I hope you enjoyed navigating through the three sections featured in this exhibition!
Utilizing the context provided in the “Introduction,” and the knowledge you gained through your engagement with the Civil War landscape at Rosehill in “Monuments and Markers” and your exploration of the intersection of public and the cemetery in “The Public, The Cemetery, and the War,” you’re now ready to draw some conclusions.
What does it mean? Why is it important?
Consider the following:
The graves of officers and soldiers who died during the war and those who died later are memorialized differently. What can that tell us about how the country’s view of the war changed over time?
The Rosehill Cemetery Company utilized images of the Civil War monuments and markers in their publications well into the twentieth century. What does that tell us about the power of the war, and its associated markers and monuments, as a tool of publicity?
The war drastically altered Victorian perceptions of death; however the monuments and markers installed after the war frequently utilize pre-war, Victorian style iconography. What role can we assume these monument and markers played in the struggle between new and old perceptions of death?
Finding the answers to the above questions may not be easy, but asking them is important.
Through examination of historical documents and the cultural landscape of Rosehill Cemetery, we can begin to understand how Chicago and the country memorialized, commemorated, and remembered the Civil War.