The American Civil War
The American Civil War is under attack from sources that would rather forget or rewrite the past. There are those who want to soft sell the "Southern Cause" and hard sell the "Fight for freedom". The truth to the causes of the Civil War may forever be lost as history is ignored, abridged or expunged to make it support the various beliefs.
Every person had a different reason for fighting. There were southerners involved that actually owned slaves. The majority of the southerner soldiers were too poor to own slaves. In the Confederate Army, White men, Black men, Hispanics, Native Americans, Jews and foreigners served side-by-side in the same units.
There were northern soldiers that actually fought to free the slaves. Most northern soldiers thought they were fighting to preserve the Union, they did not care about the slave issue. While Black men, a few Hispanics and a hand full of Native Americans fought for the Union, they were segregated from the white men in the "Colored Troops"
On whichever side the soldier stood, most fought because their "home state" called them to do so. The sense of independence was just as strong with northern states as with the south. The strong allegiance to a Federal authority came about during the Civil War.
Men joined to fight simply to keep from being thought a coward by his fellow citizens. Some went because they were bored at home. Others went in search of "glory" after hearing the tales of past wars. Southerners lived by "tradition". For the southern man military service was a strong "tradition" would have been a big force. The southerners lived on tradition. Southern tradition, the southern way of life, was about to change.
The war involved everyone not just white males. Women fought along side of, supported and cared for the soldiers on both sides. Black men and women served on both sides. Slaves as well as free men fought for the south. Free men and ex-slaves fought for the north. Only now, after 140 years, the stories and deeds of black soldiers being accepted and made known and to the public.
It is because our ancestors lived that we live today, we have what we have today. So:
No matter on which side of the war your ancestors stood
it is our duty to keep alive their memories, to honor their lives.
Through reenactments, amateur historians keep that faith.
They strive to reproduce the day to day life of soldiers, civilians and medical personnel.
From camps to the battlefield, men and women live as people did in the 1860's.
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