Hvilke muligheder havde sydlige soldater i den amerikanske borgerkrig for at få nyheder om nord?

Hvilke muligheder havde sydlige soldater i den amerikanske borgerkrig for at få nyheder om nord?

Min oldefar var en konfødereret kavalerisoldat, der kæmpede under Johnsons resterende styrker efter Lees overgivelse. I sin dagbog skriver han den 18. april 1865, "Gode nyheder i dag. Lincoln er blevet dræbt, mens han var i sin kasse på teatret. Washington og Bill Seaward blev stukket flere steder." Jeg er ikke sikker på, hvem denne "Washington" -person er, men jeg ved, at mordet på Lincoln og mordforsøget på William Seward fandt sted den 14. april 1865 - kun fire dage før dagbogsposten. Jeg går ud fra, at der ikke var nogen telegraftjeneste mellem nord og syd under krigen. Hvordan kunne nyheder fra nordstaterne, såsom Lincolns mord, finde vej til befolkningen i konfødererede stater og især dets soldater?


Så snart dødsfaldet blev offentliggjort i nordlige aviser, ville det være blevet tilgængeligt mod syd. Til en vigtig begivenhed, som Lincolns attentat, ville en mand have brugt en hest og båret en avis lige til Richmond, som ligger cirka 100 miles væk fra Washington DC, hvor mordet fandt sted. Siden de første rapporter blev offentliggjort den 16. april, ville de have været trykt i Richmond den 17. april og den næste dag, den 18. april, ville alle aviserne i syd have offentliggjort nyhederne efter at have modtaget dem pr. telegraf eller kurer.


Udover officiel eller hemmelig agentbevægelse af nyheder og aviser, var det rutine for soldater på piketvagt at skifte aviser og læsestof sammen med kaffe og tobak, når hære var i kontakt. Ønsket om forskelligt læsestof var meget stærkt.


Uddannelse i 1860'erne

Julian Scott Et billede af et kvindeligt seminarium i, Nashville, Tennessee, der blev brugt som kaserne i marts 1862. Library of Congress

Skolen var et vigtigt emne i de fleste børns liv. Få stater leverede universel offentlig uddannelse, men i lokalsamfund i hele landet startede lokale kirkelige menigheder og borgerligt sindede borgere skoler. Læreren blev ofte stort set overladt til sit eget udstyr, og den daglige drift af skolerne var mere baseret på lærerens praksis end bestyrelsens politikker. Landbrugsøkonomien i både nord og syd dikterede skoleskemaer, og børn blev undskyldt fra skolen i de måneder, hvor de var nødvendige for at arbejde på markerne. Den moderne praksis med at lukke skoler for lange sommerferier er en overgang fra denne praksis.

Skolerne var generelt små, og ofte blev der undervist i flere klassetrin i samme lokale. Testen var ofte mundtlig, og børn lagde og reciterede oftere end de skrev. Der er faktisk noget, der tyder på, at udtrykket "at tåle stregen" vedrører praksis med at få børn til at stå ved en linje på gulvet, når de læser deres lektioner

Kropsstraf blev brugt, og endda opmuntret. Lucy Chase rejste sydpå for at undervise på en skole for gratis sorte. Hun fortalte i et brev, at mødrene ofte opfordrede hende til at bruge kropsstraf:

Norfolk, Va. 7/1/64
. Mange far og mor har tigget mig om at slå deres børn i skolen. "Spar stangen og ødelæg barnet", står på enhver mors tunge. "Nu pisker du hende og gør en god pige ud af hende," siger den venligste mor, da hun stoler på sit sødeste barn til os.

Generelt gik eleverne i skole i færre år end moderne elever. En kort undersøgelse af skolebøger fra perioden indikerer imidlertid, at deres læsebøger avancerede gennem flere moderne klassetrin i et givet år. Ved det femte skoleår læste eleverne materiale på et niveau, der i dag betragtes som college -niveau.

Der var også akademier, der leverede intensive uddannelsesoplevelser for drenge og piger i alderen tretten til tyve. Børn i velhavende familier går om bord på akademiet, mens børn fra området var dagstuderende. Disse akademier tilbød en række forskellige klasser. John B. Cary’s Hampton, Virginia Male and Female Academy tilbød for eksempel klasser i græsk, latin, fransk, tysk, italiensk og spansk samt kemi, naturfilosofi og astronomi. Som på de fleste akademier blev drengene og pigerne holdt adskilt i Hampton.

På mange sydlige akademier blev disciplinen opretholdt blandt drengene gennem en træning af militærform, der godt forberedte dem til militærtjeneste. Det forberedte ikke kun de studerende, men også fakultetet. Faktisk lukkede John B. Carys akademi under krigen, da 20% af fakultetet, og 25% af de studerende tjente sammen i en enhed, der blev det 32. Virginia -infanteri. (Borgerkrigen havde en mindre indvirkning på de nordlige akademier.)

Julian Scott

En familie, der sendte et barn til et akademi, betalte undervisning og ofte kostgebyrer. Derudover klarede familien sig uden nogen indkomst, som barnet måske havde tjent på et deltidsjob. Således var elever, der gik på og gik på skoler som Carys Hampton -akademi, undtagelsen snarere end reglen.

—Adapted from An Introduction to Civil War Civilians af Juanita Leisch (Thomas Publications, 1994)


Langt de fødevaresoldater, der har modtaget, har været kilden til flere historier end noget andet aspekt af hærens liv. Unionens soldat modtog en række forskellige spiselige ting. Madspørgsmålet eller rationen var normalt beregnet til at vare tre dage i aktiv kampagne og var baseret på de almindelige hæfteklammer af kød og brød. Kød kom normalt i form af saltet svinekød eller i sjældne tilfælde fersk oksekød. Rationer af svinekød eller oksekød blev kogt, steget eller stegt over åbne lejrbål. Hærens brød var en melkiks kaldet hardtack, omdøbt til "tand-sløv", "orm  slotte" og "pladejernekiks" af soldaterne, der spiste dem. Hardtack kunne spises almindeligt, selvom de fleste mænd foretrak at skåle dem over en ild, smuldre dem i supper eller smuldre og stege dem med deres svinekød og baconfedt i et fad kaldet skillygalee. Andre madvarer omfattede ris, ærter, bønner, tørret frugt, kartofler, melasse, eddike og salt. Bagte bønner var en nordlig favorit, da der kunne bruges tid på at forberede dem, og man kunne få en gryde med låg. Kaffe var en meget ønskelig hæfteklammer, og nogle soldater anså spørgsmålet om kaffe og tilhørende sukker vigtigere end noget andet. Kaffebønner blev fordelt grønt, så det var op til soldaterne at stege og male dem. Opgaven for denne mest eftertragtede af drikkevarer var værd hvert sekund, som den tidligere soldat John Billings mindede om: "Hvilken gudstjeneste det forekom os til tider! Hvor ofte efter at have været fuldstændig nedslidt af en natmarsch. Har jeg haft en vask, hvis jeg der var vand at hente, lave og drikke min halvliter eller deromkring kaffe og føltes lige så frisk og forfrisket, som om den bare var opstået fra en natlyd og#160søvn! "

