The psychological aftereffects of war are not just a modern-day plight. Following the Civil War, numerous soldiers returned with damaged bodies or damaged minds. Drawing on archival materials including digitized records for more than 70,000 white and African-American Union army recruits, newspaper reports, and census returns, Larry M. Logue and Peter Blanck uncover the diversity and severity of Civil War veterans' psychological distress. Their findings concerning the recognition of veterans' post-traumatic stress disorders, treatment programs, and suicide rates will inform current studies on how to effectively cope with this enduring disability in former soldiers. This compelling book brings to light the continued sacrifices of men who went to war.
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Introduction; 1. What is a Union veteran?; 2. Changed men; 3. When war came; 4. Perilous years; 5. Aftershocks; 6. Trials of black veterans; 7. Heavy laden; Conclusion.
Advance praise: 'The hidden injuries of war are by no means an invention of the last hundred years. Veterans of the American Civil War carried the often silent and unacknowledged traces of combat with them, in body and soul, for the rest of their lives. Logue and Blanck merit our gratitude for having brought the American soldiers of 1861-65, Northerners and Southerners, black and white, into the growing body of literature on the war-related mortality and morbidity of soldiers who return from war.' Jay Winter, author of War Beyond Words: Languages of Remembrance from the Great War to the Present and editor of The Cambridge History of the First World War Advance praise: 'Suicide amongst veterans is an enigma. It is shocking, deeply disturbing, and tragic in nature, with the potential of damning the impact of war. But, it is subject to extremes: it can either defy analysis due to underreporting and the elusive nature of assigning causation, or it can slip into a melodramatic tirade against war. Logue and Blanck recognize the subtleties of the subject, and deliver a nuanced consideration of the plight of Civil War veterans, centering on the topic of suicide. A must-read for those concerned about the impact of this or any war.' Eric T. Dean, Jr, author of Shook over Hell: Post-Traumatic Stress, Vietnam, and the Civil War Advance praise: 'Logue and Blanck offer groundbreaking analyses and insights of how veterans across the spectrum of humanity perceived and coped with warfare's consequences. Logue and Blanck brilliantly open up new historical vistas, reminding me of the promise by which I closed The Center Cannot Hold: 'the humanity we all share is more important than the mental illness we may not'.' Elyn Saks, author of The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, from the foreword