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War StoriesSuffering and Sacrifice in the Civil War North$
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Frances M. Clarke

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226108629

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226108643.001.0001

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Heroic Martyrs

Heroic Martyrs

Chapter:
(p.28) 2 Heroic Martyrs
Source:
War Stories
Author(s):

Frances M. Clarke

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226108643.003.0003

This chapter examines the stories of heroic martyrs in the American Civil War, focusing on the case of Nathaniel Bowditch who enlisted in the First Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment as a second lieutenant. It discusses the efforts of Bowditch's father to work on eight elaborate memorials dedicated to his son's memory and how his work transformed his son into a heroic martyr whose behavior galvanized comrades and whose story inspired listeners by evoking their better natures. This chapter analyzes why Bowditch's tale become one of heroic martyrdom and why other Northerners who lost relatives in the war choose to repeat similar tales.

Keywords:   heroic martyrs, American Civil War, Nathaniel Bowditch, memorials, Northerners

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