Soldater grupperede sig ofte i et "rod" for at kombinere og dele rationer, ofte med en soldat udvalgt som kok eller delt opgave mellem ham og en anden mand. Men i aktiv kampagne blev rationer normalt udarbejdet af hver mand efter individets smag. Det blev anset for vigtigt for mændene at tilberede kødrationen, så snart den blev udstedt, for den kunne spises kold, hvis aktivitet forhindrede kogbrande. En almindelig kampagnemiddag var saltet svinekød skåret over hardtack med kaffe kogt i blikskåle, som hver mand bar.

Den sydlige soldats kost var betydeligt forskellig fra hans nordlige modstykke og normalt i meget mindre mængde. Den gennemsnitlige konfødererede levede af bacon, majsmel, melasse, ærter, tobak, grøntsager og ris. De modtog også en kaffeerstatning, som ikke var så ønskværdig, som de rigtige kaffe nordboere havde. Handel med tobak til kaffe var ganske almindelig under hele krigen, da kampene ikke var i gang. Andre varer til handel eller byttehandel omfattede aviser, synåle, knapper og valuta.


Tilsyneladende er alt muligt allerede blevet skrevet om det klimatiske slag ved Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - tre mareridtige dage med intens kamp i begyndelsen af ​​juli 1863 - der bestemte Amerikas skæbne.

Derfor, for folk, der har lyst til noget nyt ud over standardfortællingen, der så ofte blev gentaget i fortiden, blev de stærkt skuffede over de nye Gettysburg -titler, der blev udgivet til 150 -årsdagen.

Faktisk har denne uheldige situation, der fuldt ud har afsløret den generelle sterilitet i Gettysburg -studieretningen, resulteret i, at denne bog blev skrevet for at fylde dette betydelige tomrum i den historiske rekord. Den fortæller historien om irerne og deres nøgleroller i slaget ved Gettysburg og den samlede borgerkrig.

Dette vigtige kapitel om de vitale bidrag fra de mest unikt etniske og uklare kæmpende mænd, især i rækken af ​​Army of Northern Virginia, er ikke tidligere blevet afsløret fuldt ud, selv i bøger om den mest skrevne og afgørende konfrontation i civil Krig - og amerikansk - historie. Derfor repræsenterer denne analyse af betydningen af ​​den irske rolle i Gettysburg en af ​​de sidste grænser for Gettysburg historiografi.

På grund af deres mangeårige fravær fra den historiske rekord vil bidragene fra disse unge irske mænd og drenge i det afgørende slag ved Gettysburg blive undersøgt. Den uforglemmelige historie om et stort antal irske konfødererede, der spillede hovedroller i kampens mest klimatiske øjeblik, "Picketts Charge" den varme eftermiddag den 3. juli 1863, skal fortælles.

Konfødererede general Robert E. Lee

Disse unge mænd og drenge fra Irland, især de nyeste immigranter, blev bogstaveligt talt fanget mellem to verdener - det gamle hjemland og den nye verden - da de stoisk avancerede på tværs af de åbne marker i rækken af ​​Lees største offensive indsats. Irerne på begge sider omfattede soldater, der stadig talte det irske sprog.

Et stort antal irere på konføderationens side marcherede til deres død under det dristige bud, herunder Pickett's Charge om at gennembore højre-midten af ​​Army of the Potomac på et svagt punkt på Cemetery Ridge defensive line. Før borgerkrigens mest berømte angreb spillede irske konfødererede ledende roller i lige så bestemte angreb på den anden dag i begge ender af generalmajor George Gordon Meades lange forsvarslinje centreret om udbredelsen af ​​Cemetery Ridge: East Cemetery Hill i nord, hvor et stort antal irske oprørere i Louisiana anklagede højderne for krigsropet "Vi er Louisiana Tigre!" og i det altafgørende opgør for besiddelse af strategisk Little Round Top, hvor irske soldater fra Alabama Brigade og Texas Brigade udførte pragtfuldt i bestemte angreb på linjens sydlige ende.

Ironisk nok var de irske soldater ofte numsen af ​​vittigheder og racestereotyper blandt de ikke-irske, hvilket gav en kilde til soldathumor i hele Syd. Selv den berømte dagbogskriver Mary Chesnut, der havde sine egne irske tjenere, skrev, hvordan hun så den irske sygeplejerske fra præsident Jefferson Davis -familien "græde og græde, som kun en irsk kvinde kan."

Desværre for den historiske historie har disse irske konføderationer efterladt os med relativt få breve, dagbøger eller erindringer i private samlinger og arkiver rundt om i USA, en uheldig udvikling, der har dømt disse sønner af Erin og deres bemærkelsesværdige slagmark -præstationer til uklarhed, især i forhold til slaget ved Gettysburg.

Faktisk er intet aspekt af Gettysburg historiografi blevet overset mere end etniske undersøgelser, der har afsløret ny indsigt i den samlede amerikanske oplevelse. Dette har været en ironisk udvikling på grund af de irske konføderationers vigtige roller i de tre dage i Gettysburg, hvilket giver yderligere beviser for et særligt rigt fagområde.

I 1861 var den største immigrantgruppe i syd de indfødte irere (katolikker) og skotsk-irske (protestanter). I modsætning til stereotypen om, at Syd bestod af et homogent angelsaksisk samfund, der blev overført fra England, var Syd overfyldt med hårdtarbejdende og fromme immigranter fra Emerald Isle.

Forbundsfanger i Gettysburg. Foto: Public Domain

I 1860 var Syd en multikulturel og multietnisk nation, der hånede efterkrigstidens stereotype af den homogene angelsaksiske (eller ariske) befolkning, der angiveligt repræsenterede angelsaksisk renhed-en af ​​de største og mest vedvarende Lost Cause-myter om det gamle syd. Som den største immigrantgruppe i syd i 1860 tilføjede det irske folk og deres livlige kultur den mest farverige komponent i det, der var en ægte heterogen blanding, hvilket afspejlede de demografiske realiteter i Sydens befolkning og til gengæld de konfødererede hære, herunder Army of Northern Virginia.

