The United States Civil War is possible one of the most meaningful, bloodstained and controversial war fought in American history. Northern Americans against Southern Americans fought against one another for a variety of motives. These motives aroused from a wide range of ideologies that stirred around the states. In James M. McPherson’s What they fought for: 1861-1865, he analyzes the Union and Confederate soldier’s morale and ideological components through the letters they wrote to love ones while at war. While, John WhiteClay Chambers and G. Kurt Piehler depict Civil War soldiers through their letters detailing the agonizing battles of war in Major Problems in American Military History. In both books, readers are able to understand the motives of the war, attitudes of Americans and the hostility of battles through the letters of soldiers. …show more content…
Southern soldiers viewed the confederacy as their country and were compelled to fight for the safety of it. Confederate soldiers enlisted to protecting their native lands from what they understood as invaders. The Confederacy sentiments of the Union was they were imposing upon the southern way of life. For instance, a young soldier from Kentucky wrote “sink or swim, survive or perish” (McPherson 11). The average Confederate soldier felt that they the Union was trying to destroy the legacy of the founder fathers by enslaving them and reversing the actions of the American Revolution. McPherson discusses how he found countless of confederate soldier’s letters filled with phrases like “the holy cause of southern freedom, duty to one’s country and death before Yankee
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On September 2nd, 1862, Abraham Lincoln famously signed the Emancipation Proclamation. After that, there’s been much debate on whether Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation truly played a role in freeing the slaves with many arguments opposing or favoring this issue. In Vincent Harding’s essay, The Blood-red Ironies of God, Harding argues in his thesis that Lincoln did not help to emancipate the slaves but that rather the slaves “self-emancipated” themselves through the war. On the opposition, Allen C Guelzo ’s essay, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America, argues in favor of the Emancipation Proclamation and Guelzo acknowledges Lincoln for the abolishment of slavery through the Emancipation Proclamation.
David Blight, is a detailed study of the ways that Americans chose to remember the Civil War during the first fifty years following the conflict. Blight argues that throughout this period Americans used the two expression to remember and give meaning to the war with rhetorical effectiveness throughout the excerpt. Blight accomplishes the main theme of competing memories with different ideals of the Civil War seeking to overcome the issue for reunion. A majority of America’s white community chose to obscure the Civil War’s racial meaning behind a front of attitudes that acclaimed both Northern and Southern soldiers. Later Blight uses the themes of ending the war with a push for national reconciliation to demonstrate how the country’s efforts
McPherson is an exceptionally well-written article which explains in great profundity the motives for men joining the Army and keeping up a high level of Honor. The article can be directly correlated to the understanding of the Civil War, and the background information that the readers weren't aware of in the war, such as the Soldiers motives to fight. The first main strong point present in the article is that the article articulates the main points of the essay very well, and uses countless quotes from Generals that were not in the AP United States History Textbook, which give a much more individual explanation to the personal reasons the men were fighting in the first place. This helped make the information not only easy to understand but much more interesting than just stating facts about the war.
Garrett Reppond Michael Shaara The Killer Angels Ballantine Books, New York July 1975 This paper is a review of Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, which is a historically correct novel that has some fictional dialog. A lot of the dialog is fictional, but it is mostly backed with historically correct information and events going on during the time. This story is about the events and discussion of the strategy to be used by the Confederate and Union forces leading up and during the Battle of Gettysburg. This review will discuss two topics raised by Michael Shaara in the novel; the ongoing conflict between which fighting style and strategies should be used by the Confederate army, and the other is the state of mind of the Confederate and Union
McPherson addresses an issue/problem people have had when we talk/write about the Civil War. That problem is what was both sides truly fighting for. This war broke up the Union into two parts, North and South. Without the war happening, America would not be same America as today. We as Americans need to know the real reason why in 1861, the North and South went against each other and that was because of slavery.
