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Additional Information. Civil War Humor Cameron C. Nickels examines the various forms of comedic popular artifacts produced in America from to , and looks at how wartime humor was created, disseminated, and received by both sides of the conflict. Song lyrics, newspaper columns, sheet music covers, illustrations, political cartoons, fiction, light verse, paper dolls, printed envelopes, and penny dreadfuls--from and for the Union and the Confederacy--are analyzed at length.
Civil War humor
Nickels argues that the war coincided with the rise of inexpensive mass printing in the United States and thus subsequently with the rise of the country's widely distributed popular culture. As such, the war was as much a "paper war"--involving the use of publications to disseminate propaganda and ideas about the Union and the Confederacy's positions--as one taking place on battlefields. McLeary was frequently injured and suffered the pain of walking and riding with severe ankle sprains.
Toward the end of the war he contracted a prolonged illness that may have been caused by malnutrition. Unable to continue with his regiment and too sick to walk, McLeary recovered at the home of some Alabama relatives. The narrative ends abruptly after an account of his recovery. Appended to the narrative are brief endorsement statements by members of the Daughters of the Confederacy who had encouraged McLeary to publish his wartime stories for them.
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Humorous Incidents features four photographs of A. Rather than view this as a life anomaly, think of it as healthy escapism. So it should not surprise you to find humor sprinkled among the columns of Civil War newspapers from Despite the bloodshed and sorrow caused by the war, there was still laughter to lighten the load.
Humorous stories can be used to make strong points. One such story was used by Arthur Gilman during a lecture he gave on therapy using electricity, as reported by an Massachusetts newspaper:.
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In illustration of this point, he related an anecdote of an old lady in Concord who had been doctored with electricity. This agent she had tried in various ways and for a long time.
Civil War Humor
Narratives, such as this one about a schoolmaster, illustrate life in the past. Housing the teacher was a common practice, even if some found it an inconvenience. Attitudes of the time spread into humor — even ones about patriotism.
Notice how this jokester referred to how our forefathers fought, bled and died for their country. Some narratives, such as this one from an Pennsylvania newspaper, remind us about aspects of everyday life that have been forgotten.
Humor - Civil War Era
A drunken fellow got out of his calculation, and was dozing in the street, when the bells roused him by their ringing for fire. As could be expected, opposing sides took punches at each other during the war. Did any of your ancestors serve in the Civil War? Please share your stories with us in the comments.