Desværre har romantikken om Lost Cause -myter i høj grad tilsløret Sydens etniske realiteter og kompleksiteter, især de uforholdsmæssige irske bidrag fra krigstiden i en stor dæmpning af den historiske rekord. Disse vedvarende racemytter blev udviklet af en aktiv gruppe efterkrigstidens sydlige forfattere, tidligere konfødererede ledere og historikere med en trøstende psykologisk forklaring og moralsk begrundelse for at de sejrede sydlige folk kunne minimere deres ydmygende nederlag og underkastelse, for at forklare deres katastrofale nederlag og at genvinde den moralske høje grund tabt ved slaveriets forsvar.

Heldigvis for Konføderationen hvad angår dets krigsevne-i en parallel, der var set i de tretten kolonier lige før den amerikanske revolution-havde Syd en stor irsk arbejdskraftpulje i 1860. Titusinder af immigranter havde oversvømmet i syd, især store byområder (mest af alt New Orleans) på grund af udvandringen skabt af den store kartoffel hungersnød fra 1845–1849. Kendt som An Gorta Mor - gammel gælisk for "Den store sult.

I modsætning til i større nordøstlige byer sikrede den meget lettere assimilering af irske immigranter i den overordnede mainstream af et mere åbent og tolerant sydligt samfund - hvidhedens enhed i et slavesamfund øget ligestilling for hvide - en dyb loyalitet, herunder tilslutning fra Det Demokratiske Parti, til deres adopterede hjemland og en udbredt slid af det grå.

Mest afslørende i løbet af 1850'erne fejede grimme anti-irske optøjer gennem de etniske slumkvarterer og ghettoer i New York City, Philadelphia og Boston og målrettede endda katolske kirker, mens irerne blev accepteret som fuldgyldige borgere i Richmond, Mobile og Charleston. Det var klart, at dette var en betydelig forskel, der ikke gik tabt for titusinder af sønner af Erin på tværs af syd med deres adopterede fædrelands kald til våben i april 1861, efter affyringen på Fort Sumter i havnen i Charleston, South Carolina.

Derfor fandt størstedelen af ​​det irske folk ud af, at Syden, ikke Nord, var det sande frihedsland, der byder på større sociale og økonomiske muligheder og lettere adgang til den overordnede mainstream i dagligdagen. Faktisk, siden før nationens grundlæggelse i den brændende smede af en folkerevolution, Syd og dets folk - ikke kun i byerne, men også i landdistrikterne og i de vestlige grænseregioner (så langt vest som sletterne i det vestlige Texas) - var fuldt ud modtagelige for de irske flygtninge fra hårde økonomiske tider, hungersnød og britisk undertrykkelse.

I alt kæmpede anslået fyrre tusinde irere for konføderationen. Under højdepunktet i det blodige opgør i Gettysburg marcherede et stort antal irlandfødte konføderationer frem i lange formationer, der flød med mekanisk lignende præcision over de åbne marker under Picketts Charge.

Slaget ved Gettysburg maleri af Thure de Thulstrup

Kampen mod centraliseret autoritet var blevet en livsstil for generationer af irere, og borgerkrigen var kun det sidste kapitel i det, der næsten var blevet en kulturel tradition for Erins sønner. Forfædrene til mange irske katolikker fra Army of Northern Virginia (ironisk nok, ligesom de blå-uniformerede mænd i den irske brigade) havde været frihedselskende oprørere, der havde rejst sig mod engelske angribere århundreder før på det gamle hjemland.

Under Lee's angreb om eftermiddagen den 3. juli var disse Erins Sønner derfor stadig stolte over at videreføre den fornemme revolutionære arv fra irske oprørere, der strakte sig langt ud over Amerikas egen revolutionære arv.

Under hvad der faktisk kun var deres seneste revolution mod dominans af centraliseret autoritet (nu placeret i Washington, DC, og ikke London, men stadig en fjern magt, der repræsenterede vilkårlig styre) og en ulige modstander, angreb irske konfødererede kompagnier fra talrige regimenter over de åbne marker i Gettysburg med farverige kampflag af grønt præget med gamle patriotiske slagord, mens de frigjorde irske krigsrop, der var blevet hørt på Irlands mest berømte slagmarker i en storied fortid.

Med hensyn til at forklare de irske soldaters fælles motiver, der var atypiske sammenlignet med andre sydlige soldater, kæmpede ingen konfødererede i Gettysburg generelt mindre for slaveri end irerne. Langt de fleste af disse irske immigranter i grå og butternut var trods alt relativt fattige og primært menialarbejdere i den lavere klasse-det tidligere bønder i det såkaldte gamle land. Disse hårde mænd havde for det meste været almindelige arbejdere, der havde arbejdet på havnebaner, jernbaner, dæmninger og små gårde i Syd.

Derfor var relativt få irere (mere tilfældet med katolikker end protestanter-de skotsk-irske-især de store hungersnød katolikker) i de sydlige ejede slaver i 1860. Faktisk var irlænderne, især katolikkerne, generelt mindst sandsynligvis vil være slaveejere, dels fordi de var kommet fra et undertrykt mindretal og var mere empatiske end angelsaksere, der havde en lang historie som erobrere.

Forbundne soldater illustration. Foto: Wiki

I sandhed kæmpede disse irere også fra en følelse af oprigtig taknemmelighed til et sydligt samfund, der havde accepteret dem og behandlet dem mere retfærdigt end det nordlige samfund. Derfor var de fyldt med en levende ny nationalisme af en slags, som deres irske forfædre oplevede i kampen mod de engelske angribere gennem århundrederne. Fordi Syd havde accepteret irerne (katolikker og protestanter) i generationer og givet rigelige økonomiske muligheder for dem at komme videre på den sociale stige i modsætning til i nordøstlige byer, hjalp denne vej med mobilitet opad til at åbne mange lederstillinger i de konfødererede hære. Mest af alt udviklede en levende følelse af irsk nationalisme sig glidende til den overordnede mainstream af sydlig nationalisme i 1861, fordi almindelige folks to revolutionære kampe blev betragtet som stort set en og samme, på trods af at de eksisterede på modsatte sider af Atlanterhavet og adskilt tusinder af miles-en retfærdig, hvis hellig, kamp for selvbestemmelse ("hjemmestyre") af almindelige mennesker.

Og ingen varig idé fra historiens sider og en tåget keltisk fortid var mere fremtrædende i hjerterne og sindene på hundredvis af disse modige Erinsønner end, at Irlands århundredelange kamp mod undertrykkelsen af ​​Storbritannien var det samme som konføderationens kamp for selvbestemmelse.


