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Article by Dr. Owen Elmore on Civil War Narrative Published

Released: 11/11/2009

An article by Dr. Owen Elmore, associate professor of English at LSU Alexandria, on Civil War narrative has been published in Crossroads: A Southern Culture Annual 2009. The public journal, published by Mercer University Press, is dedicated to interdisciplinary study and artistic appreciation of the South and its culture on such topics as language, literature, art, music, food, religion, race, gender and politics.

Elmore’s article, “At Play in the Fields of War: Southern Literature, Memorial Art,” deals with narrative written by those who lived the Civil War and those in the next generation who revised and interpreted the writing. Special emphasis is given to the stark Civil War memoir Co. Aytch by Sam R. Watkins, who fashioned a classic account of his four years as a soldier. Watkins’ book, published in 1882, was used extensively as a resource in the acclaimed Civil War documentary by Ken Burns on PBS.

Elmore said his article examines how individuals described war and how society translated those memories into “a palatable, honorable tradition, which, in effect, defines war as we wish to remember it.” Elmore spoke on a similar topic at one of the university’s Cavanaugh Public Lectures last year.

Crossroads: A Southern Culture Annual is available at and