Lesley J. Gordon holds the Charles G. Summersell Chair of Southern History at the University of Alabama. A former editor of Civil War History, she is the author of General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend (1998) and A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut’s Civil War (2014) and a coeditor of Inside the Confederate Nation: Essays in Honor of Emory M. Thomas (2005) and This Terrible War: The Civil War and its Aftermath (3rd edition, 2014). She is currently at work on a book manuscript entitled "Battlefield Cowardice: Violence and Memory in the American Civil War."
It is only relatively recently that scholars have begun to study and consider Civil War veterans on their own terms—separately or tied directly to the soldier experience. We are starting to understand better the uneven process of readjustment and how those experiences varied by region, class, race or ethnicity (or even army). This lecture highlights the spectrum of experience veterans endured, emphasizing the complex and often strained relationship between these men and their postwar families and communities.