Overgivelse i den amerikanske borgerkrig

Hver fjerde soldat overgav sig på et tidspunkt under den amerikanske borgerkrig. Det var en hæderlig måde at acceptere nederlag - forudsat at det blev gjort under de rigtige omstændigheder.

Fort Sumter, 14. april 1861, under konfødereret flag.

M ajor Robert Anderson forventede aldrig at blive den første helt i den amerikanske borgerkrig. Den 19. april 1861 stod han om bord på USS Baltikum da den dampede ind i New York Havn, eskorteret af en flåde skibe, der jublede over deres ankomst. Om bord var garnisonen i Fort Sumter, som Anderson havde overgivet til konfødererede styrker et par dage tidligere. Siden december 1860, da South Carolina løsrev sig fra Unionen, havde Andersons lille garnison været i en krisetilstand med faldende forsyninger og uklar vejledning fra Washington. Anderson havde afvist konfødererede general Pierre G.T. Beauregards første krav om overgivelse den 11. april, men efter 34 timers bombardement og med fortet i brand rejste Anderson det hvide flag. Efter at have sikret fortet gav konfødererede embedsmænd Anderson og hans mænd sikker passage.

Under rejsen mod nord anede de ikke, hvilken form for modtagelse de ville modtage, når de ankom til New York. Til deres overraskelse blev de 'modtaget med ubegrænset entusiasme'. For at ære Anderson og hans mænd holdt byen et enormt stævne på Union Square, en begivenhed, der ville have været passende for en sejrrig general. Mere end 100.000 New Yorkere ( New York Times rapporterede det som 'hele byens befolkning') oversvømmede parken og de omkringliggende gader. Anderson blev rost af en række talere som en 'galant kommandør', 'helten fra Fort Sumter', der havde overlevet 'røgen og flammen'. Ros til Anderson var ikke begrænset til nord. Det Richmond Daily Examiner højdede 'den højeste ære og ære for den galante kommandantmajor og det ædle bånd af helte, der så trofast tjente under ham'. For sin del virkede Robert Anderson noget flov over hele sagen. Som karrieremilitær havde han aldrig søgt rampelyset.

Hvis Robert Andersons overgivelse ved Fort Sumter i april 1861 traditionelt har markeret starten på den amerikanske borgerkrig, nævnes konfødererede general Robert E. Lees overgivelse til unionsgeneral Ulysses S. Grant ved Appomattox Courthouse i april 1865 ofte som sin ende (dog i Virkeligheden var kun den første i en række overgivelser, der signalerede konfødererede nederlag). Mellem Fort Sumter og Appomattox Courthouse overgav både unions- og konfødererede styrker sig ved snesevis af lejligheder, herunder nogle af krigens afgørende kampe: Fort Donelson, Harpers Ferry og Vicksburg. I den største af disse overgivelser lagde soldater, der tæller i tusinder, deres våben. I næsten alle borgerkrigskampe befandt soldater - individuelt og i små grupper - sig i en position, hvor det ikke syntes at være deres eneste mulighed at vælge at kæmpe og kastede deres arme op under overgivelse.

En ud af hver fire soldater overgav sig på et tidspunkt under den amerikanske borgerkrig, mange overgav sig ved flere lejligheder. Selvom statistikken sørgeligt er ufuldstændig, overgav cirka 700.000 soldater sig. Dette er omtrent lig med antallet af dræbte soldater. Hvis døden formede borgerkrigen, overgav det sig også.

En af grundene til, at overgivelse viste sig at være så allestedsnærværende, var, at både unions- og konfødererede officerer havde en klar, fælles forståelse for, hvornår man kunne gøre det ærligt, demonstrerede en rubrik under Robert Andersons overgivelse ved Fort Sumter. Når man blev beskudt, kunne man overgive sig ærligt, når det blev tydeligt, at det fortsatte med at kæmpe ville vise sig at være nytteløst.

Dette forblev standarden under hele krigen, selv til det sidste. For eksempel i maj 1865 - mere end en måned efter Lees overgivelse i Appomattox, efter overgivelsen af ​​andre konfødererede hære under generaler Joseph Johnston, Richard Taylor og Jeff Thompson, efter at konfødererede præsident Jefferson Davis blev taget til fange - sendte unionshæren en kurer til general Edmund Kirby Smith og spurgte, om han ikke ville overgive den sidste store konfødererede styrke i feltet. Chefen for Department of Trans-Mississippi, Kirby Smith, var blevet isoleret fra resten af ​​konføderationen siden Vicksburgs fald to år tidligere. Alligevel sagde han, at han ikke kunne overgive og skrev i et langt svar, at 'en betjent ærligt kan overgive sin kommando, når han har modstået det yderste af sin magt, og der ikke er noget håb på hans yderligere bestræbelser'. Kirby Smith var ikke under den illusion, at konføderationen ville rejse sig igen, eller at han kunne forsvare sig mod en union invasion af Trans-Mississippi, men konkluderede, at han ikke kunne overgive sig, før omstændighederne tvang hans hånd.

Mens de fleste overgivelser under den amerikanske borgerkrig opfyldte denne standard, overgav officerer nogle gange for tidligt eller uden årsag. Da unionens oberst Dixon Miles overgav Harpers Ferry til konfødererede general Stonewall Jackson i september 1862, mente mange af hans soldater, at de ikke havde fået tilstrækkelig mulighed for at kæmpe. En soldat mindede om, at 'Unionens mænd og officeres forargelse ved overgivelsen var frygtelig - nogle hulkede som børn, nogle svor, nogle var vrede uden ord'. En anden bemærkede, at 'jeg har aldrig set ti tusinde mænd alle frygteligt vrede i mit liv, men denne gang'. Nordlige aviser og en kongresundersøgelse konkluderede, at Miles handlede af fejhed frem for diskretion, således at 'oberst Miles' uarbejdsdygtighed, der udgjorde næsten uforskammethed, førte til den skammelige overgivelse af denne vigtige post. 'Harpers Ferry viste sig at være Unionens største overgivelse i borgerkrigen, hvor mere end 12.000 soldater lagde deres våben. Ironisk nok overlevede Dixon Miles ikke for at høre sit navn rive gennem mudderet: i det øjeblik, han beordrede overgivelsen, blev Miles ramt af et fragment fra en artilleriskal og døde kort tid efter.

