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!