Trevor Chamberlain

  • Beall should not have been executed as a spy or guerilla. Instead he should have been treated as a prisoner of war because he was acting on orders from the confederate military.

    The government witnesses all […]

  • You said that the large number of soldiers caused there to be insufficient supplies which caused increased injury to soldiers. In addition, even the soldiers who did receive supplies could be affected because soldiers would throw away any extra supplies they were carrying on long marches or in battle to avoid carrying more weight than they had to.

  • Lincoln’s position of ending slavery to help the union and not because he was an abolitionist is similar to the position of union soldiers. After reading letters written by soldiers it seems like they supported freeing slaves because they believed it would help win the war.

  • My paper will explore how union soldiers were affected by changes in the war and responded to struggles while focusing on the experiences of Oliver Norton. He served from 1861-1865 first with the 83rd regiment, […]

    • I think it is a really good idea to focus on one soldier’s experiences, that way you can get first hand information on that particular infantry. A possibility which may add to your project is maybe including a solider from the confederacy to focus on too, maybe not as much as Oliver Norton but enough to show if the war experiences was different or similar for both sides.

    • It is very interesting to hear that the soldiers were extremely happy when they knew a battle was coming. If I had been in the war I would’ve been terrified all the time thinking about getting shot or killed and certainly not hoping for a battle.

  • You pointed out that the confederacy boasted about victories when before they had been defeats. I think a similar thing happened in the union. In a letter of a union soldier he described a battle as a complete rout while a newspaper described it as a controlled retreat. The newspapers didn’t want the public to feel like the war was going badly so…[Read more]

  • One of your findings was that Southerners wrote a lot about the food they ate. This is interesting because in the letters that union soldiers wrote home they would often describe the meals they ate to their family and ask if they could send additional food. There were food shortages in the north and south however I don’t think it was as much of a…[Read more]

  • You suggest that casualties might be underreported. This is a good point since a commander would want to seem like they had a more decisive victory without the loss of life on their side. This would seem to the public like a better victory but it would also make it hard for historians to get an accurate account of what happened.

  • I think you point out an important idea that forward and backward depend on the perspective of the unit. In the report I read I assumed backwards a mile meant they retreated a mile towards the landing. I hadn’t thought that from their orientation backwards might not be the same as what I thought it was.

  • I thought it was interesting that you said a commander’s report would be biased to show his unit in the best light possible. I had assumed that many reports would exaggerate their units role in the fighting but in the report that I read of Captain Anderson on the eighteenth illinois he spends a large amount of time condemning several members of…[Read more]

  • You said your unit counterattacked and was initially successful. The eighteenth illinois which I read about also attempted to go on the offensive. I think this is interesting because after reading and looking at the map in the book it seems like the union forces were retreating the entire day. Without reading reports it could be hard to realize…[Read more]

  • The commander I chose was Captain J. J. Anderson who, through many casualties during the battle of Shiloh ended up commanding the eighteenth illinois infantry regiment which was a part of the first brigade in the […]

    • I found it best to reference to units around the person’s report rather than decipher what little they explained. Did his reporting go into the events of the second day or did it trail off to General Crittenden took command?

  • The object I chose is the diary of Oliver Wilcox Norton which is made up of letters written to his family describing his experiences as a soldier fighting for the union. In it he tells of his camp life and of the […]

  • You wrote that Allen said he was well fed. The narrative I read was about a slave named Campbell who also reported having been given plenty of good food and being well taken care of. Their stories contrast with the many stories of slaves being mistreated but I guess that some slave holders were more humane than others and treated their slaves well.

  • You pointed out that African Americans would be treated as second class even in the north. It surprised me that they wouldn’t be treated as equal even in the north. I think this knowledge must have made life feel very hopeless for slaves; not only were they being forced to work but even if they were free they wouldn’t have the same liberty as…[Read more]

  • Your comment that some slaves desired to stay with their masters after being freed surprised me because I had always assumed that slaves would want to leave and go far away from slavery. It makes sense after reading the narrative of a slave who had been treated well. Freed slaves who had been treated humanely would have wanted to stay with their…[Read more]

  • I think you pointed out an important part of slavery in that many slaves believed they would die in slavery. I had always thought about slavery in the context of it eventually ending but for slaves before the civil war there was no end in sight. The hopelessness of their position and the uncertainty of there being a better life if they were able…[Read more]

  • Slavery was in both the north and the south but was more prominent on large plantations in the south.
    Slaves worked outside as plantations workers and indoors as servants. Both lived in small or crowded […]

    • It’s interesting that Campbell had a fairly positive view of his masters. In the interview which I read, the interviewee (Dr. D.B. Gaines) seems to have nothing but positive things to say about his parents masters (he himself was technically born into slavery, but was too young to share any memories of his own). He talks about how the master treated his parents well, even going so far as to purchase his mother for the sake of his father (the two were slaves on adjoining plantations, with two different masters initially). I was aware that some slaves had some level of real respect for their masters, but I assumed that would be so rare as to almost be an anomaly. Yet in both of the interviews we read, the opinions of the masters were surprisingly favorable.


    • The interview I ended up reading for this assignment was Silas Abbott’s, who similar to yours and Jordan’s, also had surprisingly kind things to say about his owner. In the interview Abbott even went so far as to say that he thought of his owner’s children were his own brothers. I think since slavery is such an ugly and despicable practice we tend to overlook the fact that in the south it was quite a common thing that a multitude of different people participated in. Looking back at it now it shouldn’t be a surprise that some slave owning families were actually kind to their slaves.

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