Sept. 24-30, 1999
Study of staff morale shows respect is key
Managers build strong relationships with employees
VA 2020 Science and Technology Planning Commission to hold workshops Sept. 23-25

NEH recognizes two U.Va. web sites

Women's Club entertains Virginia 2020 themes
Q&A - Dean Sondra Stallard on a mission
After Hours - Couple spends weekends horsing around
Housekeepers honored at picnic
Hot Links - Intramural-Recreational Sports
Stephen Cushman publishes narrative on Civil War battle
Woodson Institute fellows announced

In Memoriam

Sounds of Indian flute to fill Old Cabell Hall on Oct. 2

Poet and critic Stephen Cushman publishes narrative on Civil War battle

Staff Report

Histories, films, novels and reenactments all try to tell or show us what happened. But how can we fully comprehend the elusive and many-sided meanings of the Civil War in American life?

In Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle, published this month by the University Press of Virginia, English professor Stephen Cushman examines a single famous battle, The Wilderness, as if through the many angles of a prism to try to understand the Civil War and its larger meanings today.

In doing so, he looks at how others have seen this horrific Virginia battle and gives a sweeping account that pulls in eyewitnesses, contemporary newspapers and magazines, memoirs by participants, studies by historians, and the views of fiction writers, poets and even today's reenactors.

Cushman, who says he has been obsessed with the war's complexity for much of his life, lives 50 miles south of the battlefield, where, on May 5 and 6, 1864, the Union and Confederate armies under Grant and Lee met near an unfinished railroad in central Virignia. The battle is remembered for its brutality and ultimate futility, with 26,000 casualties on both sides.

Cushman's personal narrative is not another history of the battle. "If this book is a history of anything," he writes, "it's the history of verbal and visual images of a single particularly awful moment in the American Civil War."

Writing in an informal first-person style, he traces his own fascination with the war to a single book, a pictorial history he read as a boy. He shows how the war has had a continuing grip on Americans, in novels from The Red Badge of Courage to the recent Cold Mountain, and in films, songs, poems and paintings.

With maps and a brief discussion of the battle for those not familiar with it, Bloody Promenade is a unique combination of memoir and cultural criticism.


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