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.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

1864 Movie Poster

Melvin Thomas 1864 Cycle Art

Ellis Wilson- 1864

deer kathryn,
       im sur that you hav herd that the war has takn a drastic turn. getysburg ended up as a blue viktory after that third day of fightin. mani people died, but in the end we cam out vicorus. plus, aftr as you no liclon fred al the slave wit the emansipaton procamation and he gav the big spech at the batle field. i no you probaby red it in the paper. som literat man in my regment red me the spech. i had never herd something so inspirin and so wonderfully worded. havin seen what hapind at the batle, every word struk hom. i was surronded by other men who wer ther, and we wer al cryin and recolectin on the harsh memorys of the war. we hav ben throgh so much and i do not know how much mor i we can take. but hearin that spech, our moral was lifted up, just enough to wer we can go on for a litle wile longer. we can go on to this march.
        we are now marchin through georgia, where wwe came from befor the railroad. ther are many bad memorys her. memoriys that haunt everi fiber of my bein. memorys that mak me wak up screamin in the midle of the nite. thos memorys are fresh as we march through this land. this makes the memorys no longer nightmares, but it maks them reel. it hurts. evry tre looks lik a tre from the plantaton. everythin haunts me. it makes the march unberable. walkin is unberable. talkin is unberable. al i can do is lok forward and tri to not think. everythin works beter when i dont think. so even tho its hard, i do my duty, and i dont think.
       the march spreds miles cross and al we do is destory. that was exacly what officer said. tak what we ned and burn the rest. i should feel guilty, but i dont think. if you dont think you dont feel guilty. i see the burning homes but i dont comprehend it. al i se is dutys bein folowed through. we marched for a long time, but i was in the best shap i had bin in in a long time. we had plenty food becas we tok animals from farms. i never felt so strong. not mentaly corse, i had never felt so week mentaly.
      we hav reached savanah which we easly tok. al the men who wer suposed to be guardin it had fled. scured of us i supose. i wold be. we destroy. i dont know if it is cold, but it is efective. ther was on thing that woke me up from my non thinkin state. toward the end of the march we came ner a area that felt familar. we radied a plantation, freein the slaves, and burnin the crops. i saw cros the field my mama. i new she was stil in georgia, this musta bin the plantaton i gruw up on. she saw me, and even tho i havent sen her sinc i was yong, she ran over and rapped her arms round me and crid. boy did she cry. i was in no thinkin mode tho. i huged her, but then i sent her with the rest of the freed peple and told her id talk to her in savanah. now im in savanah and i gotta talk to her. i dont know what to say. i escaped, fought through this war to fre her, and now she is fre. al i have expirenced in this march has hit me now. i cry now, for you, for those who we lost at getysburg, for those whose homes i destroyed, for my mother. my mother is in the other rom. i must speak with her. i shold be comin home son enough. i will bring my mother with me. get her away from thes memorys, just like i ned to. i lov and mis you..

                                                                     se you soon

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

1864 Blog Post

Deer Mary,
        Are yu steel well? Yu n Matthew have stayed strong fur so long. The best weel come for us at last. I am tryin to teel yu bout everythin goin on in the war, but it takes time for the letter to reach yu. By then, yu weel probably hav heard bout it.
        Word has spread quickly. Sherman's March was necessary for the war. Those Southerners deserved it. I cannot and weel not forgeev them after all thos the times we spent serving them becus of the color of our skeen. Atlanta hav been taken, but the supplies wus left there. General Sherman tuld us to liv off of the land. We took anythin and everythin we needed frum the farmers and plantation owners. It felt rite to finally ruin their lives as they did to us.
       The war weel end soon. This has shown the South dat they weel not win. Even those loyal to the South hav started to doubt the Southern army. With the civilians in need of help, the soldiers weel start to rethink the war and lose moral. Der cheeldren n wivs will suffer becus of this war. The supplies they need weel no longer exist. Der husbands and fathers weel wunt to help their family n call off the war. When we win, it weel show the South that they need to stop treatin us so poorly. We ar equals. Under our skin color, we are all the same. Take care. You weel be out of slavery soon.
                                                Yur bruther,

