no exception. Before, during, and after the war, Americans from all walks of life created, used, revered, exploited, discarded, mocked, and destroyed objects for countless reasons. These objects had symbolic significance for millions of people. The essays in this volume consider a wide range of material objects, including weapons, Revolutionary artifacts, landscapes, books, vaccine matter, human bodies, houses, clothing, and documents. Together, the contributors argue that an examination of the meaning of material objects can shed new light on the social, economic, and cultural history of the conflict. This book will fundamentally reshape our understanding of the war.
In addition to the editor, contributors include Lisa M. Brady, Peter S. Carmichael, Earl J. Hess, Robert D. Hicks, Victoria E. Ott, Jason Phillips, Timothy Silver, Yael A. Sternhell, Sarah Jones Weicksel, Mary Saracino Zboray, and Ronald J. Zboray.