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American FatherhoodA History$
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Jürgen Martschukat

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479892273

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479892273.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 14 June 2021

Being a Father and a Soldier in the Civil War, 1861–1865

Being a Father and a Soldier in the Civil War, 1861–1865

Chapter:
(p.81) 5 Being a Father and a Soldier in the Civil War, 1861–1865
Source:
American Fatherhood
Author(s):

Jürgen Martschukat

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479892273.003.0006

The fifth chapter depicts the conflicting demands addressed to young men as family fathers on the one hand and as citizen-soldiers on the other hand. It discusses the Civil War and its effects on fathers, mothers, and family life through close readings of the diary and letters of Confederate soldier John C. West, who saw himself as fighting this war for his family and his country. While West was scared to death by the bloody battles and the fierce fighting of the Civil War, he nevertheless romanticized the war as a struggle for southern family life and patriarchal masculinity in his diary and letters. He portrayed his service in the Confederate Army as fulfilment of his masculinity in the name of white womanhood, southern culture, and family life, a message he sought to send to his wife and, in particular, to his four-year-old son back home.

Keywords:   Civil War, Confederacy, letters, memoir

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