Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in History
newspaper responses, press reactions, Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War, confederate press, northern press, pro-Davis, anti-Davis, pro-Lincoln, anti-Lincoln
This work considers newspaper reactions toward the Battle of Gettysburg in the months of July, August, and September 1863, and, accordingly, seeks to better understand the battle's immediate interpretation, and perhaps significance, according to the peoples' voice: the press. The newspaper responses assessed are separated geographically between the North and South, and they are subdivided politically, based on a newspaper's opposition to or support for Union President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Such geographic and political groupings are not only representative of the bitterly divided times, but, more importantly for the aspirations of this project, allow for more exact and representative conclusions by not considering how the press viewed Gettysburg inclusively. Too, this work includes an introductory history of the Battle of Gettysburg as well as a brief introduction to the Civil War press so that the reader is provided the schema necessary to appreciate the newspaper reactions that ultimately account for the majority of the work. The findings, although tentative, suggest that many southern newspapers, especially those loyal to Davis, reported Gettysburg, a battle traditionally viewed as damaging for the Confederate cause, as a highly purchased success. On the other hand, many northern newspapers, especially those loyal to Lincoln, reported the results of an already impressive triumph in a manner more auspicious than reality. Ultimately, this study is valuable because it examines press coverage in the aftermath of the campaign, placing that coverage in context of the newspapers' previous pro- or anti-administration orientation.
© Matthew James Larson
Larson, Matthew James, "The Battle of Gettysburg and the Response of the Press" (2014). MSU Graduate Theses. 1171.