Children For The Union

( 1 )

Overview

The Civil War influenced virtually every aspect of children's lives, and in turn they eagerly incorporated the experience of war into their daily assumptions and activities. In this new contribution to the American Childhoods series, James A. Marten places the experiences of children living in the North during the Civil War into the larger contexts of economic, political, and cultural developments during the nineteenth century. On the home front, children became almost full-fledged members of their communities in...

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Overview

The Civil War influenced virtually every aspect of children's lives, and in turn they eagerly incorporated the experience of war into their daily assumptions and activities. In this new contribution to the American Childhoods series, James A. Marten places the experiences of children living in the North during the Civil War into the larger contexts of economic, political, and cultural developments during the nineteenth century. On the home front, children became almost full-fledged members of their communities in their support of the war effort. They left school to replace absent men on farms and in factories, helped raise funds for hospitals and other soldiers' causes, and volunteered to knit socks, pick lint, and perform other necessary duties. Even as families were torn apart by the war, Mr. Marten notes, family ties grew stronger as Union soldiers filled their letters with love and advice for their children. He shows how the war brought writers for children to challenge the pacifism reflected in antebellum literature and instead to promote controversial political viewpoints such as abolitionism and to support the Union's military action. Indeed, Northern children's lives were militarized as never before, from the toys and games and stories that were overwhelmed by images of warfare and pro-Union ideals to actual military service by under-age soldiers and drummer boys. Both heroes and casualties, drummer boys in fact became potent symbols of the Northern war effort and the subject of countless poems and articles, at least temporarily altering perceptions of proper roles for children and youth in American society. As adults looking back, Northern children saw the war as a great adventure or a turning point in their lives. Some mourned lost fathers or relatives; others mourned lost childhoods. Children for the Union opens a new window on the impact of the war and shows that the youngest Americans were inevitable and enthusiastic participants in the nation's worst crisis. Abundantly illustrated.

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Editorial Reviews

The Bookwatch
The war spirit on the Northern home front during the Civil War is deftly recounted sparing no details.
Journal of Illinois History
Gives important insights into how children are affected by war and indoctrinated in wartime values.
— Sandra D. Harmon
The Journal of Southern History
Marten richly demonstrates the vitality of the history of childhood as a research field.
— Gail S. Murray
James M. McPherson
In this splendid book, James Marten captures the passion and poetry of the children's Civil War.
Marilyn Irvin Holt
In this detailed look at children and childhood during the Civil War era, James Marten connects compelling personal stories to the larger social, economic, and political events of the time. . . . The result is a volume that skillfully demonstrates the ways in which the war influenced and shaped a generation of children.
Chicago Tribune - Heather Cox Richardson
Details the impact of the Civil War on the lives of Northern white children. Provides a welcome glimpse into the lives of Northern middle-class children of the Civil War era.
Journal Of Illinois History - Sandra D. Harmon
Gives important insights into how children are affected by war and indoctrinated in wartime values.
The Journal of Southern History - Gail S. Murray
Marten richly demonstrates the vitality of the history of childhood as a research field.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online - Brian S. Collier
James Marten shows that the Civil War took its toll on everyone it touched.
Booklist
This volume usefully surveys what it was like to be a child in the North during the Civil War. . . . Fluent, jargon-free social history.
Chicago Tribune
Details the impact of the Civil War on the lives of Northern white children. Provides a welcome glimpse into the lives of Northern middle-class children of the Civil War era.
— Heather Cox Richardson
Foreword
Marten's facts have a welcome human face, since he relies heavily on the memoirs of those who experienced the war first-hand.
Civil War Book Review
Effectively integrates the history of the battlefield and the home front in an engaging and well-written social history.
Dallas Morning News
The author's numerous quotations from letters by children to and from their relatives are especially revealing.
Choice
General readers will very much enjoy this book. . . . Recommended.
Journal Of Illinois History
Gives important insights into how children are affected by war and indoctrinated in wartime values.
— Sandra D. Harmon
Journal Of Southern History
Marten richly demonstrates the vitality of the history of childhood as a research field.
— Gail S. Murray
H-Net
James Marten shows that the Civil War took its toll on everyone it touched.
— Brian S. Collier
Foreword Reviews
Marten's facts have a welcome human face, since he relies heavily on the memoirs of those who experienced the war first-hand.
CHOICE
General readers will very much enjoy this book. . . . Recommended.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
James Marten shows that the Civil War took its toll on everyone it touched.
— Brian S. Collier
ForeWord Reviews
Marten's facts have a welcome human face, since he relies heavily on the memoirs of those who experienced the war first-hand.
The Journal Of Southern History
Marten richly demonstrates the vitality of the history of childhood as a research field.
— Gail S. Murray
Joan Gittens
"...a useful perspective to an understudied aspect of both Civil War history and the history of American children."
The American Historical Review
Choice
General readers will very much enjoy this book.... Recommended.
The Bookwatch
The war spirit on the Northern home front during the Civil War is deftly recounted sparing no details...
Civil War Book Review
...Effectively integrates the history of the battlefield and the home front in an engaging and well-written social history...
Dallas Morning News
The Author's Numerous Quotations From Letters By Children To And From Their Relatives Are Especially Revealing.
Booklist
This volume usefully surveys what it was like to be a child in the North during the Civil War...[a] fluent, jargon-free social history.
Chicago Tribune
...Provides a welcome glimpse into the lives of Northern middle-class children of the Civil War era.
Library Journal
Marten (history, Marquette Univ.) is the author of five books and has edited two works on the Civil War. In his latest, he addresses how the war infiltrated the lives of Northern children. This turbulent time in U.S. history infused youngsters with a sense of patriotism, volunteerism, loyalty, and responsibility. Sacrifice was a necessity during the conflict once close relatives left to serve in the military. The war permeated every aspect of children's daily affairs, from literature and textbooks to panoramas and board games. In addition, schools began placing more emphasis on teaching American values and morals. Other scholarship on the subject includes Emmy Werner's Reluctant Witnesses: Children's Voices of the Civil War and Catherine Clinton's Civil War Stories; this book is in fact a condensed version for a general reading audience of Marten's 1998 The Children of the Civil War. With its extensive use of primary and secondary sources, this work would be a welcome addition for any academic library.-Gayla Koerting, Univ. of South Dakota Libs., Vermillion Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566635639
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 5/1/2004
  • Series: American Childhoods Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

James A. Marten is professor and director of graduate studies in history at Marquette University. He has also written Texas Divided and Chasing Rainbows, and is the editor of Ivan R. Dee's American Childhoods series. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : a struggle touching all life 3
1 Childhood in antebellum America 9
2 The war culture and Northern children 33
3 Family life and the war 56
4 Children, community, and the war effort 78
5 The militarization of Northern children 109
6 All quiet along the Potomac 148
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2008

    Excellent!

    Children for the Union is a must read for anyone who has an interest in Civil War social history. James Marten does a fantastic job presenting how the Civil War had a profound impact on the lives of northern children, even those who were far removed from the ravages of war.

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