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The Gentlemen and the Roughs: Violence, Honor, and Manhood in the Union Army
     

The Gentlemen and the Roughs: Violence, Honor, and Manhood in the Union Army

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by Lorien Foote
 

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During the Civil War, the Union army—like the society from which it sprang—appeared cohesive enough to withstand four years of grueling war against the Confederates and to claim victory in 1865. But fractiousness bubbled below the surface of the North’s presumably united front. Internal fissures were rife within the Union army: class divisions,

Overview

During the Civil War, the Union army—like the society from which it sprang—appeared cohesive enough to withstand four years of grueling war against the Confederates and to claim victory in 1865. But fractiousness bubbled below the surface of the North’s presumably united front. Internal fissures were rife within the Union army: class divisions, regional antagonisms, ideological differences, and conflicting personalities all distracted the army from quelling the Southern rebellion.

In this highly original contribution to Civil War and gender history, Lorien Foote reveals that these internal battles were fought against the backdrop of manhood. Clashing ideals of manliness produced myriad conflicts when educated, refined, and wealthy officers (“gentlemen”) found themselves commanding a hard-drinking group of fighters (”roughs”)—a dynamic that often resulted in violence and even death. Challenges, fights, and duels were common. Based on extensive research into heretofore ignored primary sources—courts-martial records and regimental order books—The Gentlemen and the Roughs uncovers holes in our understanding of the men who fought the Civil War and the society that produced them.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“It is commonplace to observe that war is the ultimate test of the ‘manhood’ of soldiers. But in the Civil War—as probably in all wars—the meaning of manhood was contested, as Lorien Foote makes clear in this fine study of Union soldiers. Making intelligent use of regimental reports and court-martial records, among other kinds of evidence, she teases out the various perceptions of manhood in this study that offers stimulating new interpretations of the values of soldiers in the broader context of American Victorian culture.”
-James M. McPherson,author of the Pulitzer Prize‒winning Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

"Foote is to be commended for drawing attention to the much-neglected 'roughs,' and for offering a means by which to study their behavior...Foote has delivered a far more substantive presentation of this group than has heretofore existed...this is an important and provocative study."-Steve Tripp,The North Carolina Historical Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814727959
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
252
Sales rank:
838,134
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Lorien Foote is Professor of History at Texas A&M and the author of Seeking the One Great Remedy: Francis George Shaw and Nineteenth-Century Reform.

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Gentlemen and the Roughs: Violence, Honor, and Manhood in the Union Army 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book and would recommend to anyone with an interest in the American civil war. It was entertaining to read how the military justice system of the tlme attempted to deal with the soldiers different attitudes of how a man should respond to military authority. Being a former staff judge advocate, I sympathized and was entertained.