Civil War

Ben Carlson, Jillian DeAlmeida, Eden Gonet

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman is one of America’s most influential poets (Walt Whitman Biography). In his upbeat piece “Beat! Beat! Drums!” he talks about banging drums and blowing bugles. He wants his people to play these instruments so loudly that it bursts through doors and windows and to not even let the farmers or newlywed have peace. Then the poem goes on to repeatedly urge the people to play the instruments, making it reach the cities, letting nobody sleep. And if they should go about their work, don't let them, play even louder. He then tells the people to play their instruments for those who are praying or weeping so that the music might recruit them into the army. Throughout this poem we see a common symbol, bugles and drums being played. These instruments were common instruments in the military bands thus bringing the sound of war to their home towns and cities (“Beat! Beat! Drums!”).

Another of Walt Whitman's pieces “A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim” is not as upbeat as the previous piece but rather despairing. It talks of Whitman’s time as an army nurse during the Civil War. In the poem Whitman talks about the “sleepless” and “untended” patients at the army hospital. Also that there were patients outside, this showed that there might not have been enough room for them inside or they were not expected to live. The soldiers who had no hope to live were cast outside to die. These images show how hopelessness and grim tone the Civil War was. Then at the end his reference to Christ showed how hopeless humanity was because they keep repeating their mistakes by killing Christ ( “A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim”).

Civil War Background

Civil War Background

The Civil War has immensely impacted and shaped the United States as a whole. The central cause of this all is mainly because the issue of slavery, whether or not it should be permitted. Abolitionists became a huge influence and made a deep impression on Northern Sentiments, which also provoked a proslavery reaction from Southern whites, causing to extended the breaking of the North and South. Arguments over western territories provoked the country into a sequence of crises. Two territories, Kansas and Nebraska would be under the principle of popular sovereignty, which each territory would decide for itself whether to admit or prohibit slavery. (Civil War 1)

The economic and social differences of the North and South gradually started to become a problem to many people. The North focused on an industrial life while the South focused on a slave plantation life. The South wanted more state control and the North wanted more federal government control. These issues started to become very moral and developed never ending problems between both sides. The Civil War would determine whether the United States born with a declaration that all men were created equal, would proceed to becoming the largest slave holding nation in the world. This war isn't just going to be one battle to settle their issue, there are several difficult and austere battles and events that occur throughout the Civil War. (Civil War 1)

Abraham Lincoln: "The Gettysburg Address"

On November 19, 1863, a ceremony was to held to honor the soldiers who fought in the Battle of Gettysburg. This battle, lasting three days, was brutal and exhausting. Just after Edward Everett delivered a two hour long speech, Abraham Lincoln, the president at that time, spoke for just about 3 minutes. (Barney, Brett, and Lisa Paddock,eds) Although Lincoln's speech was significantly shorter than Everett's, it still had a lasting impact on the nation.

In Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, he brought attention to the importance of human equality. Before this speech, the Union and the Confederates were at war, the Civil War. With over 50,000 soldiers dead or wounded, this was one of the most terrifying and vicious battles. (Civil War 1). At this devastating event, Lincoln brought some light to it. At first, his address seemed to be of "little significance", he had a soft voice and not many people heard him. (Barney, Brett, and Lisa Paddock,eds) It wasn't until newspapers and people started printing and rewriting the words he had said, that the nation realized really how much relevance the words Lincoln said, had. In this address Lincoln states that since so many soldiers had died fighting, we should give them what they died for, equality. He connected the principles of human equality to principles of human equality to the Declaration of Independence. (history.com Staff) Overall, Lincoln's words truly had an effect on the nation during the times and went on to inspire other events to happen afterwards.