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ellis Wilson- 1863

deer kathryn,
     my regment has ben fightin for too days round getisburg. i dont no how it has goten as bad as it is. it al started wen we neded some shoes. cople of men went into town to get som for the solders wose feet wer the worst and they ran into som feds. they started fightin and somwere long the way reforcments cam in and it turned into a big deel. peple started runing into camp shoting bout the batle. we al had to rush into formation and march out to the place of the fightin real quick. even from fiv miles away we could hear the screams and gunfir of the battle. i didnt no wat was goin on, i just stod in my lines and watched men fall al round me. we were on top of a hill and feds wer runnin up al round me. we wer lucky we got the high grond. everthing was a blur, i gust got into routine, shot and relod, shot and relod. fightin has cezied for now, but peple are sayin it will continue tommrow.
    rumors spread like dysentary in the camps. parently some mane boys chased off feds with only bayonetts. seems to crazy to hav hapend tho. som boys swear they saw it happen. altho some boys swear they saw a man get shot in the head and kep fightin throgh the battle, so who knos whose tellin the truth.
    i coldnt tell the men round me, but kathryn, im scared. the battle seems to be never ended. i have seen things i coldnt imagine. i am lucky to be alive, but sometimes durin the battle, i wish i wasn't. i cant give up tho. ther are people down south, people who dont get to fit in this war. who continue to slave away in the fields. i must go on for them. including my mother who is still ther. i fight for my mother. that is why i stil fight through this fear.
   tommrow is goin to be anothr day in the war. who knos if im even goin  to mak it. but if i dont, i want you to  know that i love you. and i miss you. and that i died fighting for freedom.
                                                                      with love,

1863 Newspaper Article

Black Union Soldiers Refuse Their Salaries

   April 3, 1863  
     The African Americans fighting for the Union have taken a bold stance by not accepting their salaries. Wondering why? White soldiers are being paid at least $13 a month, while black soldiers are only getting around $10. The disparity doesn't stop there. The black soldiers also have to pay $3 monthly for uniforms. Thus, lowering their pay to only $7 a month. In conclusion, the highest paid blacks got half the salary of the lowest paid white soldiers. For the black Union soldiers, this was the last straw. The blacks, in protest, refused to receive their inferior wages. The abolitionist congressmen have noticed the courage of the African Americans in battle and have thus, persuaded the rest of Congress to restructure the pay system. Finally both whites and blacks are receiving equal pay. Blacks are ecstatic about the news. For some, this means they can send money to their families in need. Keep fighting hard!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Trading Cards

Trading Cards by melvin thomas

Ulysses S. Grant Card

Melvin Thomas Card

Alvin Cobb Card

John Blackburn 1862

Wordle: Antietam CSADarkStorm

          I hope yu are well. Fightin in the army is hurd, and the reealty of war is much mor brutal than it seems, but I won't stop fightin unteel you are finally out of slavery. I haf gone thrugh many battles alreedy. I wun't give up now. I wil alwuz fight fur our race. We wil no lunger be under everyone else.
          I also wrote to tell yu bout the battle. If yu hevn't heard already, the Battle of Antietam wuz fought not too long ago. We fund uh cigar that had the battle plans, so we wuh able to catch up and stop them. Had we not fund it, we probubly wuld have lost. Many say nu one wun, but the Union pushed the Confederates out, so we shoud count it as a win fur the North. During de war, there wuz so many bodies. It wuz hard and many people geev up their lives for this battle. In the time we fought, I never seen so many men keeled in one battle. Even after many problems we has, we wus steel able to push them bak. President Lincoln even came dun to tell General McClellan bout chasing the Union, but he refused.
          Plees stay strong and take care of our sister. This war weel end soon. The South can't hold on for that long. Don't let anyone see this. Yu must be careful bout everything yu say an du. They are watchin yu an making sure yu follow theer durection.

                                                Yur bruther,

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Mysterious Itch

November 19, 1862

The Mysterious Itch

   Disease is a major problem in this war. People die everyday while coughing up blood and sweating like pigs. That is no secret. The big secret in the medical tents right now is the horrifying medical mystery that is the Army Itch. We don't know what it is, and we are no closer to finding out what this is then the first time it occurred. 
      The Army Itch was nicknamed by the soldiers for the terrible itch it causes in the skin. It also caused men's skin to swell and blister, to the point where they would have many sores and painful, puss filled lacerations. Some men's hands swelled so bad that their fingers couldn't touch. This disease wasn't fatal, except it caused great suffering throughout the soldiers because it resulted in great pain and uncontrollable itching. There is nothing to cure it, because to cure the disease, we would have to know what the disease was in the first place.
      The biggest outbreak of the Army Itch was this year in the Potomac Valley in Maryland. It caused terror throughout the valley because no one knew what was happening or how to stop it. We still have no idea what is causing it and what is spreading it. Until then, surgeons must just try to stop the spread of the disease and try to make the sick soldiers as comfortable as possible.  We will report more as it resurfaces.

