Jordan Niemann

  • It’s interesting to think about the effects of the war on the non-combatants. It’s easy to forget that, despite the scale of the war, the majority of Americans were non-combatants. The war was sure to have affected them almost as much as the actual soldiers fighting the war.

  • Jordan Niemann commented on the post, Assignment 5 10 months ago

    As someone who has visited a number of Civil War battlefields, this is a very interesting topic to me personally. I hope that we as a nation do everything in our power to preserve as many sites as we can. It’s important to be reminded how fragile our democracy is, and the steep cost of allowing it to fall apart.

  • Jordan Niemann commented on the post, Assignment 5 10 months ago

    I think this is a really interesting topic. So often, when we think of the war, we focus solely on what happened on the battlefield. But, based off of your research, it seems that non-combat related issues had just as much of an impact, if not more so, than the combat-related events. Very insightful topic, shedding light on an unseen side of the war.

  • You mention that Lincoln’s main priority was maintaining the Union, and ending slavery was more or less a by product of the war. From heard and read in the past, I think this is true. But I’m curious, if based on your research, how strongly do you think Lincoln felt about slavery. Did you think he viewed it more as a legal issue or moral issue?

  • Prior to the American Civil War, soldiers fighting in Europe and the New World use smoothbore muskets. These firearms, with smooth inner barrels, were limited in range, and erratic in their accuracy. These […]

    • In terms of the way war is waged I think its a safe bet that the civil war was the turning point that pointed us toward the more modern era of war. As muskets began to be replaced by rifles that could shoot considerable more often and with improvements to the range and accuracy of firearms the old ways of war with firearms quickly died. the advent of ironclads also changed navel combat forever, conventional wooden ships had been made completely obsolete.

  • I completely agree that bias is the biggest obstacle in determining the accuracy of a report. Each officer, both North and South, is most likely to give an account of events that paints themselves and their unit in the best possible light. I think this is why official reports between officers so often conflicts in major battles (something which…[Read more]

  • I ran into the same issue when trying to trace my unit’s movements on the map. My commander’s account of the battle was detailed and well-written, but tying out his account on the maps was difficult due to how vague they were. I think the maps are useful on a broad level, but in trying to pinpoint movements on a brigadier or regimental level, I…[Read more]

  • I had a similar problem with Knox’s map. Based on my commander’s account, McPherson’s map seemed to be the most accurate. Knox’s maps told an entirely different story, and made me second guess whether or not I was doing a decent job of retelling the movements of my chosen unit. Maybe Knox had a difficult time because he put the maps together in…[Read more]

  • I think the point you made about a historian actually wanting to tour the site is excellent. Like you said, there were quite a few maps that, when compared to each other, wouldn’t be recognized as describing the same location. I think by touring the site, the historian can parse for themselves which map is the most accurate, and then better…[Read more]

  • I found it on the McPherson map. I had a hard time finding it on the other maps (especially the older maps).

  • I chose to track the unit of Brigadier General B.M. Prentiss. General Prentiss was the first Union commander to detect and engage the Confederate forces moving to assault the Union army on April 6th. Prior to […]

    • Did you ever find the church on a map? I was reading another report that mentioned that church and I couldn’t find it.

    • 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 his unit for deserting. This shows bias could be created portraying a unit in a better or worst light which makes it even harder to know the true events.

    • I agree with you that McPherson’s map and his detailing of the battle was much more descriptive and easy to follow than those of the reports. It is also to count in the fact of your speculations of bias. Makes me rethink my perception on things a bit more.

  • For my project, I want to focus on evolution weapon technology in the war. This is a broad subject, so I am going to focus on a a couple specific items: semi-automatic weapons and submarines. Prior to the civil […]

  • I wouldn’t say that he couldn’t (or shouldn’t) focus on only negatives. I was responding to the prompt, which asked us to consider Bibb’s motives as an abolitionist in writing his account. To achieve the abolition of slavery, white northerners had to be stirred to action. In order to do this, the most effective way would be to focus on the most…[Read more]

  • I’m very surprised that in both your interview, another interview which I commented on, and the interview which I read, the former slave’s views of their former masters were fairly positive. I would’ve thought that this would be extremely rare. It could be that the sample of interviews isn’t very representative of the average slave’s experience.…[Read more]

  • I think you bring up a really interesting point when you highlight slaveowners how actually viewed their slaves as human. On the other hand, they seemed to treat their slaves relatively well compared to others, affording them at least some shred of dignity. On the other hand, I was always under the impression that slaveowners could justify, and…[Read more]

  • That slavery ever existed in Ohio was also a revelation to me. I knew that Maryland was a slave state, as it decided to remain neutral during the war. But that a northern, midwestern state ever held slaves was pretty shocking to me.

  • 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…[Read more]

  • Slavery was isolated to states south of the Mason-Dixon line, with the slave-holding status of new western states highly debated.
    Slaves mostly worked in fields, with a select few working inside their […]

    • I agree with you that to get a more comprehensive account on things we would need to read a plethora of first hand retelling of how life was during slavery, but I do not think just because Henry Bibb was an abolitionist he was only pointing out the absolute worst happenings during the era of slavery. the concept of slavery in itself is atrocious and damning,so why shouldn’t he be able to reflect back on it in only negative light?

      • I wouldn’t say that he couldn’t (or shouldn’t) focus on only negatives. I was responding to the prompt, which asked us to consider Bibb’s motives as an abolitionist in writing his account. To achieve the abolition of slavery, white northerners had to be stirred to action. In order to do this, the most effective way would be to focus on the most horrifying aspects of slavery. You and I take slavery as a despicable institution for granted. Bibb’s audience did not. To simply write that slavery was atrocious wouldn’t have been enough for his audience. If it were that simple, there wouldn’t have been a need for an abolition movement. The sad reality is, many northern whites didn’t consider slavery to be an atrocious institution until reading the vivid accounts of former slaves like Bibb and Frederick Douglas.

    • I agree with you that slaves want to fight against their living condition. However, there were so many restrictions putting on slaves. What slaves could do was very little to protect themselves. Their life was controlled by others. I agree with you that the interviewee was too young. Although young interviewee may not offer convincing statements, we still can learn a different reflection on slavery from such young interviewee.

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