Robert Wills

  • Of the diaries that you read for your project, did they explain who these people were? It would be interesting to see as many different sides to this war as possible, from soldiers, civilians and slaves alike.

  • I had never heard of the Black Codes until this so this is pretty interesting. So basically the black codes only put a more formal title on black people but they were still treated like slaves?

  • Do you have an thoughts as to why there are many more Confederate memorial sites than there are Union memorial sites?

  • On your comment about black soldiers being worse off with disease than with white soldiers, this is probably the case because, for the Confederates, black soldiers were actually still slaves and were most likely still treated as such. Their treatments were probably a second thought in terms of care which made the spread of disease easier.

  • In a time of shortage of supplies I feel that soldiers would cling to any gear that they could get their hands on. On average, a Civil War soldier carried 50lbs which is not a lot compared to todays soldiers carring roughly 100lbs+. Although, I can see soldiers throwing away their extra supplies compared to others to not stand out or be picked on etc.

  • Assignment 5

    Through the research that I have done, I have decided to change my topic to just that of the effects the sanitary conditions had on the war itself rather than relaxation in the enlistment […]

    • 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.

      • In a time of shortage of supplies I feel that soldiers would cling to any gear that they could get their hands on. On average, a Civil War soldier carried 50lbs which is not a lot compared to todays soldiers carring roughly 100lbs+. Although, I can see soldiers throwing away their extra supplies compared to others to not stand out or be picked on etc.

    • Sanitary conditions were certainly a huge problem of the military. In my research for my topic about how food or the lack of it had such a huge impact on the south during the war, I came across a lot articles that had medicinal recipes for confederate soldiers on how to cure themselves of different illnesses like chills, measles and diarrhoea. All the remedies sound almost as bad as the sicknesses they are suppose to cure. These were published in hopes of lowering the death rates of soldiers in camps. The lack of proper medical care must have contributed to the unsanitary conditions. You may be interested in issues from the magazine, The Southern Cultivator during the civil war years.

    • It’s very surprising to most people to learn that in war the biggest source of casualties are sickness and disease. A huge part of that was through not having sanitary sources of water and infected wounds. In my research I found that shoes were actually a huge point of contention for both sides and at the end of battles the victors would take shoes from the captured or dead enemies. One of the reason the battle of Gettysburg took place was due to it being the home to a major shoe factory.

    • I agree with you that a large number of soldiers is one of the causes to insufficient supplies. This would become a negative circle that insufficient supplies caused more injuries. What’s more, this would be considered as one cause to the defeat of battle. On the contrary, as for soldiers who get enough or excessive supplies, those supplies may become a burden for soldiers during the period of battle.

    • I am really interested in your topic because no matter what reports and sources I read, I too speculated and was proven at times that many men died because of poor living conditions that ailed them with disease. Really great topic!

    • 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.

    • Before reading your post I really had no idea that the sanitary conditions of the war had such a dire effect on the soldiers. I found it very interesting and shocking the amount of soldiers who died from disease. It seems that even though such a large number of people were dying little was done to stop the spread of these diseases during the war to try a prevent the number from growing. I also found it interesting to compare the types of medical care to what you discuss in your post and to see how far the field has advanced in treating injuries such as those sustained in the Civil War.

    • Robert,

      What an interesting research topic! Very unorthodox and attention-grabbing, which is exactly up my alley! You have done quite a lot of research on the topic and it is astonishing looking at exactly how abundant disease was in the war. If you have the ability to find such information, I would be interested to see if the use of “chemical warfare” (smallpox blankets) was common between various forces.

    • Throughout this class, I have found it fascinating to consider how far America has come since its conception. There have been great changes in blacks’ rights, technology, state status, government, amendments, and perhaps most forgotten is sanitary conditions. Reading through the main diseases that people died from during the Civil War ought to make us so thankful for all of the better medical care and medication that is now available to us. I look forward to hearing about some of your conclusions and perhaps some of the ways that medical care changed throughout the war.

    • I’m really interested in your topic even though it’s never crossed my mind until now. Stepping outside in the summer heat already sucks, I can’t even imagine fighting during this time of year in the muggy South. Throw in the poor sanitation, trench fighting and countless bodies and it’s a literal cesspool. No wonder so many people died.

  • 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?

  • As to your theory as to why it was so easy to track Major General Cleburne, you’re right. As a commander of a brigade, he did in fact oversee several battalions, companies and units, each with corresponding Majors, Captains, and Lieutenants that each wrote a report and fed into his collective brigade movement. So he had a lot of information…[Read more]

  • I had the same sort of back and forth movement in the report I chose as well. I think that when historians are building these videos and collective documents, they chose to do net movement of battles because it’s more concise and mitigates confusion.

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

  • Assignment 4

    I chose to track the movements of Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Thomas E. G. Ransom, Eleventh Illinois Infantry, Second Brigade, First Division.  LTC Ransom was stationed at a camp in Pittsburg, […]

    • 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 that the union was attacking at times even though they were driven back.

    • I also found the primary accounts of the battle to be really interesting. You make a good point about the reports possibly being puffed up for the reporters advantage. I followed Col. C. Carroll Marsh, twentieth Illinois Infantry, who a couple of times in his report made sure to mention how he consistently followed the orders of his superior officers and successfully rallied the troops and then goes on to end his report by congratulating his commander on the “brilliancy of our success”. He definitely wanted to make sure his commander knew that he and his men fought bravely.

    • Along with changing the stories for reporters, I would be interested to see how much of battle recalling is altered to protect the general. Slight lies could be told to cover up promises that were broken, unnecessary retreats that were taken, and embarrassing losses. While reading through McPherson’s commentary, I have been amazed to see how many generals were replaced and relocated after a particularly bad leadership account at a battle. If stories could be altered to put a general in a better light (perhaps taking credit for another’s successes), the general may have another day with their infantry.

  • For the research project I actually did get caught up into the “The Sanitary Conditions of the Army”. Towards the beginning of the Army we see a strict set of requirements to enlisting that range from age, hei […]