Melvin Thomas 1862 Cycle Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon about Lincoln the Emancipation Proclamation

Melvin Thomas 1863 Cycle Wordle

Wordle: Civil War Union Draft Riots Of 1863

Monday, April 7, 2014

1861- John Blackburn

1861- Alvin Cobb

 July 22, 1861

     Yestaday my regiment and me fought at the Battle of Bull Run. There was 37,000 of us, but still the 22,000 Confederate troops managed to hold us back. The South had an ate mile line along Bull Run Creek. We attacked the left side of the line. In the beginning we were defeeting them. 
The people picnicking cheered us on. Everything was perfect for us to win. I even stopped to pick up some trinkets from some of them Confederate men on the ground. Seeing them reminded me of the time I was a slave. Those cruel people deserved what they get. Other slaves were still out there and I needed to save them. 
     Once I came back to reality, smoke was the only thing the eye could see. I started to heer more gunfire coming from the Confederate side. I didn't worry about it until I saw wounded and non wounded soldiers runnin back out of the smoke. This scared me greatly. I had no idea what may be lying on the other side of the smoke that separates us. Bullets blewn by me and some shot the soldiers runnin from out of the smoke. Out of fear I commanded my regiment to run noing most of our troops had deserted their posts. 
     It was announced that the Confederacy won The Battle of Bull Run because of all the cowards that ran from the few Rebels. We also learned there were almost 5,000 casualties total. Surprising there were more casualties in the North than the South. We cannot let the Rebels gain momentum from this cowardly act of the Union. We must fight and win. 

1861- Ellis Wilson

deer Kathryn,
       i now you are woried abot me after hearing bout the battle of bul run. i no in my last leter i told you i was heding to manasas with my regment to cut off the railroad. i now when you heard abot the aftermath of the batle. i tel you tho, i am fine. thogh, it was a scury at the time. everyon told us that it wus goin to be eazy, som men evan stoped to get souvineers. no body was woried, til dis dixie man showed up on the hil. my frend who i was talkin to after said his nam was jackson, but the rebs cal him stonewall. i do no now why and nether did he. anyway wonce jacson showed up it was overe. mor and mor rebs kept comin, screamin and shootin like tere aint no tommrow. people at the front of the lines of trops started runnin back, and every won started runnin too. it wuz a retreet, i supose. i ran in the pak, bulets flyin everywhere. as i ran, i saw some fancy men in nice suits runnin to. i asked my budy who that was aftere, he said it wuz people comin to watch the batle. i said to him, i said why did they want to watch? it aint a show. he say he do not kno for shure either, but he say that they thot the rebs would go runnin too. now i sit at the camp ritin this to you, and thes doctrs kep bringin in thes bleedin men who are monin and screamin in pan. it make me fel prety fortunat. i se them bringin the bodes too. there be lot of them, mor tan i thoght. it is a grusome sit. it is hard to watch.
      i wus glad to hear you hav forgivin me for snekin off to join the war. i kno you are stil woried, execially after the batle recently, but i am glad you nderstand that i got to do this. i do not lik fightin with you, and i did not want this fit to go on any longer. i do not mean to wory you any more, but i have speak wit the other soilders and they tink this war wil go on for longr than expected. maybe donot pect me to return for a few mor months. i lov you.
                                                                                   your husband

1861 Blog Post - Isaac Jefferson

Civil War Glossary #3: http://quizlet.com/40022227/glossary-quiz-3-civil-war-flash-cards/

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Enlistment - John Blackburn

Dear Mary,
    It has been a few weeks since I left, but it feels a lifetime. We have been training the army, but as a corporal, I have knowledge of the skills we need, and am training lesser troops instead. So far, they have been average, but we outnumber the South. In a few weeks, after the war is over, I will come home, and we can finally start our business, and create a string of general stores like we always wanted.
    See you soon,

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Enlistment- Alvin Cobb

Dear Father Alfred,
     Thank yu fur prayin with me bafor I left. I thot dat was reel nice. Dat was a hard decidin whetha to join da army or move west with Amy. Plese pray with Amy fur me. I no dat she want me to stay with her. I am her only family. I no she be scared all alone. 
     I am da First Sagent fur my regment. We are da Dark Storm. Altho afta trainin to kill people I have had some worres bout my moral decisin. As yu no one of da commandments is thou shall not kill. We have been trainin to kill da people who keep us slaves but da commandment say not to. Maybe yu help dis decisin easier fur me. I no yu pray for me to go but is relly hard to leave yall behind in Pennsilvania. Is hard to struggle with da thot of endin peoples livs. Hopfuly yu can make dis choice easier fo me. I no yu said it was ok fur me to go but my soul hurts and wish ther was a easier way to end slavry. 