Overgivelse havde stor indflydelse på krigens konklusion og formede dens efterspil. Efter at have vundet genvalg i november 1864 så Abraham Lincoln konfødererede overgivelse som en vej til fred efter krigens dødbringende år. Lincoln opmuntrede sine generaler til at tilbyde generøse vilkår i håb om, at dette ville lokke konfødererede til at lægge deres våben. 'Lad dem overgive sig og gå hjem,' sagde Lincoln til dem:

de vil ikke tage våben igen. Lad dem alle gå, betjente og alle, lad dem få dem til at have deres heste at pløje med, og hvis du vil, deres kanoner til at skyde krager med ... Giv dem de mest liberale og hæderlige vilkår.

De konfødererede soldater ville straks blive paroleret og få lov til at vende hjem. De ville få rationer og i nogle tilfælde transport. De ville ikke gå i fængsel og ville ikke blive retsforfulgt for forræderi. Overgivelse ville være vejen til at afslutte krigen hurtigt og med den mindste mængde blodsudgydelse.

Mens Lincoln ønskede at lokke konfødererede officerer og hære til at overgive, instruerede han sine generaler om ikke at lade konføderationen selv overgive sig. Fra begyndelsen af ​​borgerkrigen mente Lincoln -administrationen, at løsrivelse var forfatningsstridig og den konfødererede regering ulovlig. Lincoln selv omtalte det ofte som det 'såkaldte konføderation' og gjorde sig umage for at undgå at anerkende det som en rivaliserende nation. Han bekymrede sig over, at hvis Unionen accepterede overgivelsen af ​​Forbundets politiske ledere, ville det med tilbagevirkende kraft give regeringen en vis stilling. At genkende dens død ville i realiteten genkende dens liv. For sin del var konfødererede præsident Jefferson Davis også enig i, at konføderationen ikke kunne overgive sig. Den konfødererede forfatning, argumenterede han, gav ham betydelig magt, men den tillod ham ikke at afslutte sit liv ved overgivelse. Følgelig endte den amerikanske borgerkrig ikke med en massiv overgivelse, men med overgivelse af individuelle konfødererede kommandoer.

Selvom de var utilfredse med krigens resultater, mente de fleste konfødererede soldater, at Unionen tilbød generøse vilkår og var ivrige efter at vende tilbage til det civile liv. Men ikke alle konfødererede var villige til at acceptere, at krigen var ved at være slut. Ved Appomattox Courthouse og i de overgivelser, der fulgte, besluttede nogle mænd ikke at acceptere deres chefs beslutning og forlod håbet om at slutte sig til en anden konfødereret hær. Da Kirby Smith endelig overgav sig, marcherede nogle af hans soldater ind i Mexico i stedet for at acceptere nederlag. Mange af disse mænd, der nægtede at acceptere overgivelse i slutningen af ​​krigen, fortsatte med at modstå den føderale regering i de følgende år og blev grundlæggerne af paramilitære organisationer som Ku Klux Klan under genopbygningen.

Robert Andersons borgerkrig sluttede i april 1865, da han blev bedt om at vende tilbage til Fort Sumter for at mindes fire år siden hans overgivelse. Unionen havde for nylig fået kontrol over byen og var på nippet til at besejre konføderationen. Natten før Anderson skulle deltage i en stor ceremoni i fortets ruiner, nåede nyhederne til Charleston om Lees overgivelse ved Appomattox Courthouse, hvilket fik festlighederne til at vare til langt ud på natten. Næste morgen gik Anderson og andre bemærkelsesværdige ombord på skibe, der færgede dem til Fort Sumter, med tribuner pyntet på patriotisk gyser. EN New York Times korrespondent bemærkede, at fire år tidligere 'blev vores nationale fenrik, der svævede i sin stolthed og magt over Fort Sumters slagområder, angrebet og efterfulgt af overgivelse'. I dag blev 'det identiske flag, der blev sænket i ydmygelse, rejst med passende ceremonier'. Da jubelen faldt, sagde Anderson, at han ’var her for at opfylde mit hjertes elskede ønske gennem fire lange, lange år med blodig krig, for at genskabe dette kære flag på sin rette plads’.

David Silkenat er forfatter til Hævning af det hvide flag: Hvordan overgivelse definerede den amerikanske borgerkrig (University of North Carolina Press, 2019).


Den konfødererede hærs historie

Konføderationen blev oprettet i starten af ​​den amerikanske borgerkrig. I 1860, da Abraham Lincoln vandt valget, begyndte de sydlige stater at løsrive sig fra Unionen. De besluttede at oprette et konføderation og dermed have en organisation, som de kunne træffe beslutninger om. Den konfødererede hærs styrke var halvdelen af ​​unionshæren. Der var kun så mange soldater, der var imod forbundsstyrkerne og centralregeringen.

Der var ikke kun Unionens hærmænd i den konfødererede hær, men også de fanger, der blev fanget i krigen fra forskellige træfninger. De omfattede også indianerne. Der var omkring 28.693 indianere, der tjente både i unionen og den konfødererede hær. Den konfødererede hær havde afroamerikanere og kinesere. De ufuldstændige og ødelagte optegnelser giver et unøjagtigt antal af de tal, der tjente i den konfødererede hær, men efter bedste skøn deltog 1,5 millioner soldater i borgerkrig mod Union Army.


Sydens besættelse

Ruiner af Cary Street, Richmond. Fotokredit: U.S. Army Military History Institute, MOLLUS-MASS Collection.

Fagforeningssoldater i det sydlige USA ved afslutningen af ​​borgerkrigen stod over for en situation, der kan virke uhyggeligt kendt for dem, der for nylig har tjent på steder som Bosnien, Irak eller Afghanistan. There were large areas of great devastation, rubbled cities, neglected farms, hunger, a fractured and demoralized society in chaos, with hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (including newly-freed slaves and soldiers just released from the disbanded Confederate Army ), and little remaining civil government. In short, there was little-beyond the Union Army-to prevent the entire region from slipping away into post-war anarchy.

At the national level, most planning had focused on winning the war, not on what would follow. In the absence of a coherent national plan, and with limited experience and no formal doctrine on the subject, the Union Army did what Soldiers have always done-they adapted to the situation and found ways to accomplish the mission. From the earliest occupations in 1862 (Nashville, New Bern, New Orleans, Norfolk, and Memphis), the army built upon its military occupation experiences from the Mexican War (1846-48), and worked to find approaches that would work in the southern states as they fell. The specifics of how they did this varied, but a closer look at the situation in the fallen capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia, offers a good example.

On April 3, 1865, six days before the surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, two divisions under General Godfrey Weitzel, commanding general of the Twenty-Fifth Corps of the Union Army, occupied Richmond. By order of General Robert E. Lee (who realized his lines were broken and Richmond was lost), the Confederate Army had retreated from the city the night before, leaving instructions for the mayor to surrender the next morning. When Weitzel’s Union soldiers arrived, they found a city on fire and a civilian populace without the will or means to stop either the flames or the extensive looting that accompanied them.

