The Home Front: 1861 to 1865

Fathers and Sons: Oliver Wendell Holmes

Were there any other oddities, or quirks, evident in the American character of the 1860s?

There were plenty. Writers of that time, and historians ever since, marveled at how the people—common, middle class, and upper—exposed themselves to the public in letters to the editor, songs, and poems. One thing that the Civil War was not known for was the belief that the end of the world was near. Perhaps this is because people of the 1860s faced such dire and serious things right on their doorstep. In any case, the literature about the end of the world is very sparse in the Civil War period.


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