Texas in Civil War times


Courtland Putnam

Battle of Palmito Ranch

More than a month after Robert E. Lee had surrendered a battle broke out at Palmito Ranch, just a few miles away from Brownsville. Early on in the war the Union had set up a base near Brownsville. Union Lieutenant General Lewis Wallace had tried to make confederate commanders take a pledge of allegiance to the United States, but they refused and claimed that they would continue the fight. After evidence of the confederate army evacuating citizens out of Brownsville, Lewis Wallace tried to sneak up on the confederates, but failed. The battle was won by the Confederate army.

Battle of Sabine Pass

After the fighting at Fort Sumter, Confederate citizens of the town of Sabine Pass, Texas worried that the Sabine River was going to be an invasion point for Union soldiers. They constructed a make-shift fort out of dirt and scraps and named it Fort Sabine. Their fears came true though, when 5,000 Union soldiers came in to the shallow pass. Some boats got very close to the fort, but they stuck fast in mud. The Confederate Lieutenant opened fire and instantly sunk two ships and made the others run. No ground in Texas was ever received by the Confederacy.

Nueces Battle/Massacre

In 1862 German immigrants in Texans were very opposed to the Confederacy and the idea of slavery. Approximately 61 Germans fled from the confederacy to go to Mexico. Confederate Captain Duff dispatched 96 soldiers to pursue them and bring them back. As the soldiers approached the German camp they devised a plan to sneak up around them, but they encountered 2 Germans straying from the camp, and were forced to open fire, alerting the others. The Germans fought back, and only around 5 of them fled successfully.

Wartime Economy and Inflation

As both governments spend money on military and weapons, it causes a demand for products that were being used before. Since the demand for the product shoots up, prices skyrocket with it, causing inflation.
The South: The Southern states only had about 1/3 of the United Sates wealth because their money was tied into solid investments, making it harder to get to money quickly.
The North: The North had many liquid assets that they could get to in a flash, making them quicker to spend and act, closing the door to inflation.
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Women and the War effort

Before the Civil War started, women were thought of as utilities to use for cleaning, cooking, keeping the house orderly, and reproduction, but all that changed quickly when the war started.
Ladies made clothes, supplies, and sometimes even ammunition for their husbands army. In 400 cases, women would even disguise themselves as men and go fight. Eventually, inspired by Florence Nightingale, women went to work as nurses on the front lines, healing wounded soldiers.
The women of the Confederacy did much of the same as their counterparts, but they had fewer resources, and more man power ,in slaves, to get work done.

Hardships at home

Back at the homes of citizens, most people struggled, and many times they used substitutions for basic materials that they were missing.
Acorns were used to make coffee
Herbs were used instead of medicine
Honey was used instead of sugar
Other basic products, like newspapers, were shut down because of lack of supplies, and supplies from hospitals were sent to the armies instead of used at home.

Problems and tensions during wartime

There were many problems for the North and South in the Civil War, they included
Didn't have sufficient funds for the military.
Outgunned and out manned
They were the rebellion
Many solid monetary assets
Trading and importing/exporting
Didn't have home field advantage
Unknown territory

The tensions included
-economic differences
-slavery issues
-states rights issues

Unionism and conscientious objectors

Unionism in the Civil War was defined by staying with the existing federal government. The South frowned upon it, but the North sent out propaganda everywhere, supporting it. This is how the Union got it's name, because they were the states that started together and banded together when a threat came, forming a union.
Conscientious objectors were people in the Civil War who were strongly opposed to the fighting and wanted both sides to "open their eyes" to the bloodshed and stupidity of the Civil War.