.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Consequences

From: civilwar.org


Approximately one in four soldiers that went to war never returned home.  At the outset of the war, neither army had mechanisms in place to handle the amount of death that the nation was about to experience.  There were no national cemeteries, no burial details, and no messengers of loss.  The largest human catastrophe in American history, the Civil War forced the young nation to confront death and destruction in a way that has not been equaled before or since.

Recruitment was highly localized throughout the war.  Regiments of approximately one thousand men, the building block of the armies, would often be raised from the population of a few adjacent counties.  Soldiers went to war with their neighbors and their kin.  The nature of recruitment meant that a battlefield disaster could wreak havoc on the home community.

The 26th North Carolina, hailing from seven counties in the western part of the state, suffered 714 casualties out of 800 men during the Battle of Gettysburg.

The 24th Michigan squared off against the 26th North Carolina at Gettysburg and lost 362 out of 496 men.  Nearly the entire student body of Ole Miss--135 out 139--enlisted in Company A of the 11th Mississippi.  Company A, also known as the "University Greys" suffered 100% casualties in Pickett's Charge.

Eighteen members of the Christian family of Christianburg, Virginia were killed during the war.  It is estimated that one in three Southern households lost at least one family member.

One in thirteen surviving Civil War soldiers returned home missing one or more limbs.  Pre-war jobs on farms or in factories became impossible or nearly so.

This led to a rise in awareness of veterans' needs as well as increased responsibility and social power for women.  For many, however, there was no solution.  Tens of thousands of families slipped into destitution.

Image: The Battle of Gettysburg left approximately 7,000 corpses in the fields around the town. Family members had to come to the battlefield to find their loved ones in the carnage. (Library of Congress)



0 comments:

Post a Comment

Share

Facebook Twitter Delicious Stumbleupon Favorites