The Spring 2014 ECWS Titles: “The Aftermath of Battle”

Layout 1Kathleen Logothetis Thompson has not only been a regular contributor to our blog, she has also contributed several appendices to previous volumes in the Emerging Civil War Series. With The Aftermath of Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead, she takes the helm of lead author.

“I am excited to be working on my first publication for the Emerging Civil War Series, particularly on a topic I have become passionate about,” Kathleen says:

The initial inspiration for this book developed out of my research on the Fredericksburg National Cemetery while I was working as a Historical Interpreter at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania NMP. I came to know the stories of many of the soldiers buried there and it saddened me that so many lay under stones that read “unknown.” I am writing this book not only to answer the questions that many visitors had asked me over the past few years, but also to give attention to the thousands of men who lost their identity through the process.

About The Aftermath of Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead:

The clash of armies in the American Civil War left hundreds of thousands of men dead, wounded, or permanently damaged. Skirmishes and battles could result in casualty numbers as low as one or two and as high as tens of thousands. The carnage of the battlefield left a lasting impression on those who experienced or viewed it, but in most cases the armies quickly moved on to meet again at another time and place. When the dust settled and the living armies moved on, what happened to the dead left behind?

Unlike battle narratives, The Aftermath of Battle picks up the story as the battle ends.

The burial of the dead was an overwhelming experience for the armies or communities forced to clean up after the destruction of battle. In the short-term action, bodies were hastily buried to avoid the stench and the horrific health concerns of massive death; in the long-term, families struggled to reclaim loved ones and properly reinter them in established cemeteries.

Visitors to a battlefield often wonder what happened to the dead once the battle was over. In this easy-to-read overview that will compliment any Civil War library, author Kathleen Thompson provides a look at the aftermath of battle and the process of burying the Civil War dead.

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