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Gettysburg College J. of the Civil War Era     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
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Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era
Number of Followers: 1  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2165-3666 - ISSN (Online) 2165-3658
Published by Gettysburg College Homepage  [2 journals]
  • History and Implications of the Missouri Test-Oath Case

    • Authors: Matthew X. Wilson
      Abstract: Cummings v. Missouri (1867) is often overlooked in modern legal history, and very little scholarly literature exists chronicling the case’s implications for contemporary constitutional jurisprudence. When awareness does exist, there is a tendency to classify Cummings as simply a Civil War-era religious liberty case—a mischaracterization which reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the ruling’s background and modern relevance. In reality, born out of post-war paranoia over loyalty and past Confederate allegiances, the Cummings case is most notable as landmark judicial precedent in defining the U.S. Constitution’s proscriptions of bills of attainder and ex post facto laws, and possesses very little significance today for religious liberty jurisprudence. Beginning with an analysis of the contemporary historical and political circumstances at hand, this article seeks to reframe the scholarly conversation surrounding Cummings to reflect the true place of importance it holds in the anthology of American legal history.
      PubDate: Tue, 30 May 2023 12:11:36 PDT
  • Chaos in Congress: Masculinity and Violence in the Congressional Struggle
           Over Kansas

    • Authors: Ian L. Baumer
      Abstract: According to Joanne Freeman's recent book on congressional violence, in the years between 1830 and 1860, members of Congress engaged in 'manly' violence against one another more than seventy times. However, no issue caused more violent personal disputes in the legislature than slavery. In particular, the debate over the legal status of slavery in the Kansas Territory caused a panoply of incidents in Congress, including near-duel between John C. Breckinridge and Francis Cutting in 1854, Preston Brooks' caning of Charles Sumner in 1856, and a brawl in the House of Representatives in 1858. This article examines how these lawmakers' views on masculinity and slavery motivated their involvement in these incidents. Firstly, the article establishes Amy S. Greenberg’s dichotomy of martial and restrained masculinities as a lens of analysis; then it recounts each event and analyzes the masculine practices of each lawmaker. This analysis shows that these three violent encounters resulted from the practice of a specifically Southern iteration of martial manhood grounded in the service of slavery’s interests.
      PubDate: Tue, 30 May 2023 12:11:30 PDT
  • A Stolen Ship: Robert Smalls’ Daring Escape to Freedom

    • Authors: Riley M. Neubauer
      Abstract: This paper discusses Robert Smalls’ daring escape to freedom on the morning of May 13, 1862. Smalls was an enslaved worker on the Confederate ship the Planter. Along with other enslaved members of the Planter’s crew, Smalls commandeered the ship and sailed past Confederate forts and ships in the Charleston Harbor until they reached the Union. I argue that the story of Robert Smalls validates arguments that enslaved people were not bystanders in the quest for emancipation; rather, the unique circumstances of the Civil War and the morning of May 13, 1862, allowed Smalls to enact his carefully created plan to seize his own freedom.
      PubDate: Tue, 30 May 2023 12:11:23 PDT
  • Letter from the Editors

    • Authors: Brandon Neely et al.
      PubDate: Tue, 30 May 2023 12:11:18 PDT
  • Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era 2023

    • PubDate: Tue, 30 May 2023 12:11:09 PDT
  • Pittsburgh's Explosive Mystery: A New Holistic Study of the Allegheny
           Arsenal Tragedy

