Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

A Visitation of God: Northern Civilians Interpret the Civil War

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

A Visitation of God: Northern Civilians Interpret the Civil War

Article excerpt

A Visitation of God: Northern Civilians Interpret the Civil War By Sean Scott. (New York, Oxford University Press, 2011, Pp. ix, 347. $74.00.)

In compiling this book, Sean Scott has consulted over a hundred collections of letters and papers in thirty-two different archives, looked through the files of over forty newspapers, read at least sixty sermons and discourses delivered by clergy of various persuasions, and consulted a great many primary and secondary sources. He shows us a great many trees; the challenge is always to discern the shape of the forest. The title promises both more and less than is actually delivered. Scott's focus is not, in fact, on "Northern Civilians" but on residents of the seven upper mid-western states of Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. He rejected more accurate terminology, he tells us, as too "cumbersome" or "befuddling ... for a twenty-first century audience" (7). On the other hand, the "Northern civilians" limitation proves cumbersome to Scott who, almost inevitably, gives us from time to time the views of soldiers and southern civilians. Further, Scott tells us in the Preface that "this study primarily focuses on members of evangelical Protestant denominations because their opinions abound in the available documentary record" (7). But are the most available views also the most typical? He himself, he notes, is of the evangelical tradition and understands the church to be "an apolitical institution, established for the purpose of preparing believers for the world to come" (8). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.