All posts by Jeremiah Duncan

Civil War Submarines

Submarines played an important role during the Civil War.  It may be hard to imagine that submarines were already developed in the 1860’s; however, they actually were first created in the 1600’s.  In the North, submarines were mainly used as a tool for clearing coastal harbors from obstructions, rather than a combat machine.  In the South, submarines were created as a means to attack Union blockades.  Both forces, during the Civil War, used submarines for military purposes.

One of the most famous submarine creators in the South was from Mobile, Alabama.  His name was Horace Hunley.  In 2000, one of his most famous submarines, The H.L. Hunley, which had been located off the South Carolina shores, was raised from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.  Currently, the H.L. Hunley submarine is on display for all to visit at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, which is located in North Charleston, SC.

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Women’s Roles During the War

When a person thinks about the soldiers or important roles that people had during the Civil War time period, they probably don’t think of the roles that women played or women on the battlefields.  However, lots of women from both sides of the country joined their perspective army and many more women had very important roles of leadership or support.

More than four hundred women disguised themselves as men and joined either the Confederate army or Union army.  There were several reasons why they decided to make that choice.  Some women wanted to fight for what they believed in, and since women were not allowed to join the military, a disguise was their only option.  Others disguised themselves as men in order to join the military because of the money they could earn.  A soldier could make approximately $13.00 per month, and since that was more money than women could make in most other jobs, they would join the fighting forces.  Other women also joined the military for the adventure and purpose that the fighting served.  Some women kept their secret long after the end of the Civil War, and some even kept their secret until death.

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The Telegraph

Today, our world is teeming with technology.  From smart phones and appliances to computers and VoIP phones, it seems as if new technology is being invented daily.  If you own a business, just look online for computer support Birmingham AL and you’ll find hundreds of technology companies offering a wide range of services.

People who lived during the Civil War period were not that fortunate.  The ease of spreading communication was much more difficult due to the lack of the advanced technology that we have today.  One invention that did occur during the mid-1800’s, though, was the telegraph.  The invention of the telegraph improved the way people communicated during the Civil War.

Samuel Morse is credited for creating the first functioning telegraph in the United States.  Although there were other telegraphs invented prior to Morse’s telegraph of 1837, he created the one that actually sent the first telegram in the U.S., which was on January 11, 1838.  Morse and his partner, Alfred Vail, also developed the Morse Code, which is a series of dots and dashes that symbolizes specific letters of the alphabet in order to create words and phrases.  The telegraph became more and more popular throughout the country.

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Prisoners of War

 

Did you know that an estimated 410,000 soldiers were held captive in prison camps during the Civil War? In addition, a large portion of the prisoners perished while they were detained in the prison camps.  Approximately 16% of captives held in Southern prisons died, and about 12% of captives in the Northern prisons died.  There were multiple prisons throughout the North and the South, and many different conditions within the prisons. 

During the early years of the Civil War, between 1861 and 1863, prison camps were not very common because prisoners of war were either paroled or exchanged, usually within a matter of days after capture.  Exchanges of prisoners were based on the military ranking of that person.  For example, a military private or a seaman were seen as equal ranks; whereas, an Army colonel or a Navy captain were also seen as equals.  If the exchange involved a high-ranking person, then they could be exchanged for several privates or seamen, if they were not being exchanged for an equally important military person.  The exchange system eventually broke down during the Civil War, mainly because the Confederacy refused to treat black prisoners the same way that the white prisoners were treated.  Southerners believed that the black Northern soldiers were probably ex-slaves; therefore, they really didn’t belong to the Union Army, so an exchange was not possible for them.  After the exchange system collapsed, prison camps in the South and in the North soared in population.  For this reason, many more prison camps were created and conditions within the camps went from terrible to unbearable.

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The Emancipation Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln

Before Abraham Lincoln became President of the United States, he said, “America cannot be a house divided.  This government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.  It will become all one thing, or all the other”.  Abraham Lincoln became the United States’ 16th President on March 4, 1861.  He would remain President until his death on April 15, 1865.

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809.  He was nineteen years old when he witnessed his first slave market in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He was shocked to see that people were being sold like property.  Soon, he acquired his law degree and became interested in politics.  He also began to publicly speak out against slavery.

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The Role of Photography

Have you ever heard the saying “I learn something new every day”?  I had to hire the best roofing contractor Homewood AL has to offer because of the recent storms in the area. He was using a drone to take photographs of my roof and apparently he is a novice photographer on the side. I told him about how my side project is to research and write about the Civil War and he mentioned that it wasn’t until the Civil War period that photography was used to capture iconic war images of battlefields, armies, and the difficult times of that era.  This conversation with him sparked my curiosity about the use of photographs during the Civil War, so I decided to research the subject a little bit further.

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The Battle of Antietam

The Civil War was one of the bloodiest wars in all of American history.  Of all the battles fought during the war, the Battle at Antietam was one of the bloodiest battles.

The Battle of Antietam, which is also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, was fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 17, 1862.  In that one single day in September, almost 23,000 soldiers died, were injured, were captured, or were reported missing.  It was an unforgettable day in American history, as it is remembered as the single most bloody day ever on American soil.

The Battle of Antietam was the first battle fought on Union territory during the Civil War.  Neither the Union nor the Confederate armies are said to have “won” this particular battle, due to the large number of casualties and injuries on both sides.

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Medical Challenges of the Civil War

Confederate and Union armies both experienced many, many injuries and casualties of their soldiers during the Civil War.  Medical supplies were minimal and medical advancements were slow.  However, medical personnel learned many things during the Civil War and new techniques emerged throughout the years during the Civil War.

Following individual battles of the Civil War, medical personnel were greatly challenged with the huge numbers of injured soldiers.  Knowledge concerning sanitation and hygiene was not commonplace prior to the Civil War.  Doctors reportedly used the same medical instruments on multiple patients and would simply wipe the instruments off with a towel between procedures, such as amputations.  Doctors, also, did not yet recognize the importance of washing their hands between patients.  Due to this lack of sanitation, diseases and infections spread rapidly among soldiers.  During the early years of the Civil War, medical personnel learned to improve their sanitation standards in order to slow down the spread of diseases and infections.

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Welcome!

Welcome to the Civil War History Hub.  There is a lot of information to be shared about this significant event in the history of the U.S.  Check back soon for more content!  In the meantime, you can watch this video that recaps the Civil War: