ABSTRACT: "Scholars of soldiers," writes Aaron Charles Sheehan-Dean, "share a methodology that builds from the experience of common people to explain larger patterns of historical change."1 By illuminating the individual citizen soldier of the Union army, this public history project endeavors to provide insight into how they endured and won the Civil War. Historians often focus on the broad political and military actions and those who led those actions but individual experiences "could lead to a heightened appreciation of the country's collective experience."2 No political action could have succeeded without the their support. No military action could have been successful without them. Examining details of their experience can provide greater insight into the success or failure of battles and the war.
1 Aaron Sheehan-Dean, The View From the Ground: Experiences of Civil War Soldiers (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, 2006), 2, accessed April 19, 2021, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/apus/detail.action?docID=792188.
2 Robert E. Bonner, The Soldier's Pen: Firsthand Impressions of the Civil War, 1st ed. (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006), 6.
Special thanks to Anna, Miles, Ben, and Rachel Watts for their assistance in the creation of this video. The majority of the content was shot on location at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles, IL. All uniform and equipment shown are replicas, except where noted in footnotes.
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