1st Edition

The Civil War Soldier and the Press

Edited By Katrina J. Quinn, David B. Sachsman Copyright 2023
    272 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Civil War Soldier and the Press examines how the press powerfully shaped the nation’s understanding and memory of the common soldier, setting the stage for today’s continuing debates about the Civil War and its legacy.

    The history of the Civil War is typically one of military strategies, famous generals, and bloody battles, but to Americans of the era, the most important story of the war was the fate of the soldier. In this edited collection, new research in journalism history and archival images provide an interdisciplinary study of citizenship, representation, race and ethnicity, gender, disability, death, and national identity. Together, these chapters follow the story of Civil War soldiers, from enlistment through battle and beyond, as they were represented in hometown and national newspapers of the time. In discussing the same pages that were read by soldiers’ families, friends, and loved ones during America’s greatest conflict, the book provides a window into the experience of historical readers as they grappled with the meaning and cost of patriotism and shared sacrifice.

    Both scholarly and approachable, this book is an enriching resource for undergraduate and graduate courses in Civil War history, American history, journalism, and mass communication history.

    Introduction: Seeking the Soldier in the Civil War Press

    Katrina J. Quinn

    Part 1: Introducing the Civil War Soldier

    1. Covering "Our Boys": Introducing the Heroic Soldier in the Civil War Press, 1861–1862

    Katrina J. Quinn

    2. Picturing Union Soldiers of the Civil War in the Illustrated Press

    William E. Huntzicker

    3. "Army letters of general interest will always find a place in our columns": Soldiers’ Letters to Ohio Newspapers during the Civil War

    Stephen E. Towne

    4. Soldiers on the Home Front: The Press Reports the Changing Roles of Women During the Civil War

    Jennifer E. Moore

    5. Civil War Conscription in the Pages of Federal and Confederate Newspapers in 1863

    Thomas C. Terry and Donald L. Shaw

    Part 2: Reporting the Soldier at War

    6. Die Deutsche Sicht: How Germans Viewed Themselves through the Press during the American Civil War

    Anthony J. Cade II

    7. The Irish American Union Soldier in the Press and Popular Memory

    Craig A. Warren

    8. "He Has Earned the Right of Citizenship": Portraits of the African American Soldier in the Civil War Press

    Valerie Kasper

    9. Duty, Honor, Manhood, and Nationalism: Portrayals of Texas’s Civil War Soldiers

    Mary M. Cronin

    10. Mexican American Combatants in the Civil War Press

    Michael Fuhlhage

    11. The Popular Press and the Personal Experiences of Civil War Prisoners

    Angela M. Zombek

    Part 3: Commemorating and Remembering the Civil War Soldier

    12. "Sacrificed Upon the Altar of His Country": Soldiers’ Obituaries During the Civil War

    James M. Scythes

    13. "The Spectacle is a Sad One": The Disabled Civil War Soldier in the Nineteenth-Century American Press

    Ieva Padgett

    14. The Century Magazine and Memory of the American Civil War

    Crompton B. Burton

    15. Nineteenth-Century Press Coverage of Memorials to the Common Civil War Soldier

    Debra Reddin van Tuyll


    Katrina J. Quinn, Ph.D., is chair of the Strategic Communication and Media Department at Slippery Rock University. A 2019 Hazel Dicken-Garcia Distinguished Scholar of Journalism History, Dr. Quinn has published on topics such as nineteenth-century political reporting, the Civil War press, sensationalism, narrative, and journalism of the American frontier.

    David B. Sachsman, Ph.D., held the George R. West, Jr. Chair of Excellence in Communication and Public Affairs at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he served as director of the annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression for nearly 30 years.