The American Civil War has become a point of controversy and argument when discussing key events in shaping America. The arguments that arise when discussing the war tend to focus on whether the Confederate was constitutionally justified in seceding, or whether the North had the right to prevent the secession. However, when discussing the America Civil War and the idea of separation, it is important to be mindful that separation did not simply end at the state level. Letters written by Jesse Rolston, Jr. and Jedediah Hotchkiss portray two significantly different attitudes toward the war, despite the fact that the writers both fought for the Confederate States and give accounts of the same battle, one of which ended in the Confederate’s favor. When examining the documents, both writers express different viewpoints on life on and off the battlefield. This significant difference represents a division amongst the Confederate army.
The American Civil war is considered to be one of the most defining moments in American history. It is the war that shaped the social, political and economic structure with a broader prospect of unifying the states and hence leading to this ideal nation of unified states as it is today. In the book “Confederates in the Attic”, the author Tony Horwitz gives an account of his year long exploration through the places where the U.S. Civil War was fought. He took his childhood interest in the Civil War to a new level by traveling around the South in search of Civil War relics, battle fields, and most importantly stories. The title “Confederates in the Attic”: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War carries two meanings in Tony Horwitz’s
Peyton Farquhar is a wealthy, proud southern man. Farquhar had wish to enroll in the military but was unable too due to causes that are unknown. He was then later fooled by a union scout impersonating a confederate soldier. This union scout tricked Farquhar into believing he could stop the northerners from advancing into southern territory. Farquhar was convinced by this scout that the only way to stop the northerners from going into southern territory was to destroy the railroad bridge at Owl Creek. While Farquhar is attempting
In this story one of the key factors is time and how Farquhar sees it.While mere seconds for the soldiers can be hours for the man about to be hanged, time is perceived to be different for each individual, “Its recurrence was regular, but as slow as the tolling of a death knell.” The idea that time can feel slower at one point and faster at another throws the reader into an experience that they feel lasts quite a while contrary to what the author wrote which was actually a matter of seconds.
The Valley of the Shadow archives is an online database that has digitally archived diaries, letters, and newspapers from two neighboring counties, Augusta County, Virginia and Franklin County, Pennsylvania during the Civil War era in the United States. Separated by the Mason-Dixon Line, a line which marked the geography between southern slave states and northern free-slave states, disconnected the southern Augusta County and the northern Franklin County. The archives focus on the Pre-war, war time, and post war views of the Counties inhabitants based on religion, economy, family life, and their controversial views on slavery. These insights give modern day historians the ability to piece together what life was actually like for the residents of the opposing Counties. One of the most influential controversies between the north and the south is the abolition of slavery, the north being for the freeing of slaves, and the south being for the retention and expansion of slavery. The economic stability that slavery provided for southern states was a driving force for the southern front, while the concept of emancipation drove the northern front to fight for the abolition of slavery all together. This ultimately leads to the Southern succession from the Union and spawns the Civil War, thus separating Augusta and Franklin County. Therefore, the central idea of this essay is to show the opposing attitudes of Augusta County and Franklin County, in
James M. McPherson sets out to discover what motivated the Confederate and Union soldiers to continue fighting in the Civil War in his book What They Fought For. McPherson analyses nearly a thousand letters, journals, and diary of Union and Confederate soldiers to determine what urged them to fight is this defining American Conflict. McPherson reads and groups together the common thoughts of the everyday soldier, from their letters and journals that none of which had been subjected to any sort of censorship, in that time period. He then generalizes the motivations that they used to fight for their country. Whether it be for slavery or for the Union, the author views both sides of the fighting to analysis their ideological issues, how deep their belief coursed through their veins to continue fighting, and how the soldiers held their convictions close to heart in the time of war.
In “Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War,” Charles B. Dew analyzes the public letters and speeches of white, southern commissioners in order to prove that the Civil War was fought over slavery. By analyzing the public letters and speeches of the commissioners, Dew offers a compelling argument proving that slavery along with the ideology of white supremacy were primary causes of the Civil War. Dew is not only the Ephraim Williams Professor of American History at Williams College, but he is also a successful author who has received various awards including the Elloit Rudwick Prize and the Fletcher Pratt Award. In fact, two of Dew’s books, Tredegar Iron Works and Apostles of Disunion and Ironmaker to the Confederacy: Joseph R. Anderson, received the Fletcher Pratt Award for the best nonfiction book regarding the American Civil War. In his analysis, Dew argues that the fear of eliminating slavery along with the fear of racial equality were both crucial factors regarding the outbreak of the Civil War. By tracing the speeches and public letters of state-appointed commissioners, Dew effectively argues that the white, southern commissioners led the southern states into a Civil War in order to preserve the institution of slavery as well as the ideology of white supremacy.