There was no Army doctrine for Stability Operations, but the way forward was clear – Weitzel’s priority was to restore order, and his soldiers quickly made the transition from combat to stability. They stacked arms in the city square and went to work with bucket brigades to save what they could. By the first evening, the fires were out, order was restored, and the city was secured against further violence.

Humanitarian assistance was the next priority. Much of the populace was starving and in a generally desperate condition. A military relief commission established procedures to distribute food to thirty districts in the city. Hunger persisted as a problem for months, but the aid distribution system worked to prevent tragedy. Of particular note was the recognition and acceptance of local expertise. Two civilians were assigned to each district-many with experience in local charity work.

Ruins of Gallego Mills, Richmond, VA. Photo Credit: U.S. Army Military History Institute, MOLLUS-MASS Collection.

Other challenges were much more complex. Perhaps the most immediate task with long-term implications was the restoration of agriculture. There were only a few weeks left to plant crops for the growing season, and the fields around Richmond were greatly neglected. The situation was not only a matter of tending the fields and doing the planting, it also involved labor issues – the slaves were now freedmen, and their labor was no longer mandatory or free. The Army had to assume the role of jobs bureau and facilitate a new relationship that could get the crops planted while protecting the rights of former slaves. To encourage freedmen to return to the farms they had previously worked, the Army tied distribution of food rations for able-bodied workers to their willingness to work. At the same time, the Army had to ensure that the landowners paid these returning workers appropriately (sometimes even designating what that wage should be) and treated them as the free men they now were. To further boost the system, the Army disbursed abandoned, captured, and excess property- government horses and mules in particular-to the populace. The results of the agricultural effort were effective, at least in the short term-the 1865 crop was generally good and famine was averted.

Rebuilding local agriculture and labor systems was an important step towards restoration of much larger regional and national systems like transportation, commerce and banking, and the broken economy in general. There were great needs in many other areas, as well-reestablishing the court systems, local law enforcement, local political systems and elections-to name a few. Nearly all of these tasks were beyond the current expertise of the Army that was tasked to address them. But as has been the case so often, the Army did address them because, especially in the first years of the reconstruction, it was the only organization that could. It is interesting to note that many southerners recognized this as well. They wanted and asked for military control of their areas at the beginning of the reconstruction, rather than civilian government. Whatever their other thoughts about the Army, they knew that it could provide security, and that it was their best chance for fair treatment and protection from exploitation.

The ruins of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad bridge in Richmond, Virginia, at the end of the American Civil War stood as a reminder to the nation that there was much to rebuild. Photo Credit: U.S. Army Military History Institute, MOLLUS-MASS Collection.

As Reconstruction in the South progressed, other forces came into play. There were political battles over how much aid to give and for how long and fierce arguments over the terms of reconciliation, and over the proper balance between the desire to punish and the need to rehabilitate. A large and rapid drawdown of forces hindered the Army’s ability to maintain order, a persistent insurgency developed against the enforcement of federal laws, especially with regard to civil rights, and opportunists from both the North and South spread corruption. The legacy of those later years of Reconstruction stayed with the South for many decades. However, the experiences of the Army in the first years of Reconstruction were foundational to its future experiences with military government, reconstruction, and stability operations in general-themes that persist to the present.

ABOUT THIS STORY: Many of the sources presented in this article are among 400,000 books, 1.7 million photos and 12.5 million manuscripts available for study through the U.S. Army Military History Institute (MHI). The artifacts shown are among nearly 50,000 items of the Army Heritage Museum (AHM) collections. MHI and AHM are part of the U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, PA, 17013-5021. Website: https://ahec.armywarcollege.edu/

Occupation: Stability Operation Roots in Civil War Reconstruction in This Week in Army History by Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey A. Calvert, US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 839,
Carlisle, PA 17013

Physical Address (Parcel):
950 Soldiers Drive,
Carlisle, PA 17013


The serial revenge sniper

One thing is always true: Once you train someone to be an effective soldier, they have a skill set that can be easily applied to other pursuits—usually criminal in nature. Sometimes, though, someone skilled at killing people will use those skills to pursue something else: Revenge. Jack Hinson was that person in the American Civil War.

As reported by OZY, Hinson lived with his family on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee. Although his sympathies lay with the South, he was firmly anti-secession and tried to stay neutral. His two sons were captured while out hunting, however, and after being summarily executed as suspected Confederate guerrillas a sadistic Union officer had their heads cut off and mounted on Hinson's fence as a warning.

As you might imagine, this didn't endear Hinson to the Union army. Hinson was no soldier, but Guns.com tells us he was an experienced hunter and expert marksman. He ordered a special gun, a .50 caliber Kentucky Rifle with a barrel 41 inches long, capable of hitting targets from half a mile away in the right hands. And Hinson had the right hands. He embarked on a cold-blooded murder spree to avenge his two boys, and it's estimated Hinson executed as many as 100 Union officers by sniping them with terrifying accuracy. The Union Army eventually designated four regiments to hunt Hinson, but he was never captured, and died peacefully in 1874.


10 War Crimes of the US Civil War

When we think of war crimes, we think of the Nazis and Stalin&rsquos henchmen. The American Civil War has been covered many times on Listverse, but history classes tend to overlook the presence of genuine crimes against the understood rules of proper war-time conduct. Here are 10 of the most heinous examples.

Silas Gordon&rsquos pro-slavery, anti-Union activities resulted in the Union burning down every town and farm in Platte County, Missouri twice. He appears to have been consumed by an intemperate fury against the North, and more than once killed people on mere suspicion, without any evidence of wrongdoing. He was probably responsible for the Platte Bridge Tragedy, in which a rail trestle was burned through, collapsing under the weight of a passenger train, killing at least 17 men, women, and children.

In retaliation for his guerrilla tactics, Colonel James Morgan burned down platte City and apprehended three of Gordon&rsquos men, William Kuykendall, Black Triplett, and Gabriel Chase. They pled for a legitimate trial before a judge, but Morgan had them taken to Bee Creek Bridge, where Triplett was shot by 8 men with muskets. Chase fled with arms bound behind him, but sank to his waist in the muddy bank, where a soldier caught and bayoneted him through the throat with such force that he nearly decapitated him. Kuykendall had played dumb through all of this and his ruse worked. He was spared.

