Posted by: bhupp | 22nd Sep, 2008

To Appomattox and Beyond Part 2

           I really liked this part of the book because it gave us more insight on the veterans after the war.  It went into great depth in talking about both sides of the struggle.  The union did have it better then the confederates did after the war.  This is understandable since they had lost the war and they had fought against America.  They were still Americans so why can’t they get Federal aid?

            The union veterans had a very good pension program going for them if they were in trouble.  They also had shelters that they could go to if they were in need.  The only thing I didn’t like about these shelters is that they were like military camps.  The veterans had to work and they couldn’t leave unless told they could.  They had to wear uniforms and had to do much more.  By the 1900’s almost every single Union veteran was collecting a pension.

            The black veteran had a very hard time.  They were harassed in both the North and the South.  The KKK no making a big move was harassing all blacks more then ever.  This was the start for the real freedom of the African Americans.  They now had to fight to become equal.

            The Confederate veterans had it much harder.  They had no federal aid coming to them and at first some got state money but that disappeared quickly.  Eventually they did get state aid but it took a good bit of time.    

Posted by: bhupp | 15th Sep, 2008

Co. Aytch

            I really enjoyed this book.  It really kept me interested with all the details he gave about the war and everything that happened during his time.  You do have to keep in mind that this is written 20 years after the war so some of the information my not be a 100% correct but it seems that he recalls a lot of his memories with accuracy and detail.

            It’s interesting to me that the Union thought they could just walk right into the south and whip the confederates back to there homes.  This was not the case as you can see in the book.  In the beginning of the book the Confederacy won a considerable amount of the battles.  The Union was caught off guard.  During the war the veterans had a very hard time, just like those of the Revolution.  They were giving a good amount of clothes and blankets at the beginning of the war.  As the war became longer then they expected the clothes and blankets started to disappear.  Many of the troops were freezing in the winters.  On pg.23 He talks about how 11 men were frozen solid while on guard. 

            The carnage of this war was never seen before.  There were so many men dead, dieing, and wounded soldiers on the field after the battle.  On top of that you have dead horses everywhere and broken down carts and batteries.  Many men would eventually inflict injuries on themselves to stay out of the fight.  You see this on pg.25.

            Just like we saw with the Revolution this was a “rich mans war, poor man’s fight.” Pg.32.  I forget the exact number but the confederacy passed a law saying if you owned like 8 slaves you could go home and not have to fight anymore.  Many men who fought out there term of enlistment were not allowed to leave the army.  If they left without permission and found, they were shot for desertion (pg.35).  At points the moral of the Confederacy was so low that General Bragg had to put 1/10 of the Army behind the main force and if anyone was running away from the fight, they would be shot.  In General Braggs army you here the shots of muskets almost every day because of all the court martials.

            The Confederacy had a lack of rations on many occasions.  This led the men to raid peoples home and to take the publics livestock.  This made the Confederates very unpopular with most of the public.  Some people would be very happy to help fed the army.  The rations had to go through many men and by the time that they got to the privates, there was almost nothing left for them to eat.  At the battle of Chattanooga, while they were on retreat.  The Confederates were ordered to burn everything.  They had to burn a ton of food so the Union didn’t get any.  The men were appalled by this because they had been starving for so long and they had this stockpile of food all along and now they had to burn it.

            Overall I find that the life of a confederate solider in the American civil war was very harsh.  With the lack of food and the lack of adequate soldiers, they were both starving and freezing.  They were paid but that money would be inadequate in a couple of years when they lost the war.  They would not receive pensions after the war either.  Its not good to fight for the losing side.                   

Posted by: bhupp | 10th Sep, 2008

The suffering soldier

       This chapter focuses on how the veterans were treated at first and then how they were treated after many years had gone by. In many places across America there were no big celebrations and no big homecomings. Soldiers just went back to there hometowns and tried to start there lives all over again. This was hard for a lot of these veterans since they had lost limbs during the war. There wasn’t a sufficient disability pension set up at the time to support all of these veterans. Many of these men became the poor of America.

       The war had also hurt many towns across America. With the inflation and the high taxes many towns were going down hill. “in 1782, unable to pay a teachers salary, Peterborough voted to suspend its school.”(pg.1) That’s pretty bad when a town cant even pay a teacher to teach there kids.

