Emtional Impact Of Civil War Essay, Research Paper
Emotional Impact of The Civil War
The Civil War began July1861 when Union troops set out for Richmond, Virginia. They met Confederate forces soon after the left at a small stream in Virginia called Bull Run. The carnage that followed showed the nation that the war was anything but civil. In this war fathers fought sons, brothers fought brothers, and families fought themselves. This no doubt left emotional scars for everyone involved. An example of the emotional impact that the war had left on the soldiers, the families, and the nation is The Slopes of War by N.A Perez. This book is about the Summerhill family, which is going through the Civil War. Rebekah Summerhill has three family members who are fighting in the war. Buck Summerhill, Rebekah s brother, is accompanied by his friend Tully Willard. They are both privates in the Union Army. Custis and Mason Walker, Rebekah s cousins, are privates in the Confederate Army. During their childhood Rebekah, Buck, Custis, and Mason were close since the both grew up in the same area. Because of this Buck and Rebekah has the emotional dispute of fighting their own blood in a war.
The purpose of this thesis is to show the emotional impact the Civil War had on the people involved. And how The Slopes of War portrayed it. I will show examples of this in a letter by Jno. D. Dameron, another letter by JN Bennet, and a song called, The Prisoner s Hope by George F. Root.
The letter by Jno. D. Dameron is to his father. In it he writes about his father not writing to him, I had concluded that I could not write to any more until I had received a letter from home. (Dameron, letter by author, December 1862) This shows how homesick Dameron was. This is exactly how Buck felt during the first parts of the book, We re getting close to home (The Slopes of War, N.A. Perez, PG 3) The quote came from when Buck s squadron is heading towards Gettysburg, Buck s hometown. This I think shows that most of the soldiers, Union and Confederate, were really homesick. Also in the letter, Jonathan asks his father to tell other family members to write to him, Tell Sallie to write. She owes me one. All of you write, you may consider this my last (Dameron, letter by author, December 1862) Which again shows how homesick Dameron is.
During the civil war, songs were made to either recruit soldiers or to keep soldiers morale high. One such song that that keep morale high was The Prisoner s Hope . The song is about a prisoner who hopes that one day that his fellow soldiers will free him, So within the prison cell we are waiting for the day, that shall come to open wide the iron door. And the hollow eye grows bright, and the poor heart almost gay, as we think of seeing home and friends once more. (The Prisoners Hope, George F. Root, Verse 5) This song could ve of been sung by Mason since he was in a Northern prison on Johnson s Island In Lake Erie. ( Slopes of War , NA Perez, Pg 197) This song shows how being in prison can wear you down, the tears, they fill my eyes. Like how the Summerhill family sent him (Mason) parcels full of nourishing food, hoping to keep him alive. (Slopes of War, N.A Perez, Pg 197) so that Mason wouldn t die or waste away in the prison, and so that he wouldn t feel lonely.
The letter by Jn. Bennet is Bennet asking his General to send Capt. Anderson s (private who died) widow a ring, which was made by a root on which Capt. Anderson died on. This shows the tragedies of war since Anderson had a widow, a daughter, or a son. (Jn. Bennett, a by the author. 15th of Dec.) That sort of how the tragedy of Custis dying while expressing his love in his death letter, That night on Round Top very best time of my life, until last night when I was kissing you. (The Slopes of War, N.A Perez, Pg 180) I think both of the soldiers are best described as the noblest and most genuine specimen of mankind (Jn. Bennett, a by the author. 15th of Dec.)
The emotional impact shown in the letters and the song The Prisoner s Hope shows how the emotions also shown in The Slopes of War . I think that Perez did a great job in portraying the emotional impact because he shows all views of the war. The Civilian Aspect was Rebekah Summerhil, The Southern aspect was shown through Custis, and The Northern Aspect was depicted through Buck. And this shows more than one point of view, which important for getting the entire story.
N.A Perez. The Slopes of War. Boston, Houghton Mifflan Co., 1984
Davidson,Castillo,Stoff. The American Nation. New Jersey, prentice-hall, 2000
The Prisoner s Hope, George F. Root. From the website:
http://wonderdog.net/CivilWarSongs/ on 4/29/01
The letter s by Dameron and Bennet is From the website:
http://www.civilwarhome.com/letter.htm on 4/29/01