Civil War - what do you think? : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I'm out of school but could do my own homework, thank you.

Just wondering what you think! If Poe had lived, would he have enlisted in the Civil War (what with some West Point background...not too old to be an officer). Which side? Grew up in the South...but didn't seem to care much for slavery...? Some opinions?

P.E. Murphy - I expect an interesting answer from you.... ;-)

Thanks all!

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2002


Well, in my book(not to be published in my lifetime due to some great conspiracy or other)I do have Poe showing up at the tail end(after a diastrous South Seas exile) and accompanying Lee's army in its flight from ravaged Richmond. And getting wounded. But there is a question in my book whether this person is really Poe anyway. I have a terrible feeling that had he been an officer during the war he would have done something typically brash and ill-considered that- coupled with his bad luck- would have gotten him quickly killed. Lots of inebriated fools in the officer cate but Poe had few recommendations that would have landed anything but a junior officer rank and he would have been too old for that.

Not to mock Poe. Most of America shared his innocence about war, that Poe found outmoded and unlikely as a career prospect.

He was no abolitionist but not a patrician or state's rights idealist. He did sell one family slave. His views on the whole were apoliitical but typical of the common man or westerner or Lincoln view. And he lived in many cities, favoring the South but decrying its weaknesses. Probably would have followed Lee's lead, but due to his health probably as a journalist or spy cipher expert.

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2002

Of course, trying to forecast is impossible. If he HAD launched his new magazine as a southern literary power he expected contributions from the northern lions he had been baiting and trashing pretty badly. Hard to see how that would have been successful in content or in profit. poe would have had to settle for some lower degree of success, more and more divided from the North where he had lived on occasion.

Might have been trapped with Mrs. Clemm during the war. That might have driven him to heroic efforts to get out of the house and do something. Mrs. Clemm, by the way, was stuck in the beseiged city of Richmond, I believe, and survived this too only to become even more dependent and impoverished until she died in the same hospital as Edgar.

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2002

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