       In place of pensions many of the officers got commutation certificates, that were worth 5 years of full pay. Many of the veterans needed cash now. They had to sell there certificates off to speculators for a fraction of there worth. America viewed the revolution as a “peoples war”, everyone was in the fight for freedom not just the soldiers’ .By 1818 the revolutionary war pension act was passed. This awarded pensions to continental army veterans. This turn around was after the War of 1812. The people of America began to see the importance of the soldiers and saw them in a whole new light. They saw them ass heroes now. “Continental army veterans became symbols of patriotism and archetypes of national character.”(pg.5)

Posted by: bhupp | 8th Sep, 2008

Wages of War: chapters 3-5

       These chapters were very confusing to me.  They talk about the Cincinnati, which at first seems like they would be for Shay’s and the rebellion but it seems like they are against it.  The Cincinnati was made up of officers of the Revolutionary war.  A lot of them came from the upper class and had a good bit of money before and after the war.  You would think that these men would try to figure out a way to help there comrades. They would try to give there own money or make a fundraiser.  They could of got a lot of money from there rich friends who were merchants and government officials.  They could of pulled some strings and got some money so the veterans could pay there creditors.  They forgot these men just as the whole country did.  Like it said in the 3rd chapter “It seemed as though the American Revolution didn’t happen at all.”(pg.40)  The Massachusetts and New Hampshire had said they would give $24 in specie to every man who enlisted in the army.  These men never saw that money.

       The officers never saw there half-pay for the rest of there life that they were suppose to get.  The congress revised that to full 5 years pay and they never saw that either.  The Massachusetts government was in debt (1,300,000 pounds).  They decided to raise taxes to start to pay off that debt.  this was suppose to get money for the veterans but it hurt them more because now they had to pay more taxes.  The taxes were calculated by the amount of real estate that the person owned.  The farmers had to pay a lot more taxes because they owned a lot more land then the merchants.  The people who had all the money had to pay less then the ones who had nothing.  You couldn’t pay off things with your crop anymore because people wanted metal coin only.  No more barter system. 

       The farmers sent petitions to the government asking for time and money.  The government gave them neither.  They didn’t help the veterans out at all.  The veterans thought that the revolution would be the end of something old and the start of something new.  This wasn’t the case.  They were in worse shape then they were before.  They were still getting taxed heavily.  The government wouldn’t give them any help.  By this time several hundred farmers and other veterans were being sent to jail all over the country for not paying debts or taxes.  On August 29, 1786 we see the start of the capturing of the debtor courts. 

       When these protests and uprisings got to big.  The Mass. government decided to HIRE soldiers to fight these farmers.  They RAISED MONEY for soldiers to put down the uprising.  Why couldn’t they raise money to help the VETERANS out? When the conflicts started to happen between armies.  The rebels rarely killed any men from the other side.  Many of the rebels didn’t shoot there guns, they were just there to make a point and not to kill anyone. This uprising strengthened the 2 parties that were a rising in the political arena.  The ones for a strong central government and the ones for power going to the states.  Daniel Shay did get his pension that he deserved.  He only got it 25 years after the war was over.  A little late I think.  

      The only thing so far that I don’t like the book for is they need to talk about other states and not just about some New England states.  I would like to see more of what’s happening in other parts of the country.  

 

Posted by: bhupp | 3rd Sep, 2008

Wages of war chap.1 and 2

      

       During and after the war the veterans didn’t receive any pay and if they did. They only got paper money. This caused the veterans to fight again not with the musket but with the pen. They had to beg the congress for funds because of they had starving kids at home and there family members were pushing them to do it. This wouldn’t of been that big of a deal if they could find jobs. many of these veterans were skilled laborers. They were blacksmiths, brewers, silversmiths, carpenters, bankers, clerks, and many more. Its not like they didn’t have the skills to do the work but they couldn’t find the jobs. Many of these veterans had paper money but it was no good since the Congress printed so much of it. In 1781 Virginias state bills ratio to hard coin was $1,000 in bills to $1 in hard coin.

