Latest Issue

America—still fighting the Civil War

It’s been 150 years since the start of the nation’s bloodiest conflict. The wounds it left paralyse the country today

By Diane Roberts   April 2011

Every spring, two antique armies square off in a north Florida swamp. They’ve come with their replica rifles and blunted bayonets, their carefully-scuffed boots and new-grown beards, to re-enact the Battle of Natural Bridge, a late skirmish in the American Civil War. One side sports deep-blue tunics, approximations of those worn by United States troops in the 1860s. The other side’s coats are pigeon-grey, the colour of the Confederacy, the eleven Southern states so determined to preserve slavery that they divorced themselves from the Union in 1861.

Some of the uniforms are polyester, hired from fancy-dress shops. Others, especially among…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect