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Grant number: FZ-250584-17

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FZ-250584-17

Adam Goodheart
Washington College (Chestertown, MD 21620-1197)

1865: The Rebirth of a Nation

A history of the Civil War’s end that begins where others stop. The Confederacy surrenders and Lincoln dies on the very first page; the rest of 1865 draws on largely overlooked episodes of that year to bring to life emerging conflicts over what kind of America the victors and the vanquished would build amid the rubble.

A narrative history of the year in which the Civil War ended and a new conflict immediately began: the struggle over the war’s impact, legacy, and meaning. Many histories of the Civil War’s end exist, but this one begins where nearly all the others stop. The Confederacy surrenders and Lincoln dies on the very first page; the rest of “1865” tells the story of what followed. What kind of nation would the victors and the vanquished build amid the rubble? Would it be a reconstructed version of the one shattered in 1861, or rather – for better or worse – a new version of the American experiment? As with most civil wars, victory and defeat seemed intertwined. The ensuing struggle over redefinition engaged nearly all Americans: Northerners and Southerners; men and women; radicals and conservatives; tycoons and immigrants; African Americans, whites, and Natives. “1865,” which uses collage-like techniques to evoke the past, is a pendant to my 2011 book “1861: The Civil War Awakening.”

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Public Scholar Program

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$43,050 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 12/31/2017