The Gentlemen and the Roughs

The Gentlemen and the Roughs

Violence, Honor, and Manhood in the Union Army

by Lorien Foote

Published by: NYU Press

252 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in

  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781479897841
  • Published: June 2013


  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9780814727904
  • Published: June 2010



Finalist for the 2011 Gilder
Lehrman Lincoln Prize

"A seminal work. . . . One of
the best examples of new, sophisticated scholarship on the social history of
Civil War soldiers."

—The Journal of Southern History

“Will undoubtedly, and properly, be
read as the latest word on the role of manhood in the internal dynamics of the
Union army."

—Journal of the Civil War Era

During the Civil War, the Union
army appeared cohesive enough to withstand four years of grueling war against
the Confederates and to claim victory in 1865. But fractiousness bubbled below
the surface of the North’s presumably united front. Internal fissures were rife
within the Union army: class divisions, regional antagonisms, ideological
differences, and conflicting personalities all distracted the army from
quelling the Southern rebellion.

In this highly original
contribution to Civil War and gender history, Lorien Foote reveals that these internal
battles were fought against the backdrop of manhood. Clashing ideals of
manliness produced myriad conflicts, as when educated, refined, and wealthy
officers (“gentlemen”) found themselves commanding a hard-drinking group of
fighters (“roughs”)—a dynamic that often resulted in violence and even death. Based
on extensive research into heretofore ignored primary sources, The Gentlemen and the Roughs uncovers
holes in our understanding of the men who fought the Civil War and the society
that produced them.