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Chickamauga by Ambrose Bierce
Transcript of Chickamauga by Ambrose Bierce
Loosely translated from Cherokee means "river of death."
2nd highest number of casualties after the Battle of Gettysburg.
Estimated Casualties: 34,624 total (US 16,170; CS 18,454).
Elements of Southern Gothic Literature. http://prezi.com/8mugpzpg_xon/elements-of-southern-gothic-literature/
Characteristics of Southern Literature. http://www.bestedit.net/cplc/Mrs_Pearsons_Southern_Lit_Notes.pdf
THE BATTLES AT CHICKAMAUGA.; Graphic Account of the Two Days' Fighting. The Observations of an Eve-Witness. Casualties Among the Field and Staff Officers.http://www.nytimes.com/1863/09/27/news/battles-chickamauga-graphic-account-two-days-fighting-observations-eve-witness.html
A few miles riding brought us so far enough on the way that we began to get glimpses of that stream of wreck, debris mingled life and mangled humanity which always flows from a battlefield. [...]
The stream grew stronger and stronger. Stragglers were run over by wagons dashing back toward the rear. Ambulances, filled with wounded, came in long procession from toward where the battle was raging. Men with wounds of every imaginable description not affecting their locomotion, came staggering by on foot, and scores even of those who had been shot in their lower limbs, hobbled slowly on through blinding masses of dust, which, at times, concealed everything from view.
At length we reached the hospital for Gen. BRANNAN's division. The house had already been filled. The outhouses had been brought into requisition, and large numbers of sufferers were lying on the ground in the yard. In one corner was an operating table, beneath which lay the usual quantity of legs, arms, hands, feet, fingers and toes. Here and there among the wounded were some cold and stiff, the seal of death upon their countenances. These had died after being carried to the yard.
--THE BATTLES AT CHICKAMAUGA.; Graphic Account of the Two Days' Fighting. The Observations of an Eve-Witness. Casualties Among the Field and Staff Officers. Published: September 27, 1863
American Gothic explores the dark side of nineteenth-century America. While America was a country founded on the principles of the Enlightenment, during the nineteenth century almost15 percent of the population were slaves (900,000 slaves in 1800 and about 3,200,000 by 1850), women were excluded from from public life and Native Americans were being relocated or killed for their land.
More American Gothic
Edgar Allen Poe: "The Pit and the Pendulum"
Nathaniel Hawthorne: "Young Goodman Brown", and The Scarlet Letter.
Charles Brockden Brown: Edgar Huntly or Memoirs of a Sleepwalker
Washington Irving: "Sleepy Hollow"
More by Bierce
"The Damned Thing"
"The Spook House"
"The Death of Halpin Frayser"
"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"
A match for Mark Twain with his sarcastic and cynical wit. He begins "An Imperfect Conflagration" with the sentence: “Early one morning in 1872 I murdered my father – an act which made a deep impression upon me at the time.”
Elements of American Gothic
Evil characters e.g. Native Americans, trappers.
Elements of Southern Gothic
Takes place primarily in the South
Uses the macabre, supernatural, grotesque, and ironic to examine the values of the South
Known for its damaged and delusional characters
Portrays a world in ruins
When Southern Gothic authors examine the human condition, they see the potential to do harm.
A major theme for Southern Gothic writers hinges on innocence, and the innocent's place in the world
Became editor of a newspaper at age 26 and become one of the the most vicious critics in American journalism. It earned him the nickname "Bitter Bierce" in England.
At the age of 71 he entered Mexico and disappeared in the chaos of the Mexican Revolution.
His stories deal with the horrors of being alone, the physical resurrection of the dead, the power of the diseased mind to destroy itself and the worthlessness of most human virtues.