ECW Series: “The Aftermath of Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead” by Meg Thompson

Layout 1The Aftermath of Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead
by Meg Thompson

Spring 2015
ISBN: 978-1-61121-189-4
Savas Beatie

“What did they do with all the bodies after the battle?”

It’s one of the most common questions battlefield visitors ask. And, although they perhaps don’t realize it, it’s also one of the most sublime.

The answer is one of the most complicated stories of the entire Civil War: how armies on both sides learned to deal with death in its realest sense.

The scale of the slaughter was unfathomable. The logistics of clean-up unprecedented. The work itself grisly. The learning curve was shocking and intense—and heartbreaking.

The Aftermath of Battle begins when the stories of the battles end. It tells of shocked armies and overwhelmed communities dealing with thousands of dead . . . families struggling to retrieve the remains of lost loved ones . . . a government trying to collect and reinter its fallen sons.

This is not just the story of a nation’s attempt to come to grips with wholesale death—this is death up-close and all-too personal. This is the story of bodies strewn across the battlefield in the hot summer sun—and the urgent need to do something about it.


Meg Thompson is a contributing historian for Emerging Civil War whose work has been featured on C-SPAN. A writer, teacher, and curriculum developer since 1987, she has taught at both the elementary and middle school levels for over thirty years. She graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a B.A. in liberal studies and has been involved in continuing education for her entire career; she is currently a master’s candidate at American Public University, majoring in military history with a Civil War emphasis. She lives in Hollister, California, in a lovely 1928 bungalow covered with roses outside and books inside.

5 Responses to ECW Series: “The Aftermath of Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead” by Meg Thompson

  1. Ray says:

    I ordered this book on Amazon before Christmas and the delivery date keeps getting pushed back… January, then March, now May. Does anyone know what’s going on with the release of the book?

    • Hi, Ray —

      We apologize for the delays, but hopefully the wait will be worth it. As Meg was working on the book, she kept digging up great stories, so we gave her the green light to expand the book a little in order to accommodate. We think readers will be pleased with what she came up with! The book is now in production, so look for it later this spring for sure!

  2. Pingback: Symposium Preview: Meg Thompson and “The Legacy of Caring” | Emerging Civil War

  3. Any update on this book… ordered it awhile ago and to be honest, if it isn’t coming out soon (like in the next month) that money would be better allocated somewhere else.


  4. Robert Clifton says:

    Grisly to say the least!

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