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Alice Williamson Diary

April 7th.Another soldier was shot yesterday. The yankees went to jail and brought him while a citizen was standing near. He said the soldier was very poorly clad but his countenance was that of a gentleman. When the guard brought his horse to him (a broken down one from the camp) he asked what they were going to do with them. On being told to "Mount that horse and say no more . . ." he did so remarking that he supposed they were going to shoot him. They took him to the river to shoot him but finding some gentleman there - Mr. H. & M. they said they had gone in a hornet's nest to shoot and went somewhere else. When they carry them out to shoot them they given them a worn out horse and tell them if they can escape they may: they say they "have fine fun chasing the boy with fresh horses" I am sorry I did not commence my journal when old Payne first came; he was worse then than now.

April 8th The young man that was shot Friday was from Sumner but no one can find out his name. Mrs. A and W was going from Col. G. and me! I think carrying him out to the pines. They say he wore a look of calm despair. The Yankees pretended that they were tired and sat down on the side of the road but made the soldier stand in the pike: he stood with arms folded across his noble heart (for well I know he was a noble Southron and eyes bent toward the ground as a pale as death while the yankees taunted him with such remarks as 'I will have his boots;' another would name something that hewould.

April 9th.It has been a beautiful day but that kind only make us sad: it was not so once. The yake officers who stay at Paynes carried their wives out to see the soldier shot. Friday came back and said it was "quite funny to see the boys chase them."

April 11th Another man was shot today at the race track: the yankee women went to see this one shot too; they say Capt. Nicklen is the one to work the prisoners and they intend to go and see them all shot.

Federico Martinez's insight:

These diary entries of Alice Williamson, a southern girl, show that the Union were not all that great at all times. The way she describes the execution on April 7th is extremely cruel knowing you will never get away from death, no matter how far you run, it will always be right behind you. And later on she describes the shooting on April 9th with the Union soldiers bringing their wives with them to watch the execution. These executions show that once the enemy got you, there was usually no mercy for anyone and you were treated the way they wanted to treat you; you couldn't choose the punishment.

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Diary of a Black Slave | Academic About slavery and harriet tubman

Diary of a Black Slave | Academic About slavery and harriet tubman | Civil War | Scoop.it

March 12th, 1849 

I have been thinking a lot of my escape. I am worried that somewhere along the way, I will be caught, and sent back to my Master. I do not want this. Going back would mean a severe beating, and my back would be even more marked up than it already is. No, I need to have this planned out carefully before I leave. I will travel only at night, and hide during the day. I must make no mistakes. My future is at stake. 

March 15th, 1849 

I have everything planned; there are new whispers of when “Moses” is coming. She is said to be the person to travel with, when going to your freedom. I will sneak out and run for as long as I can, until I reach the graveyard, where Moses and her other “passengers” will be meeting me. I am afraid. I do not want anyone to see me. This will be one of the riskiest parts of my trip. I do not know if I am prepared, but I must go. This is my only chance.

Federico Martinez's insight:

This diary of Anita Ross portrays the frustration and the measures slaves would go to to be relieved of their freedom and what tragedies they would face along the way.

 

Here, Anita plans to leave at night with others and prays to not be seen by any white man or she may die or worse, be put back into slavery.

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The Diary of a Union Soldier (1862)

The Diary of a Union Soldier (1862) | Civil War | Scoop.it

Battlefield of Williamsburg, Va., May 7th 1862—Sunday last we received news of the evacuation of Yorktown, and we were ordered to leave our camp at Young's Farm and join the main Army. We crossed the river at Lee's Mills and then followed the line of forts and rifle pits until midnight when we encamped in a deserted Rebel camp. Everything denoted the haste in which the Rebels left their works. It rained hard all night, and we lay in the mud and water but felt happy, for now it was our turn to chase and the Rebels to run. Early Monday morning we moved towards Williamsburg, and about noon we began to hear the roar of cannon and rattle of musketry. We pushed on through mud that caused teams to be mired and batteries to halt, but by taking advantage of the woods and fields where the ground was not so soft or cut up, our Division arrived under fire at 4 P.M. Here we were placed in the reserves and remained until nearly dark when our Brigade was pushed to the front and took position in the edge of a piece of woods about six hundred yards in front of Fort Magruder. Until dark we could see the Rebel gunners load and fire the cannon from the fort, and we had to stand it, for we were ordered for some reason not to fire. All night the shells continued to burst over our heads, and in the mud and discomfort we prayed for daylight. Sometime after midnight we could hear the rumble of teams in the direction of Williamsburg, and just as day began to break Major Nelson Viall and myself crawled towards the fort. After approaching quite near and not seeing anyone we arose and walked up the glacis and looked into an embrasure. Behold, the fort was deserted. We hurried around to the rear and entered the gate. The ground was covered with dead men and horses. I found in one of the tents left standing some documents that gave the number of the garrison. While we were in the fort the 10th Mass. charged across the open space and entered the fort. They were surprised to find two Rhode Island soldiers already in possession. Both General Couch and Gen. Charles Devens who commands our Brigade made speeches to our Regiment and thanked the men for their coolness under fire. The field presented a horrible appearance, and in one small spot I counted sixty dead bodies. The Rebels threw away much of their baggage, and the road is filled with broken teams and gun carriages. Our Cavalry are now in pursuit, and many prisoners are being sent to the rear. Thank God for this victory and may we have many more and so end the war.

