What This Cruel War Was Over Analysis

1124 Words5 Pages
The Civil War caused a shift in the ways that many Americans thought about slavery and race. Chandra Manning’s What this Cruel War Was Over helps readers understand how soldiers viewed slavery during the Civil War. The book is a narrative, which follows the life of Union soldier who is from Massachusetts. Chandra Manning used letters, diaries and regimental newspapers to gain an understanding of soldiers’ views of slavery. The main character, Charles Brewster has never encountered slaves. However, he believes that Negroes are inferior. He does not meet slaves until he enters the war in the southern states of Maryland and Virginia. Charles Brewster views the slaves first as contraband. He believes the slaves are a burden and should be sent back to their owners because of the fugitive slave laws. Union soldiers focus shifted before the end of the war. They believed slavery was cruel and inhumane, expressing strong desire to liberate the slaves. As the war progresses, soldiers view slaves and slavery in a different light. This paper, by referring to the themes and characters presented in Chandra Manning’s What this Cruel War Was Over, analyzes how the issue of slavery and race shifted in the eyes of white Union soldiers’ during Civil War times.
Civil War The Civil War occurred between 1861 and 1865. Soldiers from the Union and Confederacy disagreed on the purpose of the war. Southerners believed that slavery was the primary cause of the war. Union soldiers were attempting to
Get Access