Ferguson was a Confederate guerrilla possessed of the same raging hatred of the Union as Silas Gordon, and led various posses of armed Confederate sympathizers, and sometimes soldiers, in ambushes and murderous raids throughout middle and eastern Tennessee. He is notorious for acting with marked cruelty and targeting anyone, even women and children, whom he felt crossed him or supported the North.

He is said to have cut the heads off 80-year-old men and rolled them down hills into towns. He was arrested within 3 months of returning home to Nashville after hearing news of Lincoln&rsquos assassination, and was tried and hanged on 20 October 1865 for 53 counts of murder. He had personally knifed and shot unarmed civilians for their support of the abolitionist cause. His actions after the First Battle of Saltville, Virginia were specifically cited, in which he and his men invaded a Union field hospital and shot and stabbed to death over two dozen soldiers of the 5th U. S. Colored Cavalry regiment, including white officers.

This campaign is more popularly known as Sherman&rsquos March to the Sea. It is dated from 15 November, in the aftermath of General John Bell Hood&rsquos accidental razing of much of Atlanta, Georgia, to 21 December 1864. Hood&rsquos intent was to burn military supplies lest they fall into General William Sherman&rsquos hands, but most of the city was made of wood and the winds were high.

Sherman ordered his army of 62,000 men with 64 cannons to march from Atlanta 300 miles southeast to Savannah, Georgia and destroy absolutely everything in their path, especially the railroads. They ripped apart the ties, heated and wrapped the rails around trees, dynamited factories, and burned down towns, farms, banks and courthouses. Sherman had given orders that the civilian population was not to be harmed personally unless they resisted, and that his intent was to break the South&rsquos back, physically and psychologically, and put an end to its stubbornness.

Whether the march itself constitutes a war crime is still a fiercely contended subject. It is effectively the same form of warfare as dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was understood in both cases that the civilians, not just the military, would suffer terribly, and civilian outcry would help put an end to the war. But Sherman had no intention of deliberately killing civilians and the march must be left open to debate because of this.

Nevertheless, Sherman knew that civilian deaths would be unavoidable and explained himself in a speech after the war with the statement, &ldquoWar is Hell.&rdquo Uncorroborated reports exist of a massacre of 200 civilians north of Columbia, South Carolina a few months before the march commenced, so Sherman knew full well what his men would do whenever no responsible eyes watched them. Three days after Atlanta was fully evacuated, Sherman ordered the city&rsquos unburned sections shelled to ruins. One shell passed down through a house and blew off the legs of a man named Warner. The same shell cut his daughter in half.

Sherman personally saw his men rape and murder unyielding slaves throughout the march and gave no order to stop this. Those slaves who accepted the offer to enlist were given unarmed porter duties and treated comparatively well, but could only rely on food and water provisions when they were in surplus after the army was satisfied. Sherman also ordered the execution by firing squad of a 50-year-old man accused of espionage. He was most likely not guilty but was given no trial. All crops were either consumed or burned, as were all livestock slaughtered. It is surmised that 50,000 civilians were killed during the war, and possibly 1,000 of them died during the Savannah Campaign at the hands of soldiers unlawfully entering their houses to pillage. The 3rd and 4th Amendments to the Constitution prohibit this.

In January of 1863, at the height of the war, Lieutenant Colonel James Keith was dispatched with the 64th North Carolina Regiment to the town of Marshall, in Madison County, on the border with Tennessee. A posse of pro-Union civilians had broken into the home of Colonel Lawrence Allen, looted and destroyed much of it, then broke into a storehouse for salt and stolen what they could carry, then blew it up with gunpowder kegs.

Keith was enraged and, with the 64th, he searched the Shelton Laurel Valley, found and fought with them, shot down 12, and captured about 7. He then tracked down these men&rsquos family homes and tortured their mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters by breaking their fingers until they revealed the locations of about 8 more Union sympathizers. Keith arrested these men and marched the 15 of them for Tennessee, but two escaped into a steep ravine.

Keith deliberately disobeyed the order of the North Carolina Governor, Zebulon Vance, to hold the prisoners until they could be tried, and had them all executed by firing squad and thrown in a ditch. Keith was given 2 years in prison for this before escaping. He was never seen again.

Few places throughout the United States saw quite the anarchic bloodshed as the Kansas Territory. Senator James Lane led a raid on Osceola on 23 September 1863, in pursuit of General Sterling Price&rsquos invading army, east of Harrisonville and Clinton, Missouri, near the present border with Kansas. Lane was a staunch abolitionist, Price just as staunchly pro-slavery. Lane had about 1,100 men at his disposal and skirmished with a much smaller Union detachment outside Osceola. When the Union soldiers were routed, they fled into the surrounding woods and cornfields, and Lane led his men into the town where they burned 797 of 800 buildings to the ground.

They took care to kill none of the civilian population, but forced them from their homes and then searched every room of every building and stripped all belongings deemed of value, before torching everything, even the church. Lane stole a piano for himself. He then ordered 9 men of military age, one of them 16 years old and sobbing over his dead horse, to be tried on suspicion of aiding the Confederacy, and had them shot dead.

At about 9:00 in the morning, on 27 September 1864, William &ldquoBloody Bill&rdquo Anderson and a force of 80 guerrillas, including Jesse James, rode into Centralia, Missouri to rip up the North Nissouri Railroad. Anderson decided against this and instead, they stopped an arriving train and looted it and its 125 passengers, of whom 23 were Union soldiers. Anderson ordered the train evacuated, the 23 soldiers lined up and stripped, and then asked which of them were officers. Only one man stepped forth, but instead of killing him Anderson&rsquos men shot down the other 22, then scalped, skinned, and dismembered them.

This officer, Sergeant Thomas Goodman, escaped around noon. Some three hours later, 155 Union mounted infantry armed with single-shot muzzle-loading muskets arrived in town, heard of Anderson&rsquos action, and attacked him from the rear. Anderson&rsquos men were armed with up to 4 revolvers each, most stolen over the years, and routed the infantry within 3 minutes of engaging them. Anderson survived to be killed in a battle in October of that year.

Fort Pillow was a Union stronghold on the Tennessee banks of the Mississippi River, near Henning, and on 12 April 1864, it was besieged by up to 2,500 cavalrymen under General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who would later become the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Forrest easily took control of the high ground around the fort and demanded it be surrendered. The commander refused and Forrest&rsquos men assaulted and overwhelmed the defenders. Many of them were shot down as they fled into the river.

Both sides of the war reported that after the fort&rsquos surviving garrison, most of it comprised of black soldiers and civilian workers, surrendered and was disarmed, the Confederates swarmed upon them and bayoneted, knifed, and clubbed some 250 men to death in an orgy of sadism. Over two dozen were castrated and lynched. Forrest always maintained that this massacre was a fair fight because the defenders were armed to the very end.

