Wednesday, August 10, 2022

When a Book Won't Let Go

Two weeks after finishing it, and I’m still thinking about Hearts Torn Asunder: Trauma in the Civil War’s Final Campaign in North Carolina by Ernest Dollar Jr. (See my review last week.)  

When I read it, I expected to read about the final convulsive moments of the surrender of the Confederate armies and the immediate aftermath. And that’s the thumbnail description. But it’s about a lot more.


It’s the story of the civilians in north central North Carolina, roughly Raleigh to Greensboro, who found themselves in the path of two defeated armies and one victorious one.


It’s the story of the soldiers in those armies, who had to live with what we know today as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. One thing you don’t read in the general histories of the Civil War period in the rather startling increase in soldier suicides and commitments to insane asylums in the years and decades after the war.


To continue reading, please see my post today at Dancing Priest.


Photograph: My great-grandfather, Samuel Franklin Young, and my great-grandmother, Octavia Montgomery Young. 

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