 
Federico Martinez's insight:

This diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes was written a few days after the battle of Williamsburg. He writes about being moved to Williamsburg and hearing the cannon fire and gunfire at the battlefield. He also calls the Confederate soldiers "Rebels". This shows the difference in opinion and point of view of both the Union and the Confederacy.

 

In this entry he describes being ordered to go and fight with his Brigade in the woods just outside of Williamsburg and is ordered to remain hidden and not to fire, even though the Confederates had already seen them and praying for daylight to come. This describes the emotional stress the soldiers felt, thinking about whether they will see daylight again or not.

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Artwork

Artwork | Civil War | Scoop.it
Federico Martinez's insight:

This artwork depicts the battle scene of Pickett's charge where the enormous Confederate army is charging toward strong, ready and far more skilled Union troops. As you can see, almost none of the Union are on the ground wounded/dead while many Confederate soldiers are getting shot to their knees by cannon fire and gunfire and bleeding to death on the ground.

 

This artwork might have been done this way because the artist might have been favoring the Rebels during the war and therefore does not focus the art so much on the Union victory but on the Confederate loss, putting them in most of the painting and making their characteristics more detailed than the Union soldiers. For example, you can clearly tell that the man in the middle of the painting is General Pickett leading his men into "hell". Therefore you can interpret that the message of this painting is not the great victory of the Yankees, but the brave and unfortunate loss of the gallant Confederate soldiers.

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When Johnny Comes Marching Home - A Song Of The American Civil War - YouTube

When Johnny Comes Marching Home Music by Mitch Miller and Chorus Moviescene: Cold Mountain (USA 2003)
Federico Martinez's insight:

This song illustrates the emotional strength of the Union against their rivals, the Confederacy in the Civil War. It talks about the war from the beginning in 1861, to when Abe ended slavery in 1863, to the end in 1865.

 

However, the main point of this song is to describe how they will greet Johnny (a random name for a Union soldier) when he comes home after the Union finally win the Civil War.

 

The video along with the song is a scene of a movie in the setting of the battle of Petersburg (a Union victory leading to the fall of the Confederate capitol of Richmond, ending the Civil War).

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Civil War - Battle of Gettysburg (Map Animation - Apple Motion) - YouTube

A map animation of the Battle of Gettysburg, using Apple Motion Disclaimer: This was more about me working in Motion than about exact historical accuracy, so...
Federico Martinez's insight:

This animation of the battle of Gettysburg shows the actual events of what happened there and how all the soldier divisions/groups moved, fought, and killed.

 

At first, the Confederate army invades Gettysburg, causing the Union to retreat. The Confederates continue forward but at a ridge, there are thousands of Union troops waiting, killing or forcing to retreat the Confederate troops, winning back Gettysburg.

 

The two armies collided on July 1, 1863. Union cavalry under the command of Brig. Gen. John Buford slowed the Confederate advance until Union infantry arrived. However, this proved to be futile as more Confederate reinforcements under generals A.P. Hill and Richard Ewell reached the scene and 30,000 Confederates ultimately defeated 20,000 Yankees, who fell back through the city of Gettysburg to Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill, south of town. On the second day of battle, the Union defended a fishhook-shaped range of hills and ridges with around 90,000 soldiers. Confederates indispensably wrapped around the Union troops with 70,000 soldiers.

 

On the afternoon of July 2, Lee launched a heavy assault on the Union left flank, and fierce fighting raged at Little Round Top, Devil's Den, the Peach Orchard, the Wheatfield, and Cemetery Ridge. On the Union right, demonstrations changed into full-scale assaults on Culp's Hill and East Cemetery Hill. Although the Confederates gained terrain, the Union defenders still held strong positions by the end of the day.

