Memories Of War: Visiting Battlegrounds And Bonefields In The Early American Republic by Thomas A. ChambersMemories Of War: Visiting Battlegrounds And Bonefields In The Early American Republic by Thomas A. Chambers

Memories Of War: Visiting Battlegrounds And Bonefields In The Early American Republic

byThomas A. Chambers

Hardcover | October 16, 2012

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Even in the midst of the Civil War, its battlefields were being dedicated as hallowed ground. Today, those sites are among the most visited places in the United States. In contrast, the battlegrounds of the Revolutionary War had seemingly been forgotten in the aftermath of the conflict in which the nation forged its independence. Decades after the signing of the Constitution, the battlefields of Yorktown, Saratoga, Fort Moultrie, Ticonderoga, Guilford Courthouse, Kings Mountain, and Cowpens, among others, were unmarked except for crumbling forts and overgrown ramparts. Not until the late 1820s did Americans begin to recognize the importance of these places.

In Memories of War, Thomas A. Chambers recounts America's rediscovery of its early national history through the rise of battlefield tourism in the first half of the nineteenth century. Travelers in this period, Chambers finds, wanted more than recitations of regimental movements when they visited battlefields; they desired experiences that evoked strong emotions and leant meaning to the bleached bones and decaying fortifications of a past age. Chambers traces this impulse through efforts to commemorate Braddock's Field and Ticonderoga, the cultivated landscapes masking the violent past of the Hudson River valley, the overgrown ramparts of Southern war sites, and the scenic vistas at War of 1812 battlefields along the Niagara River. Describing a progression from neglect to the Romantic embrace of the landscape and then to ritualized remembrance, Chambers brings his narrative up to the beginning of the Civil War, during and after which the memorialization of such sites became routine, assuming significant political and cultural power in the American imagination.

Thomas A. Chambers is Associate Professor of History at Niagara University. He is the author of Drinking the Waters: Creating an American Leisure Class at Nineteenth Century Mineral Springs.
Title:Memories Of War: Visiting Battlegrounds And Bonefields In The Early American RepublicFormat:HardcoverDimensions:232 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.39 inPublished:October 16, 2012Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801448670

ISBN - 13:9780801448676

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Table of Contents


Introduction. Yorktown's Centennial: The Changing Nature of Battlefield Tourism and Commemoration

Chapter 1. Accidental Tourists: The Bonefields of Braddock’s Defeat and Ticonderoga

Chapter 2. Forsaken Graves: The Emergence of Memory on the Northern Tour

Chapter 3. Retrieved Relics and New Monuments: Lafayette in Yorktown

Chapter 4. Memory without Tourism: Traces of the Southern Campaigns

Chapter 5. American Antiquities Are So Rare: Remembering the War of 1812 on the Niagara Frontier

Chapter 6. The Value of Union: Antebellum Commemoration and the Coming of the Civil War


Editorial Reviews

"This fascinating study is ideal reading for the ongoing sesquicentennial of the Civil War and bicentennial of the War of 1812. It offers a close examination of just how overgrown fields and crumbling fortresses came to be reclaimed as objects worthy of preservation and visitation."—Anthony Paletta, The Weekly Standard (25 February 2013)