- By Brian Matthew Jordan

Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War

  • Title: Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War
  • Author: Brian Matthew Jordan
  • ISBN: 9780871407818
  • Page: 326
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Marching Home Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War For well over a century traditional Civil War histories have concluded in with a bitterly won peace and Union soldiers returning triumphantly home In a landmark work that challenges sterilized

    For well over a century, traditional Civil War histories have concluded in 1865, with a bitterly won peace and Union soldiers returning triumphantly home In a landmark work that challenges sterilized portraits accepted for generations, Civil War historian Brian Matthew Jordan creates an entirely new narrative These veterans tending rotting wounds, battling alcoholism, cFor well over a century, traditional Civil War histories have concluded in 1865, with a bitterly won peace and Union soldiers returning triumphantly home In a landmark work that challenges sterilized portraits accepted for generations, Civil War historian Brian Matthew Jordan creates an entirely new narrative These veterans tending rotting wounds, battling alcoholism, campaigning for paltry pensions tragically realized that they stood as unwelcome reminders to a new America eager to heal, forget, and embrace the freewheeling bounty of the Gilded Age Mining previously untapped archives, Jordan uncovers anguished letters and diaries, essays by amputees, and gruesome medical reports, all deeply revealing of the American psyche.In the model of twenty first century histories like Drew Gilpin Faust s This Republic of Suffering or Maya Jasanoff s Liberty s Exiles that illuminate the plight of the common man, Marching Home makes almost unbearably personal the rage and regret of Union veterans Their untold stories are critically relevant today.

    1 thought on “Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War

    1. Most Civil War books end at Appomattox and then have an epilogue talking about the last surrender by General Kirby Smith in the West. Some will have follow-up biographies of what happened to the major players like Grant, Lee and other generals or politicians. But no one has written about what happened to the conscripts and volunteers after the shooting stopped. Jordan has gone back and researched how Northern (Union) veterans were treated after the Civil War. Sadly, they weren’t treated very w [...]

    2. A dark look at Northern society's treatment of returning Union Veterans.I realize this book was written with the intent of revealing the difficulties and, in some cases, downright persecution of the veterans seeking aid, but I wished there could have been a story or two with happier ending. Overall, an honest look at dark side of post war life for Union Veterans. It was revealing, shocking in some parts, distressing, but necessary, and I am glad I read the book.The part on soldiers' feelings dur [...]

    3. After the long and bitter struggle of the American Civil War, Union soldiers faced difficulties returning home after their units were mustered out. This was followed by the difficulties encountered as they attempted to re-adjust to normal life. This work only looks at the struggle of Union veterans but Confederate veterans faced many of the same struggles. This is a good review of the problems facing veterans of all conflicts as once the conflict is over and after the parades end, veterans are f [...]

    4. Most histories of the American Civil War end with Appomattox, or Lincoln's assassination, or the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. The war won, the South defeated, the slaves emancipated, and the grand citizen armies discharged and dispersed. This book picks up where those other histories leave off - following those soldiers home again and exploring the impact of the war in the years and decades afterwards.Like veterans of all wars, returning to civilian life was not easy. At first the soldiers w [...]

    5. I have been fortunate to hear Brian Jordan speak -- a very thorough and interesting discussion related to his South Mountain book. So I was intrigued by the title of his new book and looked forward to reading it. It is certainly a well-researched and highly documented discussion of civil war veterans and the troubles many faced following their service. But unlike many civil war related materials, I felt I was plowing through this text, not really enjoying it, yet learning a lot of details about [...]

    6. MARCHING HOME by Brian Matthew Jordan is a most depressing book.It is about the Union veterans after the guns fell silent in the Spring of 1865.If you don’t like depressing books, don’t pick it up.However, if you do enjoy a well researched (and I mean A+, a first rate, great job of research) and want to know what it was like to be a Union soldier returning home after years of blood, guts and gore, this is the book for you.As I read this book I wondered about Jeremiah Jenkins, my great-grandf [...]

    7. The Civil War is often referred to as the American Iliad. As shown in historian Brian Jordan's first book, "Marching Home: Union Veterans and their Unending Civil War" (2015), the story of Union veterans after the war deserves to be known as the American Odyssey. Jordan recently earned a PhD in History at Yale University and teaches at Gettysburg College. He prefaces each chapter in his moving, often heartrending story of the Union veterans with an apt quotation from Homer's Odyssey about the tr [...]

    8. I found this book quite interesting to be able to learn how Civil War veterans were treated and welcomed following the close of the war. It covers their effort to return to a normal life, which in most cases was impossible for them. They were forced to band together and organizations that finally managed some political clout, enough so to eventually have regional home and hospitals to care for the indigent, and there were many. I would like to have a little more information on the PTSD condition [...]