 

On July 3, fighting resumed on Culp's Hill, and cavalry battles raged to the east and south, however the main event was a dramatic infantry assault by 15,000 Confederates against the center of the Union formation on Cemetery Ridge (Pickett's Charge). The charge was resisted by Union rifle and artillery fire, adding to the losses of the Confederate army. As a result, Lee led his army on a retreat back to Virginia. As many as 51,000 soldiers from both armies were killed, wounded, captured or missing in the three-day battle.

 

All the events of the three day battle prove the vitality of Gettysburg to both sides; the Union as a military base and the Confederacy as a capture of a vital city to the enemy. In the end both fought to the death with all their hearts and souls which many paid the ultimate sacrifice.

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Civil War Journals: Confederate soldier

Civil War Journals: Confederate soldier | Civil War | Scoop.it

March 27, 1865

Dear diary,
Today is the war and it’s quite bloody. I’ve got shot about two times on the leg. As other people of my opposing army aim and shoot at us, we brace ourselves for the impact. Along the way we spotted a bomb coming straight toward us. Half of my army has been either shot or dead in the war. I was lucky enough to survive. I see blood on my clothes, face, and hands. The war seemed like days or even years of nonstop shooting and bombing. Still wounded I try as hard as I can to live through the war and put an end to this. The other army has lost some of their soldiers, though I still have hope to end this bloody war. Few hours later, other soldiers of the enemy side are starting to lose gun powder and bombs. Our only choice is to fight with our swords and our hands until the last man is standing…..

Federico Martinez's insight:

This Diary of Tom Smith, a Confederate soldier, depicts the actual and quite possible events of any battle in the Civil War. He says in just the beginning that he had been shot twice in the leg and half of his army just like him or dead. This also shows the bravery of each man fighting for their beliefs and would even die to preserve their way of life.

 

Tom also writes that even with his fatal injuries, he continues to fight with swords until "the last man is standing" and end this "bloody war" in a Confederate victory.

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Civil War Battle of Petersburg

Two and a half minute animated/machinama reinactment of the civil war battle of Petersburg. Most of this video was made by my 11 year old son using "The Movi...
Federico Martinez's insight:

This video depicts the actual events of the battle of Petersburg. This shows that even the most triumphant victories come with great sacrifices.

 

The fighting begins on June 15, the first day of the Battle of Petersburg. Some 10,000 Union troops under the command of General William F. Smith moved in to fight against the Confederate defenders of Petersburg made up of only a few thousand armed old men and boys commanded by General P.G.T. Beauregard. However, the Confederates had the advantage of strong and thick physical defenses, and they held off the Union assault. The next day, more Union troops arrived, but Beauregard was reinforced by Lee just in time, and the Confederate line remained unbroken during several Union attacks occurring over the next two days.

 

 By June 18, Ulysses S. Grant had nearly 100,000  healthy troops at his disposal at Petersburg, but the 20,000 Confederate defenders held on as Lee hurried the rest of his Army of Northern Virginia into the city. Knowing that further attacks would be unsuccessful, but satisfied to have drawn in the army of Northern Virginia, Grant's army dug trenches and began a long siege on Petersburg.

 

Finally, on April 2, 1865, with defense lines overextended and troops starving, Lee's right flank suffered a major defeat against Union cavalry under the command of General Phillip Sheridan, and Grant ordered a general attack on all fronts. The Army of Northern Virginia retreated under heavy gunfire and with them the Confederate government fled Richmond on Lee's recommendation and Petersburg fell to the Union.

 

All together, there were about 104,000 troops at the last battle at Petersburg (62,000 were Union, 42,000 were Confederate) resulting in about 11, 368 casualties.

 

As you can tell, this battle was by far one or even the most important and bloodiest battles in the Civil War,  raging on for about 2 months. This amount of men and troops just at one place displays not only the courage and bravery, but the determination of both sides' troops to fight and end this war.

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Gettysburg: Pickett's Charge - YouTube

Federico Martinez's insight:

This video depicts the actual events of Pickett's charge and how the Union were able to defeat the Confederate army.

 

On July 3rd, 1863, from 2:00pm to 2:30, cannons from both sides fired on their enemy. Then, an army of about 15,000 Confederate soldiers, under the command of General George Edward Pickett, line in formation and charge towards a Union troop of about 6,000. However, this large army was in range of gunfire and cannon fire; a huge disadvantage, causing thousands to die. When the Confederates finally reach the Union, their army has clearly been greatly damaged and only manage to pierce the entire Union army and is forced to retreat after the first few minutes of fighting with bayonets being clearly outnumbered.

 

Result: Union Victory.

 

 

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