While Walt Whitman opposed slavery and supported the free soil platform, allowing only free territories to become states, he feared what the Civil War would do to America. His younger brother was enlisted in the Union Army in 1861. When Whitman saw his brother’s name on a list of wounded soldiers, he rushed South to find his brother, only to find that he had hardly been injured at all. While in Washington D.C., Whitman contributed to the war by volunteering in hospitals. Although Walt Whitman was not a soldier, he played a part in the Union’s victory in the Civil War. He volunteered in hospitals and looked after his younger brother. When President Lincoln was assassinated, he wrote a poem in his honor. The Civil War gave Walt Whitman a purpose and inspiration for his poetry. “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” was written as an elegy for Abraham Lincoln. “Walt Whitman and the Civil War.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/walt-whitman-and-civil-war/
This Washington Post article discusses what the Civil War was really about. General John Kelly had previously, and controversially, made the argument that the Civil War was mostly about compromise on the issue of slavery and not simply the heroic Northerners and the bloodthirsty Southerners. Neither side wished to make any compromise on the issue, though the South did offer one. The South offered to release the slaves if the North would reimburse them, but the North refused. Southerners knew that if they were not at least reimbursed for the loss of slavery, their economy would crash. Also, Georgia was unwilling to compromise when the North said they did not want the patrollers to go into free states to capture escaped slaves. While I am sure most of this article is being sarcastic in its support of Kelly’s comments, it still unintentionally makes fair arguments on his behalf. I should have realized it was being smug and sarcastic when I saw that it was the Washington Post, but I don’t read the Washington Post often, so I simply assumed I had misjudged them. I guess my first impression of the Washington Post had been right. “Opinion | John Kelly Was Right: The Civil War Was All about Compromise.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 31 Oct. 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2017/10/31/john-kelly-was-right-the-civil-war-was-all-about-compromise/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.32cf57539cac.
This photo gallery shows a variety of different pictures from the Civil War and of the most influential leaders. The gallery also shows various tools and weapons the soldiers would carry while out to war. It gives a small piece of information with each image. The gallery also has pictures of the most important places that changed the war; including a Fort Sumter, Gettysburg, and the Battle of Antietam. It also features portraits of some of the greats like Robert E. Lee, General Stonewall Jackson, and President Jeff Davis for the South; and General Sherman, Ulysses Grant, and President Lincoln for the North. These people and places were key to the Civil War. Each allowed the war to play out as it did. Due to the military genius of Robert E. Lee, the South came close to winning and really gave the Union a run for their money. Due to the ruthless attacks made by General Sherman and Grant, the North finally made a hard earned victory and ended the secession of the Southern states.
Lorena was written in 1857 by J.P. Webster, becoming one of the most famous songs of the Civil War. It was sung by both sides, but was a favorite of the Confederates causing many daughters and towns to be named after it. The song is about a soldier who misses his sweetheart back home. It is essentially the Civil War version of Lili Marleen. Wars can perhaps influence the most beautiful music of any period. They bring the sweetest and saddest songs that can be written. They can also, at times, be energizing to lift the morale of the troops. However, this song is an example of a slow, sad war song. It has been covered by many artists both recently and in the past. Lorena is certainly my own favorite song to come out of the Civil War with easily the most beautiful lyrics. Allen, Jonathan R. “The Civil War.” Johnny Clem, www.nellaware.com/blog/the-years-creep-slowly-by-lorena.html
Gone With the Wind is undoubtedly the most famous Civil War novel written in 1936 by Margaret Mitchell. It is a coming-of-age story about a Southern Belle’s doomed love for an engaged man. The novel starts from the day before Lincoln declares war on the South to the end of Reconstruction. It is perhaps one of the most influential novels of all time. Gone With the Wind is also somewhat of a rarity by telling the reader about the Civil War from the Confederates’ perspective. The book was turned into a movie in 1939 by David O. Selznick and won 18 academy awards in 1940. Gone With the Wind is not only a remarkable book because of its length, but also the incredible writing and characters. Gone With the Wind has been regarded by many as having the most well-developed characters of any novel. The book depicts characters making unbelievable actions that do not seem to fit their personality, but allows you understand why they make certain decisions. You can also see the transformation of the main character, Scarlett O’Hara. Her journey from a young and spoiled Belle to an adult is clear and capturing. The novel also gives the reader insight into what the South was to Southerners and why they believed in the Confederacy. “Gone with the Wind Summary.” Enotes.com, Enotes.com, www.enotes.com/topics/gone-with-the-wind
The famous Civil War poem, The Blue and The Gray, was written by Francis Miles Finch in 1867. It commemorates soldiers who fought on both sides of the war. It contrasts the North and the South with the glory of victory for the North, and the gloom of defeat for the South. The poem also describes the horrors of war with the red flow of soldiers blood in the rivers and the grass beneath which soldiers lie in their graves. The Blue and The Gray shows the transition from the gloom of defeat to a spring full of flowers. While the war has ended and time goes by, the love and tears for the Blue, and the tears and love for the Gray remain. This poem memorializes the many dead soldiers who fought in the Civil War. It honors the war, yet at the same time, shows the pointless destruction war brings. Although one side did technically win, both sides lost in many ways. The death and gloom war brings are evident in this poem. It gives a chance to wonder why we fight wars when so much pain and suffering are a result of them. Lab, Digital Scholarship. “The History Engine.” History Engine: Tools for Collaborative Education and Research | Episodes, historyengine.richmond.edu/episodes/view/2719.