Assignment 5

So far looking into my object, “Forneys War Press”, published by John W. Forney, the Newspaper has been an enjoyable experience. In this newspaper I have found out that this paper was bought by many in the state of Pennsylvania during the Civil war period. In researching deeper into this newspaper and what it stands for, three things seem to pop out about it. The Three things that I found to be most important are its information about the war to the public, Real life stories from the war (soldiers perspective), Encouraging the people to support the Union.
With these three things I truly believe it had a direct affect on how many people reading it felt about the war and how they supported it. Something interesting that I had found was a website containing all the published newspapers from Forneys war press. Even though it cost me 10 dollars to get, the information that I received from it was endless. All the information essentially that I have gotten is strictly from this primary source itself. After reading many articles I had also seen many important poems and hymns that were written about the civil war. Most of them were about heros in the union and how brave they were. For example in the newspaper published on January 3rd, 1863 they the poem headlined on the first page was about 400 union soldiers, and their heroic battle against the rebels. Just from looking at this it really struck me as strong propaganda for the Union. It made the people reading it feel like what they were doing was right and needed to be done. For the soldiers reading it they would most likely be lifted by this poem to try and do something just as courageous as these men. The feeling of being envied by thousands of people in a newspaper might make the soldiers more engaged and ready to fight. It most importantly gave them a sense of hope, and victory. Reading these stories even if they aren’t true can lift people to believe that they can really do anything. Motivation is one of the key things to winning a war and this Newspapers main focus is that entirely, to motivate soldiers, and civilians to help win this war.
After reading much about this Newspaper and seeing the soldiers stories it gives you a completely different perspective of the war. Instead of learning it through textbooks and major battle reports I actually could learn from the people who were actually there. The way the Newspaper did this was by actually taking stories and diaries from Union soldiers, and posting them in the weekly newspaper. It helps you understand what happened through the eyes of that person. You never really hear about individual people except when they are obviously important figures. These stories are form every day soldiers who expressed their fear and feelings in their writing. Something I know definitely gave the people reading it a sense of what was really happening out on the front lines of war.
Another interesting thing that i found was at the end of every newspaper there was a humor section. It is kinda a lot like our newspapers with the comic section. Many of the jokes and sections had relevance to the war but also to everyday life things. I believe that this section was both for the civilians for entertaining purposes, but also given to the soldiers for a boost of their moral. The war happening around them was not easy to handle. So the humor in these papers most likely put a smile on their face and helped them get through the tough times occuring around them. In the End this Newspaper was written for one thing. To give the people reading it an idea of the war happening around them, along with giving them information to motivate them to keep fighting.
Some things that we don’t really know yet and what I need to find out is did any of these newspapers find their way to the south. Pennsylvania (where this was published) is a long way from the front lines. If a southern civilian or soldier found one of these papers how would they feel? Would they not believe it? Since it was published in the North I bet that many southern rebels would believe that this Newspaper was a lie. Im sure they had many papers like this during the same time, that were telling them the complete opposite as Forneys. These are all things I need to find and consider when finishing my final project. More importantly looking at the bigger picture of not just this newspaper but the many newspapers published all around the North and the South. How big of an impact did these have on their readers? That’s the most important question.

Thesis: Forneys War Press did played a huge role in informing the Union about the Civil War. Whether it be reading the stories of their fallen soldiers, or motivating them to keep fighting through poems and hymns, the impact that these papers had on the Union was most definitely a positive one.


1 Primary/secondary
This article describes the use of Forneys Free press, along with a copy of one of the newspapers itself. This helped me understand more about the paper, and also gave me a real look at Forneys War press and how it was written.

2 Primary
This source is another published newspaper that showed me the entire paper published form January 3rd, 1863. This paper showed me the soldiers stories, and poems impacts on the people who read it.

3 Secondary
This was a piece that was rewritten from one of the sections in forneys free press about the war and its impact on Pennsylvania.

4 Secondary
This article helped me understand the different newspapers written around the country, both north, and south. It gave me an idea of the propaganda Each side was receiving and how it also connected to Forneys War Press.

5. Secondary
This is where I first learned about Forney’s War Press and it gave me a brief explanation of it and the impact that it had on Pennsylvania.

6 Secondary
In this source it gave me a deeper look at the publisher and his views on the war. John W. Forney was close with the president and this played a huge role in his support of the Union and how it affected his newspaper.

7 Secondary
This was an article one again about the publisher showing many of his old writings outside of forneys War Press. It gave me an idea of the other things he wrote and how they tie to his newspaper.

8 Secondary
This source was one of the most helpful because it gave me a sense of what they confederate newspapers were like. I could compare them to Forneys and see how they were different, and how they were similar in my final project.

Leave a Reply