Tuesday, May 13, 2014

1865 Camp Songs

     During the Civil War, music played a prominent role for both the Union and the Confederates. The music helped soldiers get away from the bloodshed and the tensions of war. Also, music helped with homesickness and boredom. Sometimes each side's bands would face off by playing their favorite tunes the night before a battle. Each side had their favorite songs. The song Dixie liked by both the North and the South. Dixie originates from the Blackface Minstrel shows from the 1850s. The song tells the story of a freed black slave pining for the plantation of his birth. The song was the unofficial anthem of the Confederacy. The song was also a favorite of Abraham Lincoln. He played it at many rallies and at the announcement of General Lee surrendering.
     The survivors of Pickett's charge came back under the tune of Nearer, My God, to Thee. The song is based off of Jacob's dream in the book of Genesis. It is also known as the last song played by the band on the Titanic before is sank. The Genesis verse is written that a ladder is connected from the earth to the heavens and angels of the Lord ascending and descending upon it.
     Another song the Union played during the Civil War was Nelly Bly. Sheridan ordered Union musicians to play Nelly Bly while being shot at from the front lines. Nelly Bly was an immediate hit. It was published on February 2, 1850.
     As you can see, music was an important factor of the Civil War. Without it, the outcomes of battles would have drastically changed.

1865- John Blackburn Abe Lincoln Game

Appomattox Courthouse- The War Is Over

            People all throughout the Union celebrate with the news that General Robert E. Lee had surrendered yesterday. All throughout the United States the brave soldiers who fought in this awful war are getting to return home to their families. Slaves in the South rejoice because now their freedom is inevitable with the Confederacy rejoining the free Union.  Although it is not a happy day for everyone. General Lee and the rest of the southern slave owners are devastated. 
           After the Confederates were surrounded at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. Robert E. Lee had the option of fighting on and facing the large risk of complete destruction of his troops, or he could surrender. It was hopeless for Lee, and he sent a note over to General Grant stating he was ready to surrender. The two decided to hold the meeting in Wilmer McClain's home. McClain had already helped to the war effort in the Battle of Bull Run, in which his house was used as a meeting place for the Confederates. 
           Reports say that General Lee came dressed in his best Uniform while General Grant came in a private's jacket and muddy boots. Grant had rushed to the scene and had no time to prepare himself. Lee on the other hand is quoted saying, "If I am to be Grant's prisoner, I should look good." The men engaged in small talk until General Lee supposedly told Grant that there should be no stalling.  
           General Grant handled the situation with grace and showed great respect to Lee. He even allowed to Confederates to keep all their personal guns and horses. Now, even if the outcome wasn't in your favor, everyone is glad that this horrible war is over. 850,000 Americans died during this war, if not from combat form the horrible diseases that haunted the camps. Now it is all over. Men return home, and try to forget everything they witnessed. Although, nobody can forget the great sacrifices made by the brave men who fought and gave their lives for their country. 

1865 Melvin Thomas Letter home

Papa, did ya heer bout lincns adress? he was relected the president and said a fanc thing bout his plans! he was talkin bout how he wan the counter back togethah and how the south are to be forgivin for thare sins. i gree mosly, but stil wana giver them souths a rite lashin for the crimes done. them buttah nots soulnt be let of so easy if u ask me. mos my regimnt thing so asla. but sargent cobb says thay gettin inof of a lashin wit the war an all. i spose i gree mostly, they be losin good now. i mean saylahs creek looks ta be the last batle its all right intristig if ya ask me. il be glad to get home to u and mavis. tell er sometin fo me, papa. tella that i be comin soon to er. and i be comin fast. we finly get mared and hav the babes she aways talk bout. just like cathrines, and margrets. she will be a grate bride. im sur to be sein her like that soon, as this thing bout ovah id say. ate thowsand sarendard is what they sayd i don no my numbers, but the way thay say bout it sounds an awful lot. so hop to se ya soon papa. i love you mavis. see ya soon.