In retaliation for #6, Captain William Clarke Quantrill led a raid into Lawrence, Kansas on 21 August 1863. Lawrence was a hotbed of anti-slavery sentiment and Quantrill was a fervent pro-slavery Confederate guerrilla, who had effectively enlisted into the Army under General Sterling Price, but deserted to form his own band of soldiers. There was little law in the Kansas Territory, and Quantrill&rsquos Raiders are known for more than one infraction of it.

Quantrill was especially out to kill James Lane, but Lane escaped into a cornfield. The Raiders descended from Mount Oread into town at about 5:00 in the morning and burned down every business and municipal building. Homes were spared torching but the families were driven outside and the husbands, fathers, and son all shot dead on their porches, in the streets, even in their beds. The women were raped, some of them and some children shot down or trampled while they fled. At least 185 men and boys as young as 11 were executed merely for being able-bodied.

Douglas was the Northern counterpart to the next entry, a prison-of-war camp in Chicago, Illinois for Confederate soldiers. It was built as a training depot for Union recruits, but by March 1862 was refitted as a prison for the large numbers of captured Rebels. It operated in this capacity until the end of the war. Within the first month its use as a prison resulted in the death of 1 in 8 inmates from exposure to the harsh winter or pneumonia. The prisoners were poorly cared for in the way of medicine and proper diet. They received enough to eat to save them from starvation, but did not receive much fruit or onions, which allowed disease to suppress their immune systems.

By the war&rsquos end, the Camp had gone through no less than 15 commands of 12 different wardens, none of whom was able to run the facility efficiently. Not only were the prisoners grossly neglected, they were not even properly supervised, and there were over 100 successful escapes. From June 1864 to the end of the war, inmates caught breaking any rule were tortured on the wooden horse, a sharply edged, wood pyramidal beam that rested between the buttocks against the tailbone. Prisoners were forced to sit on it with weights tied to their ankles for hours, even in snow or rain, until they passed out and fell off.

From 1864 on, the inmates were no longer fed adequately, but given only enough to keep them alive and hungry, purely for the guards&rsquo amusement. They were forced to stand at attention in freezing rain and sleet for hours, during which time the guards robbed them of any valuables.

The death toll by the war&rsquos end has been put at 4,454, but many went unreported, and the total figure may be as high as 6,000, most from exposure and disease brought on by malnutrition. This is at least 17% of the 26,000 prisoners sent to Douglas.

Camp Sumter was a Confederate Prisoner-of-War Camp for Union soldiers, today a historic site located in Andersonville, Georgia, from which the prison derives its more well known name. Its conditions were little known from its opening in February 1864 until it was liberated in May 1865, one month after Lincoln was assassinated. When the mistreatment of prisoners came to light, the entire nation and even Europe were disgusted and dumbfounded by the photographs of horrifically emaciated prisoners who somehow found the strength to survive.

The prison covered 25 and a half acres east of Andersonville, and was nothing but a bare patch of land surrounded by woods and fenced in twice. The outer fence was a log palisade 1,620 feet by 779 feet, with two entrances in the west wall leading into town. 19 feet in from this palisade stood an inner fence of chest-high posts topped with single crossbeams. This was nicknamed the dead line. Anyone who tried to cross it for the outer palisade, or even touched it, was shot without warning.

Inside the camp, there were only eight small buildings that could house a total of about 100 men. The prison held 45,000 by the end of the war. Most were given tents in which to sit or sleep, but the Georgia summer was overwhelming. 13,000 of those men died within 7 months of summer incarceration from sunstroke, starvation, or disease. The entire prison population suffered from a hookworm epidemic, causing most of them to defecate bloody diarrhea filled with worms.

The prison was very poorly supplied with food and medical provisions, and when Dr. Joseph Jones was assigned to investigate, he vomited twice during the one hour he toured the camp, and contracted a severe case of the flu which he warded off with oranges. He then asked the commandant, Henry Wirz, why Wirz was not suffering from scurvy, which was rampant throughout the camp. Wirz replied that he ate apples and oranges. &ldquoAnd the prisoners?&rdquo Jones asked. Wirz shrugged and said, &ldquoWhat about them?&rdquo Prisoners were able to pull out their own teeth with their fingers because of vitamin C deficiency. 3,000 died per month, or 100 per day.

They had no clean drinking water, but were forced to drink from the same creek running through the camp&rsquos center in which they bathed and which caught about half of all liquid and solid waste. Wirz was tried, court-martialed, and hanged for murder on 10 November 1865, the only Confederate officer to be so executed. His primary defense in court was that the prison&rsquos food and water never arrived by train. When he was hanged, his neck did not break, and he strangled to death for 9 minutes.


Women Fought in the Civil War Disguised As Men (And So Do Today’s Re-enactors)

Historians often say that America's Civil War pitted brother against brother. But what many people do not know is that, on occasion, it also involved sisters. As Slate reports, up to 1,000 women fought for both the Union and Confederate armies during the war, disguising themselves as men to slip by.

To pass as men, these women bound their chests and cut their hair, Slate explains. Then, they chose a male name and simply signed up. Slate:

One of these soldiers was Frances Louisa Clayton, alias Jack Williams, a Minnesotan who enlisted with her husband in 1861. To pass as one of the boys, she took up drinking, smoking, chewing, and swearing. When Frances’ husband died, a few feet in front of her at Stones River, she stepped over his body and kept fighting. Many like Frances enlisted with loved ones a woman from Tennessee named Melverina Elverina Peppercorn joined the Confederate army to be with her brother. At least two women went to war with their fathers. 

Women went to war for all sorts of reasons: they wanted to fight, the pay was good. They weren't just soldiers, either: as Smithsonian reported a few years ago, women worked as spies, too. 

Today, Slate reports, on Civil War battlefield reenactments across the country, modern women are donning grey or blue uniforms, too, ever since re-enactor Lauren Cook Burgess, who had been banned from participating based on her gender, successfully won a discrimination suite in 1989. But women still must conform to the same standards those historic women did: create a passable male disguise. 

The Gettysburg Anniversary Committee puts it like this: "If any Army or event volunteer (as above) determines the female gender at not less than 15 feet, that individual will be asked to leave the field/ranks." (The roles for all re-enactors, regardless of gender, are quite strict, although some female re-enactors still report discrimination on the battle field from male re-enactors.)

To spread the word about this "subculture within a subculture," Slate says, J. R. Hardman, a re-enactor (for both sides) and film maker, is making a documentary feature called Reenactress, about female Civil War soldiers and those today who chose to portray them. 


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