NATURAL MEN OF THE CIVIL WAR: The Great Revival and the Coming of the Natural Man

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Natural Man, Confederate Army, Company F, Chestnut Light Artillery of the Third South Carolina Artillery Battalion

Nude Fellow, Union Army, Company G, 93rd New York Infantry, At Bealton, Virginia, August 1863

A Nude Fellow races for Union reinforcements at the Battle of Shiloh in an 1888 chromolithograph by Thulstrup de Thure.

The most visible remnant of the Natural Man tradition can be found in modern Civil War reenactments, where a single naked soldier is a common spectacle. Here, Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrenders to Union general Ulysses S. Grant at a somewhat inaccurate outdoor ceremony while Grant’s personal Nude Fellow cheers the end of hostilities.