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Hoosier Voices NOW

Funding support provided by the Indiana Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Friends of the Indiana State Archives.

Hoosier Voices Now will consist of essays published on the Internet, and written by scholars of Civil War and Indiana history. The essays will outline the important issues and themes in the era of the Civil War, from its antecedents to its aftermath, focused on the experience of Indiana’s people. At the core will be five essays which will highlight the main threads of current scholarship and historical interpretation of the Civil War. Each essay will be about 3000-5000 words in length, and have a short bibliography for further reading.

The five core essay topics are:

  1. A social/economic analysis of Indiana in the Civil War-era, with a focus on how the war affected people’s lives, including assessments of agriculture and industry, race and gender issues, and children.

  2. The politics of slavery in Indiana leading up to the war, from roughly the 1850s to the secession crisis.  This essay will include analysis of the social/cultural basis of the politics of slavery in Indiana.

  3. Indiana politics during the Civil War, focusing on the politics of the war and the battle between Republican Governor Oliver P. Morton and the Democratic opposition who controlled the Indiana General Assembly during part of the war. War-time dissent, disloyalty and conspiracy, opposition to President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and other matters will be addressed.

  4. Life on the front lines for Indiana soldiers, and an overview of the important U.S. Army campaigns in which Indiana soldiers fought. The political and ideological motivations of Indiana’s soldiers will be addressed as a way to show why Indiana soldiers fought and for what they believed they fought.

  5. The legacy of the Civil War in Indiana, showing the changes in Indiana’s society, politics, and way of life brought about by the people’s experience of war.  Issues of race and gender, economic growth, veterans’ issues and the rise of the pension system, and post-war politics will be addressed.

In addition to these five core essays, a number of shorter essays are planned. These essays will be hyperlinked to the core essays where appropriate, allowing a reader to find detailed information on subjects in question. The essays, 500-1000 words in length, will be written by experienced historians and will cover a range of specific subjects and issues, including short biographies of important figures, analyses of specific events or types of events that occurred during the period, histories of institutions, organizations, and groups that played significant roles in Indiana society.

The purpose of Hoosier Voices Now is to provide strong new historical resources that explore Indiana’s participation in the Civil War and its effects on Indiana’s people. These resources will be created for the website by selected scholars based on solid research and placed in context for use by the expected general audiences. The resources are expected to provide the basis for thoughtful public programming as well as learning materials for teachers at all levels.