    • Authors: Ethan J. Wagner
      Abstract: This research critically examines the issues surrounding the worst civilian disaster of the American Civil War, occurring on September 17, 1862 in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Here, seventy-eight teenage girls perished as the Allegheny Arsenal munitions laboratory exploded. Investigations in the disaster’s aftermath, and more recent analysis, have remained largely hesitant in placing chief blame as to its cause. Furthermore, for an event that would seem so significant, its story has inadequately been told. Given that the national spotlight was elsewhere at the time, as the Battle of Antietam was fought on the same day, existing literature has tended to focus almost exclusively on the events unfolding on the battlefield. However, a careful consideration presents the necessary prelude to the arsenal explosions, eyewitness testimony, and the aftermath, to ultimately consider what might have caused the disaster, who should be blamed, and critical background that has been previously overlooked.
      PubDate: Mon, 27 Jun 2022 13:01:22 PDT
  • Heaven Hung In Black: Grant’s Reputation and the Mistakes at Cold

    • Authors: Samantha J. Kramer
      Abstract: This article examines Ulysses S. Grant’s command of the Union army after receiving his commission as Lieutenant-General through analyzing his decisions both before and during the bloody battle of Cold Harbor. By examining the various factors leading to his tactical decisions, including the ever-looming threat of the upcoming presidential election, the article questions whether or not his reputation as a butcher of his own men is truly deserved. That he made mistakes is undeniable, but the mess of Cold Harbor was not solely his fault. Through the use of a variety of biographies and personal journals and memoirs, the article points out the perfect storm of mistakes both on Grant’s part and that of his commanders, the pressure being faced from higher up in the chain of command, the horrible weather and conditions of the army, and the fact that Lee simply took advantage of every opportunity he was presented with.
      PubDate: Mon, 27 Jun 2022 13:01:17 PDT
  • "Good Neighbourhood": Canada and the United States' Contentious
           Relationship During the Civil War

    • Authors: Michael R. D. Connolly
      Abstract: For the majority of the Civil War, Canadians were divided in their loyalties to the Union and to the South. However, in 1864, after years of sending agents and conspirators into Canada, the South became bolder in their affairs north of the border. These efforts culminated into two attacks, planned and executed from Canada by the South: The seizing of the Philo Parsons on Lake Erie on September 19, 1864; and the raid on St. Albans, Vermont, a month later, on October 19, 1864. These two attacks forced Canada and Great Britain to reassess their neutrality and, under pressure from the Union, Canada had to adopt more stringent neutrality laws. Canada also lost its nearly unfettered access to the much-needed American market when the Union cancelled the Reciprocity Treaty in early 1865.
      PubDate: Mon, 27 Jun 2022 13:01:12 PDT
  • Analyzing the Interpretation of the Civil War in Bluegrass Music

    • Authors: Carter W. Claiborne
      Abstract: While the Civil War has long fit well thematically within the existing bluegrass idiom, the way that bluegrass has approached the war over time has changed greatly. Despite bluegrass largely originating from areas with little enthusiasm for the Confederacy during the Civil War, and the genre not emphasizing partisan aspects of the war for several decades, several cultural changes culminated in the late 1960s to turn the genre on a heavily pro-Confederate tilt, with numerous songs in the early- to-mid 1970s glorifying the Confederate States of America and its leaders, while also emphasizing Lost Cause arguments. To see how this unexpected bias arrived in the music, this paper first investigates the way that proto bluegrass genres honored the Civil War, and then traces the impact of the popular folk music movement before finally looking at popular political movements and their impact on the topic.
      PubDate: Mon, 27 Jun 2022 13:01:07 PDT
  • Letter from the Editors

    • Authors: Christopher T. Lough et al.
      PubDate: Mon, 27 Jun 2022 13:01:02 PDT
  • Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era 2021

    • PubDate: Mon, 27 Jun 2022 13:00:54 PDT
  • “When This Cruel War Is Over”: The Blurring of the Confederate
           Battlefront and Homefront During the Civil War

