Thursday, April 10, 2014
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.
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.
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.
|Silas and his master|
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
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.
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.