THE CIVIL WAR

By: Dylan McLaren

vocabulary

Emancipation Proclamation: A law that freed the slaves.

Draft: The process of randomly choosing people to fight, weather they want to or not.

Union and Confederate Armies

Both the Union and Confederate states were not ready to fight a war, and needed to get armies. In the Union, soldiers enlisted to keep the union together and to protect freedom. In the South, they belived they were fighting to separate and to keep slaves. However, not enough people were joining, so both sides had to use the hated draft. The draft is a system where people's numbers are drawn to go fight in a war. Thousands were picked this way and sent to the battlefield to die.
The Union Army's official uniform was blue everything except the shoes, which were black. African Americans fought for the Union, too. Most soldiers on this side were farmers and immigrants.

The Confederate Army's uniform was grey shirts, grey jackets, and light blue pants. The men who fought for this side were slave owners.

THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG

The Union Army was losing the war badly. So the Confederate Army's general, Robert E. Lee, wanted to strike at a Northern city to make the Union Army surrender. He invaded Pennsylvania, not knowing that a group of Union soldiers were following him. When they entered the town of Gettysburg, they were surprised by a large group of Union soldiers. Both of the armies sent for reinforcements, setting the stage for a great battle. The Union Army lined up on the high ground, so they would have the advantage. They fought off Confederate attacks for two days. Robert E. Lee decided to attack the Union's center, a stupid decision that would destroy one third of his army. The Confederate troops crossed 1,200 feet of open land, being shot at and shelled the whole time. Many of them died, and the few who made it up the ridge were promptly shot to pieces. IT WAS AN EPIC FAIL AND SHOWED LEE'S INCOMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER. After the battle of Gettysburg, the Union army began to win more battles. The South started to lose confidence, and never again attacked the North.

THE NEW TACTICS AND TECHNOLOGY OF THE CIVIL WAR

The armies of the Civil War suffered the losses of many troops in battles like Gettysburg, because of the general's incompetence, and new tech such as the pointed bullet, Gatling Guns, and grenades. Plus, more soldiers used rifles. New "tactics" such as choosing high ground forced the attackers to charge on open ground getting shot.

MEDICAL CARE

The medical care during the Civil War was extremely gruesome. With only dirty homes and barns to operate in, a limited source of water, little to no knowledge of germs, and surgeons who tried bravely to save lives without any experience in removing a bullet or leg, no wonder it was so bad! The surgeons saw shattered bones, ripped arteries, torn open muscles, and worse. No wonder the decided to amputate many extremities rather than try to save a soldier's leg that would probably be amputated later. Plus, they had little time to save as many soldiers as possible. That is why men with a belly wound, almost always fatal, were left to die rather than waste time and let soldiers who could be treated die. They used tourniquets to stop bleeding, bone saws to cut trough legs and arms, scalpels to slice through the flesh, bullet probes to remove bullets, and splints to keep the bones from moving and breaking again.

The surgeons tried bravely to save many soldiers, but still get a bad rap. That is unfair, because they tried as hard as they could to save people with limited knowledge and tools.

The Home Front

While things were bad for the soldiers fighting, things were not good at home, either. In the North, many people were angry about the draft and draft laws, which allowed rich men to hire others to take their place in the war, or pay $300 to pay their way out. This made people so angry, riots broke out on the streets. In the South, there was a shortage of food and other goods, because most of the fighting took place in the South. Union soldiers were ruining farms and killing livestock. However, some good things happened, to. There were many work opportunities for women, because all the men were at war.