No Desperate Hero: Manhood and Freedom in a Union Soldier’s Experience

TitleNo Desperate Hero: Manhood and Freedom in a Union Soldier’s Experience
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsBlight, David W.
EditorClinton, Catherine, and Nina Silber
Book TitleDivided Houses: Gender and the Civil War
Pagination55-75
PublisherOxford University Press
CityNew York
Abstract

This book chapter examines the notions of manhood and freedom  in the more than two hundred Civil War letters of Charles Harvey Brewster of Northampton, Massa­chusetts, who volunteered for the North American Union army. The letters of Civil War soldiers like Brewster are an extraordinary source for the social history of nineteenth-century America. Brewster's single cache of letters illuminates the remarkable range of attitudes andl experience of an ordinary American man caught up not only in the sweeping event of the war but also in the values of his age and the challenge of his own self-development.

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25130798

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