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Remembrance and Reconciliation

Mary Shellman placing a flag and flowers on the grave of a Union soldier in Westminster, c.1890  (Historical Society of Carroll County)From the first commemorative activities of the wartime generation to the present day, the legacy of the Civil War continues to reflect the enduring power of both “history,” an intellectual endeavor that prizes critical thinking and seeks objective truth, and “memory,” which rests on emotion rather than reason and is often subjective, sanitizing, and selective. As later generations viewed the war through these two very different sets of lenses, the efforts to remember those who participated often stirred controversy along with commemoration.

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Civil War Stories: Antietam Cemetery and the Problem of Lee’s Rock