    9. Listening to this audiobook was a more frustrating experience than reading it would likely have been. When one listens to a book, one picks up on the repetition of language, as the author appears to have spent so much time immersed in the primary texts of Union veterans that the words hale and hearty, or one-armed, or empty sleeve appear over and over and over again. There is a certain monotony in the repetition, as the book is overly stuffed with anecdotal accounts of the traumatic and deeply u [...]

    10. I love reading about the old vets so I enjoyed this. Why is it that no matter what the century, the home-front never seems able to deal with its veterans?

    11. I really enjoyed this book for multiple reasons.First, he takes on a topic on which there hasn't been much scholarship. Most books on the Civil War end with Appomattox, the Lincoln assassination or the Grand Review, and that is where he starts. He tracks the experiences of hundreds of Union army veterans as they try to reintegrate into civilian life. He covers their various trials finding jobs, reconnecting with families and dealing with the physical and psychological scars of the war. Most narr [...]

    12. Marching Home is all about how Union veterans were received by society after demobilization. (Spoiler: Badly.) It is organized thematically, with chapters on veteran's homes, the collection of souvenirs and erection of memorials, the difficulties of getting a disability pension, etc. The author follows their story all the way to the death of the last Union veteran in 1956, but most of the content ends in the 1890s when that generation begins to pass away. I was surprised when the book ended beca [...]

    13. In Marching Home, Brian Matthew Jordan outlines the ways that military service impacted the lives of Union veterans well into the 20th century. Unlike many histories of the war that end at Appomattox (or possibly Lincoln's assassination a few days later), Jordan begins with the mustering-out process. He argues that northern civilians, desperate for a sanitized version of the war, tended to ignore the costs of war borne by individual soldiers. The veterans themselves became their own strongest ad [...]

    14. I think as a war veteran myself I approached this book with a different attitude. As I turned the pages I was taken with humor, delight, wonder and sadness. I've read many books about the civil war but few about the aftermath. I never knew that the American public greeted the Union veterans with patriotic fervor when then returned home but in the succeeding decades found their pleas for help, be it from PTSD or amputated limbs, to be an irritation. The author quoted the voices of the veterans fr [...]

    15. The book explains the attitudes, trials, and thoughts of Union veterans as they adjusted back to civilian life after the Civil War. Veterans of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan should read it as they would see, as I did, how similar such experiences are to how we have returned. In fact, the Homeric epigraphs with each chapter fit so well with today's vets experiences of finding there way back home that it is comforting to see how common this experience is across the generations and centuries. The [...]

    16. Another sad but interesting book. Little did Union veterans know what they would be facing when they returned home. The treatment they received from their fellow citizens made me want to come thru the book and punch anyone who treated a veteran badly/unfeelingly(some things, sadly, don't change much) .I was psyched that Rutherford B Hayes made an appearance(TMI warning: I was assigned Hayes in 3rd Graded haven't gotten over it. I probably would have been interested in the Civil War even without [...]

    17. An excellent book about Union veteran's of the American Civil War. It was certainly an eye opener. Judging by recent scandals in our modern day Veteran's Administration we still have work to do regarding taking care of our soldiers who return after the battle is done. This subject until now seemed to be an overlooked aspect of the Civil War. It should be a must read for modern day soldiers also.

    18. Using a wide variety of small archives (many of them in the midwest), Jordan illustrates how the Romance of Reuinion was preceded by decades during which Union veterans wrestled with alcoholism, PTSD, suicide, neglect from their states (and Grover Cleveland), substandard convalescent homes, families who wanted to move on, desire to have their stories recorded and promulgated and sad offshoots like amputee penmanship contests.

    19. Interesting and sad book. Not quite as gripping and I had anticipated. I appreciated that the subject of the book dug into a part of the Civil War (or any war) that has been neglected: Namely, what happens to our soldiers after they are done fighting. The Union Soldiers' post war suffering should be a wake up call to all about the aftereffects of a war on the warrior.

    20. Fascinating account of what happened to Union veterans of the Civil War. There was literally no help for them when they came home from the war. They had to cope with all kinds of difficulties - financial, physical, and mental. Most were a mess in one way or another. I can only imagine how the southern soldiers were coping. The book only deals with those who fought for the North.

    21. The Veterans of the Civil War had at least as much trouble with PTSD as current veterans, but few of us know about it. This book exposes the difficulties that veterans, especially those with disabilities, faced after the war. It is a heartrending exposition on what soldiers go through and should be read by anyone interested in how we reintegrate members of our military into our communities.

    22. Fine book about part of the Civil War you rarely hear about, how some of the veterans fared after the war. Interesting read.

    23. An eye-opening and heart breaking look into the troubled lives of the Union Veterans. And a reminder that our Nation is still woefully lacking in proper care of our veterans.

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