Thursday, April 10, 2014

By the Numbers

The Infogram first has a pie chart that shows the total population of the north and the south in comparison to one another. Clearly the north has way more people than the south does, it seems that out of the total population of the United States of America only a little over 25% live in the south. Meaning a little under 75% are in the north. We wanted to emphasize the importance of the population because ultimately the side that has more people will have the bigger army. Which means over time as the casualties add up the north will have more people to recruit from, meaning they can replace their soldiers more than the south can. After the chart of the total population, we have a chart that address that three topics that we believe support the war. The total population addresses the war directly and the army size. This table shows that figures for the three things that support a war and that are taken into consideration for tactics during the war. The three things are, number of industrial workers, value of manufactured goods, and railroad mileage. The reasons we chose to include these three is because the number of industrial workers effects the number of guns and ammunition that are produced. Clearly the Union had more workers, which as a result means that their army was better supplied. The value of goods comes into play in the case of economy. The north was producing a lot more goods so their economy was better, meaning that they had more money to spend on the war. They could use this money for anything they needed from tents to new inventions. Lastly, we included the railroad mileage, this was important in the role of the tactics and strategy the armies would use. Railroads are an efficient and fast way of transportation. The Union has a lot more railroads so they could move their army from one place to another quicker than the Confederate army. This Infogram addresses the situations that are directly related to the war and things that are indirectly related to the war.    

Scavenger Hunt!

The class did a Scavenger Hunt in class, we learned about 20 of the major battles of the Civil War. Each student was assigned one of the battles to do a little bit of research on. We typed up out research on a Google Doc that we made public so other students in our class can access it. The research covered the basic information of the battle as you can see in the example Document in the link below. We took the link of our Google Doc and created a QR code, and printed it out for quick and easy access. All students have to do is scan the QR code with their mobile device and they are instantly brought to the Google Doc page where they can see the information about the battle. Each student was assigned a number which they wrote on their QR code. Then they found the people who had the number before and after theirs, we told the people before us where we will place our code, and we asked the people where they will place their code. Once we had the location of the next code after ours, we wrote it down on our Google Doc, so when people finished looking at one QR code they had direction to the next one. The QR codes were hung up on wall all across our school. Once we finished learning about all 20 battles we went back to class and created Padlets to discuss what we had learned and patterns we had noticed.  

The Union was winning many of its battles in the west, some of the battles they won were, Battle of Fort Donelson Long, Battle of Shiloh, and the Siege of Vicksburg. The Union had lost one battle in the west, they lost at the Battle of Chickamauga. But they had lost many more battles in the East compared to the West. In the East they lost the Battle of Fort Sumter, Battle of Bull Run, and Battle of Fredericksburg. Also at the Battle of Hampton Roads which is the Naval Theater the battle was considered a draw with no definite winner. The Union and Confederate Ironclads were locked in a battle for almost four ours, although the Confederate ship had to retire, the battle was considered a draw. The Confederate army seemed to be winning in the Eastern Theater as seen in the Battles of Fort Sumter, Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville as many of these were stated before. The Padlet above shows which side was dominate in which theater and the battles that support that. 

The confederates won a couple of battles by outsmarting the Union, they even won many battles that they were outnumbered in, one example being the battle of Chancellorville. The Union defeated the confederacy because they had advantages. They had more people to fight and more troops. The amount of troops overwhelmed the Confederates in battles such as the Appomattox campaign and the Battle of Fort Henry. The Union also had a greater supply of resources and weapons because many industrialists lived in the north. The Confederates weapons did not match up to the Unions like in the Battle of Baton Rouge and the Battle of Gettysburg. The Padlet above discusses how and why each side won the battles they did and ultimately how the Union won the war as a whole. Its clear that the Union had the upper hand in many ways and that the Confederacy had to be more conservative with their measure and had to outsmart the Union in battle not out-power.   

Women in the Civil War

Created with Padlet

During the Civil war many women chose to take different actions, some were inside the sphere of domesticity, others were outside, and some were both. The sphere of domesticity includes actions such as, cooking, cleaning, taking care of children, maintaining the house, and other things of that nature. Actions outside the sphere of domesticity would include, fighting in the war, getting a job, speaking in public, flirting with men, and anything that is not "lady like" or not performing a "women's duties". We see many examples of women that do one or the other and we even see some women that begin their life one way and change over time.

For example, Harriet Jacob lived her whole life outside of domesticity. She was a journalist and a writer. Jacobs worked for "The Liberator", she set up donations for black refugees, she was a black women who was a former slave. Jacobs wrote articles about black refugees in the North that came up from the south. She helped collect clothes and food for them, which might be considered inside the sphere, but it was the way she did it and who she was that makes it outside the sphere. Being a former slave and even more a women, public speaking on such topics was considered way outside the sphere.

This quilt square above shows talks about many women from the Civil war period. It explains what each women did, whether or not they fell within the sphere of domesticity and much more. It provides an image to give a visual representation of the women and their actions. Sometimes women went outside of the sphere because of special circumstances, but other times they did it for no real reason at all except for the fact that, that was who they naturally were. They are individuals, and each of these women chose to do something different, sometimes its clear whether they are within the sphere or not, and sometimes its sort of on the boarder.   

