Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sacrifices Forgotten - Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War


The selflessness of soldiers fostered great respect in the years after the war. Pension payments were increased regularly, and men pursuing political office often found that their obvious injury proved useful in attracting voters. Yet as Americans sought to put the memory of the conflict behind them, they increasingly ignored the plight of aging, disabled, impoverished veterans. Instead, memorializing the dead and asserting national patriotism became the focus of Civil War remembrances, and the image of the disabled soldier became one of a money-grabbing dependent.

Image: "Puck" magazine, 20 December 1882. By the 1880s support for the veteran was diminishing, as seen in this representation of a Union soldier grasping, ironically with many arms, at government funds.


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