The Civil War in Memory: 1877 to 2013

The Civil War in Memory: 1877 to 2013

Was there any point at which the Civil War suddenly became “old news”?

It took a long time for that to happen. Even at the beginning of the Spanish-American War, the newspapers made much of the fact that this new conflict would have the happy side effect of reconciling the North and the South. Much was made of the fact that Joseph Wheeler, a major-general of Confederate cavalry, served in the Spanish-American War. Therefore, even when one turned the corner to the new, twentieth century, the Civil War remained strong in people’s minds. The White House was occupied by men—Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson—whose childhoods had been affected by the Civil War. It took, therefore, until roughly 1920 for the Civil War to really fade into the background.

The Grand Army of the Republic holds a march in Detroit, Michigan, in this 1914 photo.


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