What counted as proper and appropriate action to usher the dead from the land of the living in an earlier time often proved impossible during the conflict, though in some cases efforts were made to treat the dead with a dignity that evoked prewar sensibilities.In both the Union and Confederate armies, soldiers attempted to provide some kind of burial for fallen comrades who perished during a battle, even if this meant simply covering bodies with dirt, or placing the dead in common graves.In the midst of war, unorthodox views on death and the dead body emerged out of the entirely unparalleled experience with human violence, suffering, and mortality in U. The Civil War forced Americans to reconsider what counts as appropriate treatment of the dead, as well as to reconceptualize the symbolic meanings of the dead body.The confrontation, with brutally slaughtered masses of bodies or hopelessly diseased soldiers dying in hospitals or camps, upset conventional patterns of disposal, as well as established attitudes about communal duties, religious rituals, and personal respect in the face of death.
First and foremost, this conflict produced more deaths than any other war in U. World War II is the only other major conflict that comes close to this number, when over 400,000 individuals died in battles across the ocean.
During the war years, death was a pervasive element of social life in both the northern and southern sections of the country.
Up until the war, Americans were quite familiar with the presence of death, intimate with its consequences in their own homes and local communities.
The details of burial depended on a variety of circumstances, including which side won a particular battle, and which unit was assigned burial duty.
Victors had the luxury of attending to their own dead with more care and attention, if time permitted.