In recent years, the intersection of religion and the American Civil War has been the focus of a growing area of scholarship. However, primary sources on this subject are housed in many different archives and libraries scattered across the U.S., and are often difficult to find. The Routledge Sourcebook of Religion and the American Civil War collects these sources into a single convenient volume, the most comprehensive collection of primary source material on religion and the Civil War ever brought together.
With chapters organized both chronologically and thematically, and highlighting the experiences of soldiers, women, African Americans, chaplains, clergy, and civilians, this sourcebook provides a rich array of resources for scholars and students that highlights how religion was woven throughout the events of the war. Sources collected here include:
• Song lyrics
• Newspaper articles
• Diary entries
• Excerpts from books and memoirs
• Artwork and photographs
Introductions by the editor accompany each chapter and individual document, contextualizing the sources and showing how they relate to the overall picture of religion and the war. Beginning students of American history and seasoned scholars of the Civil War alike will greatly benefit from having easy access to the full texts of original documents that illustrate the vital role of religion in the country’s most critical conflict.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – From the Election through Secession: November 1860 to June 1861
A CLOSER LOOK: AFRICAN AMERICANS
Chapter 2 – From First Manassas/Bull Run to the Ironclads: July 1861 to March 1862
A CLOSER LOOK: ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY
Chapter 3 – From Shiloh to Emancipation: April to September 1862
A CLOSER LOOK: WOMEN
Chapter 4 – From Corinth to Vicksburg: October 1862 to April 1863
A CLOSER LOOK: SERMONS
Chapter 5 – From Chancellorsville to Stalemate: May to December 1863
A CLOSER LOOK: BOOKS
Chapter 6 – From Stalemate to Crater: January to August 1864
A CLOSER LOOK: POETRY
Chapter 7 – From Atlanta to Abolition: September 1864 to February 1865
A CLOSER LOOK: CHAPLAINS
Chapter 8 - From Expectations to Hope for Reconciliation
A CLOSER LOOK: MUSIC
Robert R. Mathisen is Professor of History and Political Science at Corban University. He is the editor of The Role of Religion in American Life: An Interpretive Historical Anthology and Critical Issues in American Religious History.
"Robert Mathisen has compiled an absolutely superb and remarkably comprehensive collection of documents. The Routledge Sourcebook of Religion and the American Civil War at once becomes the indispensable volume for both scholars and students interested in exploring the vitally important role of religion in the nation’s greatest crisis. It is far and away the best collection of primary sources on Civil War religion in a single volume."
—George C. Rable, author of God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War
"This is a most welcome compilation of a sweeping range of documents – sermons, prayers, addresses, letters, songs, poetry, memoirs, other reflections – that encompass how Americans conceived of the Civil War through religious language and imagery. The volume should immediately find its way into classrooms across the country."
—Paul Harvey, author of Freedom’s Coming: Religious Culture and the Shaping of the South from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Era
"Robert Mathisen has gathered a superb collection of representative documents to demonstrate the pervasive presence of religion in nearly every aspect of the Civil War. This outstanding resource by no means shows that Americans agreed on the religious meaning of the conflict. It does demonstrate conclusively that Americans of all kinds brought religious perspectives to bear on the great national struggle. This very full sourcebook should delight ordinary readers as much as it will serve professional historians. It is a rare and invaluable treasure."
—Mark A. Noll, author of The Civil War as a Theological Crisis