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This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust
With This Republic of Suffering, Drew Gilpin Faust examines the material, political, intellectual, and spiritual impact of the 620,000 men killed during the Civil War. Many battlefields were littered with thousands, if not tens of thousands, of stinking, bloated corpses. It was a challenge to embalm or bury the dead, and nearly half of them were left unidentified. Officer's corpses were often shipped back to their families, but enlisted men were buried quickly. There were no military graves registration or national cemeteries. Men charged into battle hoping their souls were prepared for death. Resulting diseases, shortages, and loss of so many men from different communities plagued civilians on both sides of the war. This Republic of Suffering has received positive reviews with the Rocky Mountain News saying, "So much has been written about the Civil War that it's a surprise to find a subject that hasn't been exhausted. This Republic of Suffering makes you think about the Civil War in a completely different way."