WU member since Oct. 2005. I enjoy reading, crafts, crosswords, puttering in the yard, old movies and hanging out with my friends on WU.
By: palmettobug53, 12:56 PM GMT on April 16, 2011
Bombardment of Ft. Sumter, April 12-13, 1861
There are various names for this conflict, coined by both North and South. Some were in use during the war; others, afterwards. In the South, it is still common to hear it referred to as "The War", as if it were the only conflict ever fought on earth.
Whatever the name, it rent the nation. It set father against son and brother against brother. It destroyed the economy of the South, which took decades to recover.
It created a new state, West Virginia. It freed the slaves, which was the root reason for Southern secession despite all the protestations about State's Rights.
You can find thousands of websites and hundreds of books on the subject. There are movies, some more factual than others. Lots of documentaries. There are tons of historical fiction books you can read. Some are total fiction; others, the authors do try to keep their facts straight, while writing about fictional characters. There are more Civil War reenactors than you can shake a stick at.
With all the local hoo-haa going on about the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, I'd been thinking long and hard about whether or not to put up some kind of entry about it. There's been a lot of debate and protests about just how much this event should be 'celebrated' or commemmorated.
I have decided to go ahead with an entry, since this war (and the reasons for it) changed the course of our nation in many ways. I'll depend mainly on links to related sites and let them speak for themselves, rather than doing my own commentary.
I have been especially interested in the stories of women who fought during the war after reading An Uncommon Soldier - The Letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Pvt. Lyons Wakeman, 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers, 1862-1864
Women Soldiers of the Civil War
Women Soldiers and Nurses of the American Civil War
The Post and Courier, our local paper has had an ongoing series of articles about the 150th anniversary:
The Civil War - 150 Years
The Columbia paper, The State, has done so, as well:
The Civil War - 150 Years Later
Ken Burns did an excellent documentary on The Civil War. If you have never seen it, I highly recommend that you do. It was very objective, with viewpoints from both sides, via letters, diaries, journals, and newspapers.
One woman who was regularly quoted in his documentary was Mary Boykin Chestnut. A resident of South Carolina and the wife of a Southern general, she provided excellent insight into life before and during the war. You can read her "A Dairy From Dixie" online on several websites. There is an audio version on Librivox. Her diary is likely available at your local library. It is, at mine, and I've read it. Fascinating.
Clara Barton worked tirelessly to tend wounded soldiers during the war. She worked hard to obtain names of deceased soldiers, so that their families could be notified and spearheaded the effort to establish the American Red Cross.
One of my favourite books that touches on the war was written by Jessamyn West, Except For Me and Thee. Though fictional, West drew on stories told to her by her mother about her Quaker family in Indiana during the 1800's.
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Updated: 1:49 PM GMT on May 07, 2011