Give and take

In order to progress in the world, everyone must learn to compromise and work to a solution together. Whether you are a slave or a congressman, a businessman or a doctor, everyone must know that they can't get everything they want in one sitting. It is acceptable to face some discrimination in order to gain advancement. The reason for this is because if you advance it will create an opportunity to show everyone what you are capable of. If you are able to show people what you can do then slowly the discrimination will disappear. To the contrary, if you ask for all or nothing then you will most likely get nothing because no one has seen what you can do. Respect and advancement is earned, not given, and asking for all or nothing takes away the opportunity to earn your respect. It takes away a person ability to prove them selves.

Silas and his master
In the case of Silas and his master, Silas could not be freed and he could not fight in the war because it was against the law.  But Silas still accompanied his master to the front lines and at one point saved his life. After the war Silas was freed from slavery and his master was said to have given Silas and the other slaves land to put a church on. Although it was figured out that Silas never received any land personally, he did establish a church on his own, and the other slaves indeed received land to run a church on. Silas must have faced some discrimination being on the battlefield, he could have just as easily escaped like many other slaves. But he submitted himself to some discrimination in order to gain advancement. After the war he was able to build and run a church, not in the north, but in his home state. 

In the case of many African Americans in the north who served in the war, it was very much acceptable to submit to some discrimination. The reason for this is because blacks were free men in the north, but they were not equal to white men. The opportunity to serve in the war was a great one, even though it was not alongside whites and they didn't get equal pay as whites. It gave blacks the opportunity and ability to prove that they were of equal value compared to the whites. It gave them a platform to show that they can fight just as hard and that they were just as strong as any white man. It gave them the ability to earn respect among both other blacks and whites. They had to submit to discrimination but what they got out of this opportunity in the long run was well worth it. It made people realize that blacks were just as strong, prideful, and resilient as any white man. 

In order to get something you must give up something. African Americans in the civil war had to submit to discrimination but they were getting something far greater, the opportunity to show the rest of the country that they were equal. The blacks in the north were free but that was all they were. The opportunity to fight in the war, was an opportunity to fight for not only the freedom of slaves in the south, but for the equality of all  blacks in the whole country. It was not fair that African Americans were subject of prejudice and discrimination, and no one in the world should be treated in that manner. But if they chose to not submit a little in exchange for advancement, then nothing would change and they would always be treated the same way.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Off to War

From the perspective of an 18 year old clerk from Reading MA, I believe I would join the Union army. Although it was dangerous and the chance of death was high, it would be the right thing to do. I would know that it would take the strength of the whole north to win the war, and that includes me. This would be an opportunity for me to do something more meaningful with my life rather than just work as a clerk at a dry goods store. This would be the time and place that I could serve a greater purpose and fight for what I believe in. If anything I would join the Union out of pride, to be able to be content with myself and my life. Joining the army would give a better reason to wake up in the morning than to go to work at the dry goods store. It would be a chance to prove to myself that I can be a leader; Ulysses S. Grant is the perfect example of a this. He is a man that was a nobody before the war and quickly turned into the lead General of the war. This goes to show that anything can happen if you join the army and try new things, whereas nothing would happen if I continued my job as a clerk.

The Anaconda Plan
Technology had grown increasingly during the 1860's. In 1862 alone there were 240 military weapon patents issued, meaning that there was a wave of new weapons that the North had at their disposal. With this kind of advantage it would only strengthen make my decision to join the Union army. Some of the new inventions included, the first railroad artillery, land mines, telescopic sights, and military telegraphs. These new weapons just one of a few reasons to join the army. The second reason is that Union developed the "Anaconda Plan" which in my opinion is a great strategy. It would weaken the Confederates economically and cripple their morale. It included a naval blockade to restrict the flow of goods into southern ports, a combined Army-Navy effort to divide the Confederacy by seizing control of the Mississippi River, and major offensives into the Confederate hinterlands. To me personally, this plan seems great and it encourages me even more to join the union army. Lastly, the Confederate army didn't have a navy when the war started, and even though they created a new iron clad vessel, the Union army was able to build their own vessel. In a four hour stand off the two vessels fought and the Confederate Merrimack had to retreat. This just gives me more hope and faith in the Union army that they together can overcome and obstacle that the Confederates may place.

Battle of Shiloh
Their are a few things that bring doubt to my mind though. One being that Union armies would have to invade the Confederacy, destroy its capacity to wage war, and crush the will of the southern people to resist. Which I believe is an enormous task, and close to impossible to do. The Confederacy could win merely by prolonging the war to a point where the Union loyalists considered the effort too costly in lives and money. With the amount of casualties on both sides, it could become very apparent to everyone in the North that its not worth fighting the war. The Union has to go into the south and conquer, whereas the Confederacy just has to defend and wait till the North tires out. Another reason why I'm afraid of joining is because of the lack of medical treatments. Everyone who is returning from the war seems to physically lose a piece of them. If you get shot in the arm, many times the doctors will just amputate the whole army off. People return crippled and without arms or legs. This war won't last forever and if I lose an arm or a leg I don't know what I would do afterwards. I don't even think I could be a store clerk anymore. Lastly, General Grants battle of Shiloh makes me nervous, although the Union was the ultimate victor, the Confederates did show weakness in the Union army. It makes me realize that the Union can't and won't win every battle and the battles that they lose, they will suffer great casualties. 
The Merrimack
Considering all of this, the pros and cons of the Union army I would still enlist. My friends and family are all joining so there is no way that I would not go with them and fight with them for what we ultimately believe in. Plus, I would not want to be the only one that stays home and continues to work as a clerk while my friends fight on the front lines. Even though it means potentially losing my life at a young age. I think that I couldn't live my life truly happy if I knew that everyone else went off to war and I didn't.