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Digging Up the DeadA History of Notable American Reburials$
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Michael Kammen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226423296

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226423326.001.0001

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Honor, Dishonor, and Issues of Reputation

Honor, Dishonor, and Issues of Reputation

From Sectionalism to Nationalism

(p.83) Three Honor, Dishonor, and Issues of Reputation
Digging Up the Dead
University of Chicago Press

During the nineteenth century, Americans were quite often inclined to be more than sentimental about death, despite its prevalence, especially among young people. Survivors of the Civil War could not let this tragic event elapse from memory despite increasing calls toward the close of the century for sectional reconciliation, giving rise to pride of place and the growing significance of sectionalism and regionalism during much of the period. Reinterments became common because political and military leaders who died were buried either far from home or too far from the site where they became historically significant. By the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, however, nationalism began taking over sectionalism as the primary motive for exhumations and reburials. To compensate for death in the wrong locale, pride of place emerged as the shared motif or common theme for American heroes. Bestowing honor upon the deceased meant achieving symbolic laurels for America as a whole.

Keywords:   honor, sectionalism, nationalism, Civil War, pride of place, reinterments, heroes

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