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| Curtis Hinsley, on: The Civil War
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Curtis Hinsley, on: The Civil War
Curtis Hinsley Q: Into the Civil War now. Obviously, the pivotal events in generations for many, most of the young men in the country. What did it mean to Powell?

CH: The Civil War to Powell was the re-defining moment of his life. He lost his right arm, he was right-handed, so he lost his dominant arm. And, I believe that from, the time of the loss of that arm at Shiloh, in 1863, to the successful descent of the Colorado, in the Summer of 1869, Powell essentially was engaged in re-inventing himself and starting over again and giving himself the identity, as a man in this world. I think, until then, he was still a boy who had been maimed, but that with the loss of that arm and the necessity of going on his life without his arm, I think Powell then became a new man and that the Colorado Expeditions were the proof of that manhood, for Powell -- of that new identity. It's not a simple thing, it's not an over-compensation. We can't so easily psychologize Powell. But, I do believe that the trauma of those years reshaped this person into the man that we recognize as Powell today.

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