As Cody Marrs observes in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Long Civil War, the Civil War functions as a dividing line that organizes our field through literary histories, course structure, anthologies, hiring practices, and so on. And yet the literature of the war itself has traditionally been marginalized by period constructs such as the American Renaissance, transcendentalism, or realism—and by more recent critiques that maintain the ante- and post- division. This marginalization was theorized by Daniel Aaron’s The Unwritten War (1972), which posited a grand federal epic that never got written as writers in the North and South failed to respond substantially to the war’s meaning. Perhaps this marginalization is why Civil War literary studies have been especially amenable to interdisciplinary, expanded-canon, or multimedia approaches. The four books under review here are but a sampling of the field’s multivalent expansion since...

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