“If you will go with me outside the lines:” Manhood and Honor in the Civil War Union Brown Bag Lunch Lecture – Old State House Museum November 16, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
*** Guests are invited to bring a sack lunch; beverages will be provided. Admission is free.
During the Civil War, citizens of the Union believed that they could only achieve victory over the Confederacy if their soldiers exhibited the highest qualities of manhood. But men’s experience in the Union Army revealed social conflict over the very nature of manliness. This was particularly true when it came to the display of honor. Contrary to current perceptions, many northern men in the Civil War adhered to honor. During the Civil War, Union soldiers and officers engaged in affairs of honor that shared similar language and rituals and that often ended in challenges to duels. The public and army officials often supported these affairs as evidence of the honorable manhood necessary for a successful prosecution of the war. At the same time, other northerners equated honor with violence and sought to stamp it out. They believed that honor undermined the manly qualities necessary for victory. The conflict over manhood and honor generated severe disciplinary problems for the Union Army.
Lorien Foote is Associate Professor of History at the University of Central Arkansas. She received her B.A. from the University of Kansas and a PhD from the University of Oklahoma. She has published two books, the most recent The Gentlemen and the Roughs: Manhood, Honor, and Violence in the Union Army. She was the 2010 winner of the UCA Teaching Excellence Award.