There is no animosity in any of these historical or practical interpretations of the Civil War. It is clear that the North fought for purposes entirely good--for Union and the end of slavery--but Confederate soldiers also win respect for their bravery, their devotion, and their struggle against long odds. They seem to have been playing historical roles for which they are not to blame. The reenactors, the books in stores, and the battlefield tours generally avoid talking about the cause of the war, focusing instead on the common bravery and hardships of soldiers North and South.

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Copyright © 1998 Cornell University Press. All rights reserved. Permission granted by Cornell University Press. This book chapter first appeared in Moral Problems in American Life: New Perspectives on Cultural History.

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