The romanticized version of the Civil War creates a picture of the North versus the South with the North imposing on the South. However, after reading “The Making of a Confederate” by William L. Barney, one can see that subdivisions existed before the war was declared. The documents analyzed by Barney primarily focus on the experiences of Walter Lenoir, a southern confederate and a member of the planter elite. His experiences tell a vivid story of a passionate and strongly opinioned participant of the Civil War as well as demonstrate a noticeably different view involving his reasoning when choosing a side. Between analyzing this fantastic piece of literature and other resourceful documents from “Voices of Freedom” by Eric Foner, one
Many slaves on the plantation had been drafted by the confederates to fight everyone of them have not been heard from since. One day nathaniel came by to talk to me when I was picking cotton when he announced that he had just been drafted to fight. I had never seen Nathaniel in so much despair. He was was so sad because he had to fight against his own freedom.”
A flashback occurs and readers learn that Farquhar and his wife were sitting on a bench one night when a soldier, who looked as if he was from the south, rode by asking for a glass of water. As the Mrs. goes and gets the
In this short story named “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” he takes a different more serious approach to his writing. Bierce takes the reader to the Civil War era where and individual is about to be hanged. Bierce being someone who has served in this war can speak from first-hand experience when it comes to events during this time. He writes about a before death experience in most of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” Bierce being severely injured during the war most likely experienced one of these events while his injury was taking place. This is why he is able to describe this character’s experience so vividly because he most likely has been in this man’s shoes. Bierce is able to keep the reader on their toes through the last two thirds of his short story by describing a grand escape. These types of actions and events that happened during the action packed scene of story most likely came from types of situations that Bierce was in during his commission in the 9th Indiana Infantry. Bierce also ends “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” with the death of the main character which shows the reader some of the death that Bierce experienced during his time as a
The author skeptical of the effects of war. Many people have a positive look on war and that good comes out of it, but Bierce writes of a man killed with his innocence. Bierce writes of a man who is betrayed and set up for a crime that he did not commit, and then pays for the crime by being hung then dying. The author is not one who thinks that war has a positive outcome, but is against it and tells of a man of innocents being killed. The author details out the scene of Peyton’s hanging in order to show the reader the harshness of the punishment: “A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man’s hands were behind his back his wrists bound with a cord”(481). This sets the scene for the story because in the author's description sympathy is shown towards the man. His feelings toward the innocence of the man are strongly involved in his describing of the man near death. The author gives a vivid description of the man of innocence with his suffering death to show his skeptical feelings toward war and that outcomes it can bring. The author uses the technique of stream of consciousness to show that Peyton was so determined to make home, but in fact dies for something he did not do: “He stands at the gate of his own home. All as he left it, bright and beautiful in the morning sunshine...At the bottom of the steps
With the sound of cannons and gunshots firing in the air, slaves in the south knew that freedom was coming to a nation of four million slaves. Union soldiers would be portrayed as bad foreigners from their masters, with, “ long horns on their heads, and tushes in their mouths, and eyes sticking out like a cow.” (Page 171) Some slaves were overjoyed with rumors of emancipation and leaving their plantations to head north, but many slaves sided with their masters because they were afraid of what might happen later on. To newly freed blacks it was as if the world was turned upside down. One slave who was surprised and delighted to find his
She writes to show the dynamics of the Underground Railroad and the small communities that populated the north in the 1850s. This focus provides a vivid snapshot of life during this time and gives valuable insight to some of the cultural tensions between the north and south that eventually led to the Civil War. She shows the complexity of the issue that is often lost when looking back. Because of our increasingly progressive world, it’s easy to look back past the nineteenth century and see that slavery is an obvious atrocity and that it never should have lasted as long as it did. Chevalier combats this simplistic view of the past by putting the issue of slavery in the context of the time period. She portrays the people and the rationale behind the pro, anti, and indifferent views on slavery. Through the dialogue of her characters she explains why slavery was important for the infrastructure of the country, why people wanted it, and why people were against