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William L. Clements Library pres.

Torn Asunder: Faith, Higher Education, Politics and the Davidson family during the Civil War

Dr. Jason S. Lantzer

Dr. Jason S. Lantzer Dr. Jason S. Lantzer
Dr. Jason S. Lantzer
The Davidson family of Indianapolis is a near perfect microcosm of the United States during Civil War. With roots in the South, but living in the North the family's ties to religious, education, and political leaders and institutions cast new light on the loyalties Americans felt towards their region, nation and the institution of slavery.

Central to the story is Preston Davidson, a Hoosier by birth, who fought for the Confederacy alongside his Virginian cousins. On the other side, stands his brother Dorman, who fought to preserve the Union. How these two ended up on opposing sides of the greatest conflict in American history is the story of how familial expectations, faith, higher educational opportunities, and political loyalties all played into the struggle over if the nation would be divided or united and whether or not slavery would flourish or be abolished.

A native Hoosier, Jason S. Lantzer holds a BA, MA, and PhD all from Indiana University. His research and writing interests center on the intersection of religion, politics, and law in American History. His book, "Rebel Bulldog: The Story of One Family, Two States, and the Civil War" was published in 2017. Dr. Lantzer serves as the Assistant Director of the Butler University Honors Program.
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