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New MenReconstructing the Image of the Veteran in Late-Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture$
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John Casey

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265398

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265398.001.0001

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Demobilization, Disability, and the Competing Imagery of the Wounded Warrior and the Citizen-Soldier

Demobilization, Disability, and the Competing Imagery of the Wounded Warrior and the Citizen-Soldier

Chapter:
(p.17) 1 Demobilization, Disability, and the Competing Imagery of the Wounded Warrior and the Citizen-Soldier
Source:
New Men
Author(s):

John A Casey

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823265398.003.0001

In this chapter army demobilization and the civilian response to returning soldiers are examined. Veterans wanted to believe they would easily reintegrate into peacetime life. Civilians were anxious that returning soldiers would become a destabilizing force. These themes appear in popular images and fiction from the early postwar period. Winslow Homer’s engraving “Our Watering Places—The Empty Sleeve at Newport” serves as an example of the wounded warrior image preferred by the civilian populace. Veterans responded to this image in a variety of ways. Union veteran John William De Forest in his novel Miss Ravenel’s Conversion hoped to reaffirm the prewar citizen-soldier ideal. Confederate veteran Sidney Lanier sought in his novel Tiger Lilies for a pure emotion that would unite soldiers and civilians without reference to duty or pity. Both resisted the idea that war had disabled them for life during peacetime.

Keywords:   Demobilization, Soldiers, Empty Sleeve, Citizen Soldier, John William De Forest, Sidney Lanier, Winslow Homer

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