Yur brother in Christ,
      Alvin Cobb

Enlistment - Isaac Jefferson

Dear Mary,         
        I got in the miltary. i will fite until I hafe no breath left in me. thos peepol think they hafe a rite to own ower rase. Even though fiteing will be different from werkin on the dock, I am reedy to win this war and end slavery. ower parents died in pain beecuz of THIS! I heer they think that all men are created equl? are we not part uf mankind? We are NOT inferior yet they treet us like animals! I will not allow peepol to treat us so. When we win this war, yu and ower brothers will fineally be free frum slavery. I will rite to yu soon. yu mus burn this afer yu finish so yur master will not find out bout the letters we send. This will cost yu a beeting at the leest if he suspects sumthin. Be carefull lil sis.                                          
                                                              Yur brother,

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Enlistment - Private Ellis Willson

Deerest Kathryn, 
           i write you from my regments training camp I have ben very busy at work. it is midnight, and i am tired, but i did promisse you i would write every nit from camp and i do not break my vows. so as the rest of my regment sleaps on the ground around me, i sit by the small flam of my candel that casts small shadows on all the dirty and roff faces on my fellow soildgers. they share my strong hatred for the sin ful act that is slavery. i do not now them well, but I can tel from first pressions of these men that I have lucked out to be placed in a regment with peple who share my values and views. i am tryin to rite best as i can. ther is a man in my regiment that can rite good, he helps for hard words. i hope this information helps put your worried mind to rest.
           i write because i do not want to leeve on the small argumant that we had before I had left. i now that you fear for my safety in this war and did not preciate me running to sign up the second they took voluntears, except i do not think you understand how impartant the ending of slavery is. i do not mean to continue an argumant we can not win, cept you do not get what slavery is truly like. you have ben free most of your life, and when you were a slave you were working as a hosemaid, you never really known the terror of slavery, never seen it truly hapen, like it could only hapen in the fields under a mean owner, such as I was. you nod and lisen when I go on about the injustice that is slavery, but you never join along. you skim the ahbolitionist papers I bring home, but you don't get what they say. you try and neglect your anccestors past so you do not have to face the problam head on. i do not have that luxoury. I am scured by the memores of my broters being whipped til they are just a wimpering, bloody version of themselves. i cary round guilt of nowing my mother who still is somewhere in south.. she must work all the time in the hot fields, pricking herself on the cotton plants. that is no way to live, with  memores and guilt. now, i got a chance to do somthin, to not sit on the sidelines and let myself get pushed around in north knowing are people are treted even worse in the south. 
           i now you are scared for the after math. you made that very clear in our argumant the day befour i left. you are scured for blacks when we are free. the idea of  mor racism, and angry whites terrifies you. cept fear has ruled over the slaves for to long, fear of reevolting, fear of the white man. we have ben givan  chance,  chance to gain fredom for all slaves cross the country, who nows when we will get chance agin? it may be another centary befour everythin is lined up to were we can fight for ahbolishment of slavery. the time for fear is don, the time for act is now. i will do everythin I can to take advantge of the chance. 
             so i now that you fear four my lif, and i now you resentmnt toward me cause I listed myself without discusin it wit you, cept i hope you undrstand why I had to do it. this is my dream, to be able to do somethin to help my brethren who work the filds day and nit, and to now that somewhere, my mother may be free. i understand if you do not se my pont of view, I have alway ben told I hav ben a bit 'radical', but that what it took for a slave to scape. that what it took to bring us gether. i got to be radical, and audacus, and brave, just like I got to be now. 
              i miss you and love you very much. i promise to kep rite you every day, and like I have said befour, I do not brek my vows. 

                                                                                   Your Husband,

Monday, March 31, 2014

1861 Cycle - Melvin Thomas

Deer Mavis
I love you. I hav not bean able to tell you that in slong. I miss you so much its painful. I wanted to write so you no im not deed. The first to die happened just soon but i warnt one. Im just fine, though some the others got dissntry. I hope i don't. looks awful painful. Howr things back home? You still the best barbar in the conty? course you are! I wish to be next to ya but glad yr no where around these pars. Theres some nasty stuff gone on. I havnt had no part yed. Just bean movin bout. Re-supplin other regimans. dnt no if you heer bout bull runin. i wan t lick dem butta nuts but im fraid o that yell dars. heard its friteful. but i mite be in batle son. we been doin drills more now. i hear the First Sergnt talkin bout movie along. i like it here fine thoh. I hope you safe and out o harms way alsa. i hope you no why i left ya. i have to try hep freen my famly and yrs to. Ill do my vry beest. Love yr Melvin

Enlistment Cycle - Melvin Thomas

Haikus for my famly

I sined up that nite.
I had to go in secret.
Aint no other way.

I'm sorry my love.
I just coud not stay away.
For freedom I fight.

I'll keep you in heart.
I hope to come home to you.
We will be marryd.

Tell my famly.
I will fight to keep them free
Love, your hopeful son.