Either way, the people from the North and South had reasons why they joined the army. The main purpose was to fight for patriotism, state pride, adventure, and a steady pay. Having that said, the Union soldiers also fought to preserve the Union. The Confederate soldiers fought to defend their homes and sometimes they attacked because if the Union wins, it could lead the black people be placed with the whites. The Union and Confederate soldiers had supplies that they could get easily or very difficult.
The Civil War is seen as disastrous, upsetting, and a new start for America. In Across Five Aprils, written by Irene Hunt, she shows all of those feelings. The Civil War was a hard time for many families. Their son’s are going to war, they still have to work, and they need someone to protect the family. You worry for your safety, and your children’s.
Prior to the civil war american s had illusions of innocence and isolation from the forces of history. After studying literature from the period known as realism, we know that these writers used their words to portray realistically america’s various social issues and struggles such as states rights, slavery, and death. These writers portrayed social issues and the struggles of ordinary people. No longer did the literature contain the supernatural of the romantic period. On the contrary, works such as “Follow the Drinking Gourd”, “War is Kind” and “ Letter to Son” changed america’s idea of innocence and isolation from the horrors of history because the civil war was the only war where every death was American.
The Battle of Gettysburg, like the rest of the war, was between two armies with their own social structure, including their own values, needs, history, religion, customs, and culture. Each army had their own values. One side believed in succession and becoming its own sovereign state while the other believed in remaining whole. The Confederate Army believed slavery was justifiable while the Union Army believed it to be inhumane. During the battle, the people’s needs and both armies’ needs became apparent.
McPherson regards the Civil war as a much more ideological struggle and he discusses the ideological factors that motivated men to enlist, stay enlisted, fight and risk death in battle. He argued that the powerful motivating sources for soldiers to join the army were duty, honor, and patriotism (McPherson, 5). According to a book review by George Rable, he stated that its true that duty and honor were dominant values for those soldiers in the nineteenth century, however this posed a jaded view from the twentieth-century readers. McPherson stresses the importance of slavery as one of the principal ideological considerations as to why men fought.
The American Revolution marked the history of many heroic events that immaculately stand as true inspirations for the generations to come in the United States. Even today, the gallantry of a few soldiers that won independence for the country is not only kept in the hearts of the people but run in the American blood to demonstrate acts of valor at times of war and hardships. One such story recorded in the history dates back to 1776, about a sixteen-year old juvenile, Joseph Plumb Martin, joined the Rebel Infantry and recorded his tribulations about forty-seven years in a memoir titled as “A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier”. The book mainly focuses on the sufferings through the tough situation he went through.
In chapter one of What They Fought For, I learned about the letters and diaries of the Confederate soldiers. The themes of the letters were home-sickness, lack of peace, and the defense of home against their invading enemy. The thought of soldiers fighting for their homes and being threatened by invaders, made them stronger when facing adversity. Many men expressed that they would rather die fighting for a cause, than dying without trying and this commitment showed patriotism. Throughout the letters, soldiers claimed their reason for fighting, was for the principles of Constitutional liberty and self-government.
The living legacy of the United States Civil War is a complicated time in American history one finds difficult to describe. The ramification of the war prior, during and after still haunt the current citizens who call The States their home. Tony Horwitz’s book Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War looks at the wide gap of discontent that still looms in the late 1990s. For some southerners, the Confederacy still lives on through reenactments, stories and beliefs. For others in the South, reminders the land was dedicated to the Confederacy spark hatred and spite.
Civil War The year was 1861 and the first battle had already begun. The country was now divided as two teams, the confederates and the unions. I wasn’t looking forward to the upcoming battle that was about to happen. I sat in my tent in silence, thinking about what might happen.
Over the course of the semester we have discussed the absence of great literature coming from the Civil War period. During, the discussion at the beginning of the course I agreed with the sentiment that there was very little in long-lasting literature produced in the war period. I thought that this was likely, because the war was too difficult to talk about in a comprehensive way for those that experienced it firsthand. In the time since we have seen great documentation of the Civil War by historians, authors, and filmmakers. For example, the movie Lincoln was nominated for twelve Academy Awards.