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Gettysburg College

2019

Public History

James Murray

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Full-Text Articles in History

To Remake A Man: Disability And The Civil War, Cameron T. Sauers Apr 2019

To Remake A Man: Disability And The Civil War, Cameron T. Sauers

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

With a disability certificate and discharge from the military in hand, disabled citizens who had not long previously been abled bodied servicemen went through a period of emasculation followed by a return to waged labor which redeemed their sacrifice. These disability certificates were issued in large quantities by the sprawling northern bureaucratic machines created by the Civil War. The above-pictured certificate, issued to James Murray of the 56th New York, discharged Murray from service because, according to his regimental surgeon, he would “never be able to discharge his duty as a soldier.” Murray stood 5’8″ when he re-enlisted for ...