Issuu on Google+

Home Again: Circa-1866 lithograph by Fabronius; painted by Trevor McClurg. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

instead of gaining ground at home, as

Southerners, on the other hand, had

War combat units, which were organized

some successful businessmen did. “They

a straightforward admiration for their

by region. Today’s veterans have a

feel like they lost out on the best years.”

veterans. “In the South during the Civil

similar connection to their hometowns.

War, you were a soldier. It’s a less

According to Marten, “The link between

emotional hardships, needy Northern

Along with the economic burdens and

complicated approach,” says Marten.

the community and individual unit is

soldiers also faced a harsh social stigma

“They had the same problems going

very close … because they are our

when they returned home. Unlike their

on as Union soldiers, and economically,

neighbors, bosses and teachers.”

rural Southern counterparts, whose

it was much worse. The South was

poverty was accepted as the normal plight

devastated by the war … but they’re

passed since Civil War veterans returned

of postwar adjustment, soldiers in the city-

perceived very differently.”

home, some of the themes of Sing Not War

driven North were often condemned for their economic problems.

In the end, the Civil War was challenging

So while more than a century has

are still relevant today. Says Marten, “I

for all involved. Like today’s soldiers, many

hope I’ve captured ways in which soldiers

of whom serve in National Guard or

adapted or failed to adapt to peacetime

veterans who can’t keep up and don’t

Reserve units, Civil War soldiers came from

and the attitudes toward veterans of the

get a good job lapse into low-level

communities, and Marten sees similarities

people who stayed behind.”²

poverty, and they’re blamed for it. That’s

between past and present veterans.

“In the North, as the century goes on,

the American work ethic — if you’re

“If they had a bad day at battle, that

poor, it’s your fault,” explains Marten.

town had a bad day,” Marten says of Civil

Marquette University


Discover 2012