    • Authors: Sophie Hammond
      Abstract: The line dividing the Confederate battlefront and homefront was always extremely blurred, and this blurring, though initially a source of strength, contributed significantly to the South losing the Civil War. While fighting the war, the Confederacy faced a terrible handicap which the Union did not: the vast majority of the war's battles happened on its own soil. At first, this situation galvanized Southerners. But as the war dragged on, concern for their families as well as the very real costs of war—Confederate soldiers were nearly three times as likely to die as Union soldiers—encouraged a total of around 103,000 Confederates to desert. And the Yankee waging of total war intensified the effects of the divisive Southern class structure and of the collapse of Confederate patriotism, compounding the dejection of the South. This paper explores Confederate psychological suffering at home—as told through letters, songs, memoirs, and Union military court records—in order to understand the demoralizing effects of total war and how they led to Union victory.
      PubDate: Tue, 07 Jul 2020 10:57:27 PDT
  • Frances Peter: A Loyal Woman of Kentucky

    • Authors: Erica Uszak
      Abstract: Frances Peter, a young epileptic woman, supported the Union in her divided town of Lexington, Kentucky. Although her family owned several slaves, she came to support the federal government’s emancipation policy and clearly distinguished her middle class Unionist family from the elite secessionist Southerners. She fiercely attacked the secessionist women in her community, criticizing them as hypocritical and unchristian. She took a more sympathetic tone in her view of Confederate troops, believing them to be uneducated, lower class men who had been duped by wealthy Southern politicians. Nevertheless, she condemned both groups for turning their backs on the Constitution, as she assumed an air of moral superiority in affirming her loyalty to the Union.
      PubDate: Tue, 07 Jul 2020 10:57:17 PDT
  • The Unspoken Demands of Slavery: The Exploitation of Female Slaves in the
           Memphis Slave Trade

    • Authors: Sarah W. Eiland
      Abstract: In the antebellum South, exploitation and mistreatment characterized the plight of the female slave. In Memphis, the story remained unchanged. The abusive and exploitative nature of the Memphis slave trade emerges through high prices for particular female slaves, the growth of the mulatto population, and the existence of mulatto children from certain prominent local figures. The survival of slavery depended upon the ability of the domestic slave population to sustain itself through the female slave population. This view of bondswomen as natural breeders and the accessibility of enslaved females in an urban setting, subjected them to sexual violence and exploitation. Higher average prices for young female slaves capable of having children, and higher prices for women with conventionally attractive qualities show that the price paid for a bondswoman can be used to infer the motives for buying her. Prominent men, including Nathan Bedford Forrest, left behind evidence of their exploitation of the women they owned in the children that resulted from the relationships. In Memphis between 1850 and 1860, in the most populous ward of the city, there was a 27% rise in the percent of the population considered Mulatto. A rise in the population of slaves of mixed race is the physical evidence of sexual relations occurring between slave women and the white men who owned them.
      PubDate: Tue, 07 Jul 2020 10:57:08 PDT
  • Robert Smalls and the Steamship Planter: Turning the Tides for the Union
           Military in the Civil War

    • Authors: William K. Donaldson
      Abstract: This paper addresses the accomplishments of the slave Robert Smalls and his absconding with the valuable Confederate steamship, the Planter, from the Charleston, South Carolina harbor in the early morning hours of May 13th, 1862. Smalls went on to become a pilot and eventual captain of ships for the Union contributing substantially to the Civil War effort. After the war, Smalls became a Congressman. Through his contributions, Robert Smalls left an indelible mark on the history of the United States.
      PubDate: Tue, 07 Jul 2020 10:56:58 PDT
  • "Some Personal Coloring." Examining the Falsehoods of Joshua Lawrence
           Chamberlain at Gettysburg

    • Authors: Hans G. Myers
      Abstract: An examination of the myths of the Battle of Gettysburg relating to Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the 20th Maine on Little Round Top. Examines the roots of several misconceptions relating to the fighting on Little Round Top on July 2, 1863.
      PubDate: Tue, 07 Jul 2020 10:56:49 PDT
  • Letter from the Editors

    • Authors: Cameron T. Sauers et al.
      PubDate: Tue, 07 Jul 2020 10:56:40 PDT
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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