The War On The Battlefield

1726 Words Dec 8th, 2015 7 Pages
Wars aren’t fought in a vacuum, and those who study the Civil War should know this. While the Confederacy lost the war on the battlefield, a failure to exam the social and political climate before the first shot fired on Fort Sumter and the furling of the CSS Shenandoah’s Confederate Navy Ensign— the war’s final surrender— does not capture the war’s impact on the nation. Certainly, one can’t discuss a war and never mention a battle. The field’s foundation is in traditional military history, but I feel more comfortable discussing social history topics. When I began the semester, I felt I was staunchly in the social history camp. I wanted nothing to do with regiments, charges, and invasion routes. When I wrote the first paper on this same topic, I found myself moving more towards new military history, but my primary focus on social history. Now, I have changed my mind once more. When I started the semester, I tended to compartmentalize the three separate categories laid out by historian Earl J. Hess. But I felt that suggestions put forth by historians Gary W. Gallagher and Kathryn Meier to bring the groups together were commendable. Some of the works we read this semester found that intersection better than the others. I want to be a complete and well-rounded Civil War historian that works primarily in the field of social history. In an effort to demonstrate what type of Civil War historian I would be, I will examine each work we read this semester to discuss what I felt…
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