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Heart BeatsEveryday Life and the Memorized Poem$
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Catherine Robson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691119366

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691119366.001.0001

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Charles Wolfe, “The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna”

Charles Wolfe, “The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna”

(p.191) Charles Wolfe, “The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna”
Heart Beats

Catherine Robson

Princeton University Press

This chapter resurrects “The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna.” Charles Wolfe's poem, a reimagining of the hasty interment of a fallen general after one of the land battles in the Napoleonic wars, was repeatedly quoted by soldiers and other individuals during the American Civil War when they found themselves having to organize, or witness, the burials of dead comrades. In recent years, cultural historians of Great Britain have tried to account for the massive shift in burial and memorial practices for the common soldier that occurred between 1815 and 1915. The chapter argues that the presence of Wolfe's poem in the hearts and minds of ordinary people played its part in creating the social expectations that led to the establishment of the National Cemeteries in the United States, and thus, in due course, the mass memorialization of World War I.

Keywords:   Charles Wolfe, Sir John Moore, American Civil War, burial practices, national cemeteries, common soldier, World War I, mass memorialization

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