       Even though the congress passed a law at the beginning of the war that prohibited creditors from brining lawsuits against those who enlisted. The creditors did it anyway and no one stopped them. The veterans where thrown in to debtors prison and there land was taken away. This seems terrible to me that these mean sacrificed there lives for there country to get free but there freedom is taken away because they weren’t paid appropriately for there services. The veterans with families couldn’t pay for food and clothes because they had to pay the creditors before there house and land was taken away from them

       There were a few veterans that got out ok. These men were the ones who had money in the first place. The soldiers that had money before the war might of still had the money after the war. This was not always the case though. A lot of men lost there fortune when they joined the army. In examples Major William Ballard who fought at bunker hill. Had an estate at the beginning of the war and he became a debtor after the war. How astonishing this is. Colonel Timothy Bigelow had been able to stay alive through the war. He ended up dieing in debtor prison. WOW a colonel of the army dies in DEBTORS prison. Now that’s Ridicules.

       The government didn’t act on any of the promises that they made to all the soldiers. 100 acres of land(didn’t get), 6 and 1/3 dollars(not even in paper money), clothes(barely enough to stop freezing to death), food(just enough to stay alive). The country was new and didn’t have funds at its ready disposal but they could of some how been able to reward the men that made this country what it is today. Many people came into new money after the war but not the veterans. After winning the war the America finally got the material things they could never get. What’s ironic about that is the soldiers that fought so we could get those goods. They couldn’t afford to get them. They couldn’t even afford to get food for there families.

       I think that the government was to worried about making America look good to the foreign countries by paying off the debt from investors in Europe. They forgot about the Veterans. They should of made America look good on the inside and then worried about how we looked to the rest of the world. We have to take care of ourselves first. We had very poor veterans living on the streets of every major city in America and we had Veterans rioting all through out the country. How does that look to the Governments in Europe. When the government finally started to pay back the veterans it was to late. Many of the veterans were already dead so they never saw the money. Luckily there families did receive the money they were due. It took the American government way to long to pay back the veterans.

Posted by: bhupp | 1st Sep, 2008

Private Joseph Plumb Martin diary

It is insane what the revolutionary soldiers had to go through.  When Private Martin was at fort Mifflin, you couldnt sleep in the barracks because of the british bombardment.  They had to sleep in the mud but you couldnt really sleep in the mud.(no good) I found one of the most interesting things in the diary entries, that the americans would run over to the 32 pound cannon shot, that was shot over by the British and stop the fuse.  The Americans would then shoot it back at the British. I could never know how Martin felt when he tried to go up the flag pole but didnt.  When he didnt go up, a sergeant did it for him and when he changed the flag and came down. He was cut in half by a cannon ball.  Joesph Martin thought that if he had gone up and didnt let the sergenat.  The sergeant would still be alive and he would be dead.  It was like he was an factor in the sergeants death.  When we do look at the real facts we see that Martin did put some stuff in.  The Augusta and the Martin were never at Fort Mifflin.

         I dont know how these men did it.  They had to deal with every day the death of there friends.  They saw there friends die right in fornt of them.  HOW DID THEY DO IT??? It was interesting to see that there was a friction with different states in the Revolutionary War.  Joseph Martin says that he was put in regiment with half pennsylvanians and half New Englanders.  The Pennsylvanians would call him “that damn Yankee.”  In the war there was food and clothing shortages.Many of the soliders didnt have winter coats or blankets that were any good.  It is cool and interesting to read that Martin had meet and talked to General Washington.  They didnt even know it was him. 

       The American government promised the soliders so much and they never gave it to them. They promised 6 and 2/3 dollars, after a while they stopped getting it.  They were promised 100 acres of land, never happened.  they were promised a lot of different clothes and yet they didnt get everything.  They were also promised a lot of food. They never got that either.  Over all I just dont know how they fought on an empty stomach. On top of that, they were almost frozen and were not really paid.  If they were paid American paper money was worth nothing.

Posted by: bhupp | 26th Aug, 2008

first post

Hey, I am Bradley Huppenthal and I am from Fallston, Maryland. That is north of Baltimore in Harford county. I am interested in this class because I love history. I really like to look at the different wars and see the different view points of them.  I really like the second world war. I would like to major in Historic Preservation.  I heard of UMW through an Alumni.  I picked UMW because of my future major. I am related to two war veterans. My grandfather was in Korea and my uncle was in Vietnam.

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