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“The Won Cause” examines the post-Civil War experience of African American veterans in the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)--the largest and most important veterans group to form after the war—to call into question much of what we think we know about black veterans and their postwar experiences. According to the conventional view, the freedoms and interests of African American veterans weren’t defended by white Union veterans after the war, despite the shared tradition of sacrifice among both black and white soldiers. Existing accounts of the GAR emphasize the existence of segregated posts and leadership to help explain why black veterans had to struggle to obtain their share of postwar benefits and how they were denied full inclusion in the way the war was remembered. Barbara Gannon’s study challenges this scholarship and argues that although black veterans still suffered under the contemporary racial mores, the GAR in fact did honor its black members in many instances and ascribed them a greater equality than previous studies have shown. In fact, by accepting black members and allowing them a level of participation not available in everyday life—Gannon presents evidence of integrated posts and veterans’ thoughts on their comradeship and the cause—the GAR upheld a more inclusive memory of a war fought for liberty as well as union (the “Won Cause”) that challenged the Lost Cause construction. Gannon argues that many white GAR members embraced black veterans because their membership was a reminder of the causes that led blacks and whites to fight for and achieve Union victory, and that the bond formed between them was a comradeship that overcame barriers of race.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quote
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  1. Contents/Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-11
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  1. PART I: The World African Americans Made in the Grand Army of the Republic
  2. p. 13
  1. 1. The Only Association Where Black Men and White Men Mingle on a Foot of Equality
  2. pp. 15-27
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  1. 2. Comradeship Tried: The GAR in the South
  2. pp. 28-34
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  1. 3. The African American Post
  2. pp. 35-46
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  1. 4. The Black GAR Circle
  2. pp. 47-56
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  1. 5. Heirs of These Dead Heroes: African Americans and the Battle for Memory
  2. pp. 57-71
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  1. 6. Memorial Day in Black and White
  2. pp. 72-81
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  1. PART II: The World Black and White Veterans Made Together
  2. p. 83
  1. 7. Where Separate Grand Army Posts Are Unknown, As Colored and White Are United: The Integrated Post
  2. pp. 85-98
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  1. 8. Community, Memory, and the Integrated Post
  2. pp. 99-114
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  1. PART III: Brothers Ever We Shall Be: Black and White Comradeship in the GAR
  2. p. 115
  1. 9. Comrades Bound by Memories Many
  2. pp. 117-130
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  1. 10. And If Spared and Growing Older
  2. pp. 131-141
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  1. PART IV: The Won Cause: A Meaning for Their Suffering
  2. p. 143
  1. 11. Liberty and Union, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable: What They Remembered They Won
  2. pp. 145-162
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  1. 12. The Won Cause at Century’s End
  2. pp. 163-177
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  1. 13. A Story of a Slaveholding Society that Became a Servant of Freedom: The Won Cause in the Twentieth Century
  2. pp. 178-195
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  1. EPILOGUE: All One that Day If Never Again: The Final Days of the GAR
  2. pp. 196-200
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  1. APPENDIX 1. African American GAR Posts
  2. pp. 201-207
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  1. APPENDIX 2. Integrated GAR Posts
  2. pp. 209-220
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 221-251
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 253-269
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 271-282
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781469603124
Related ISBN
9780807834527
MARC Record
OCLC
729253192
Pages
296
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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