Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen

Hello readers! To officially finish this segment on the Civil War and Reconstruction, I thought we could have a discussion about rights. The period of Reconstruction would bring about three new amendments to the Constitution--the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to be exact.

The Thirteenth Amendment

The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified to the Constitution on December 6, 1865 after the conclusion of the Civil War. The 13th Amendment would officially abolish slavery in the United States. The 13th Amendment states: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

The Fourteenth Amendment

The Fourteenth Amendment officially granted African-Americans, born free and former slaves alike, citizenship rights. In part, the Amendment reads: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdic…

The Removal of Confederate Statues

As I sit here in my local Starbucks in Upstate New York, sipping a vanilla cappuccino, I think about how far removed I am from what goes on in other parts of the country. Here, we don't see protests or the tearing down of monuments; here, we don't see a plethora of vehicles or people bearing the Stars and Bars unless a big country act comes to the performing arts center. I'm not going to play the part of a keyboard warrior, but it is my responsibility as a historian to make sure the stories of our past do not go unrecognized, especially in times like these. So, I thought it would be appropriate to share the history of the Confederate statues, however briefly, and what they truly represent.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) was founded in 1894 as a hereditary organization of Southern women. The UDC was founded to commemorate Confederate soldiers, and by doing this the organization would erect monuments and promote the Lost Cause movement (a myth where the Confe…

Reconstruction, What's Your Function?

In the spring of 1865, the Civil War was finally over. Upon agreement of the terms of surrender, Union General Ulysses S. Grant declared, “The war is over. The Rebels are our countrymen again.” At the close of the war, the South was in shambles; much of the South’s landscape and infrastructure had been destroyed, and the economy needed rebuilding. Some four million African-Americans had been freed from bondage during the war, but in December of 1865 the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery everywhere. Now that the war was over, the nation had to come together once again. The Civil War resulted in many things: slavery was abolished, there was a disruption to the economy, the plantation system had been eliminated, and race relations in the South had been upended. The defeated Confederacy had to come to terms with a new way of life as the United State entered into the Reconstruction Era.

The Reconstruction Era ran from 1865 to 1877, and it was a period of political and social turbulence…

Women's Roles in the Civil War

Hello reader! I know I've been away for a while and haven't updated in weeks, but that's because I'm still on the journey to earning my Master's Degree in American History. I have a few days off before my third term of graduate school starts, so I thought I'd post a few entries to this blog to keep you guys on your toes and learning about this great country. One of the courses I just finished up was a course on the Civil War, which was appropriate since that's where we've been in this blog on the timeline of American history. To keep going with the Civil War, before we delve into Reconstruction as promised in the last post, I thought it would be beneficial to post about women's roles in the Civil War. This post is the bulk of my final paper for my Civil War, complete with citations of the sources I used. Enjoy!
From 1861 to 1865, a civil war ravaged the United States. The war would pit brother against brother, and neighbor against neighbor, as each…

The Civil War: Part III

Hello readers! I'm back with a full term of graduate school under my belt. It was an extremely busy ten weeks, but I managed to complete my classes with grades in the 90's! Now, I have some time off before I start my next term, and I'm going to spend some of that time posting here on the blog. After having to write discussion posts and papers, it's nice to be back here at the blog. I thought it was appropriate to update the layout of the blog; as I am growing up and maturing, I thought it was appropriate for the blog to do the same, especially after having the same layout for almost six years.

So, without further ado, let's pick up where we left off as we continue to discuss the Civil War.

The New York City Draft Riots

Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg and the staggering loss of life during the battle, Congress passed a conscription law making all men between the ages of 20 and 45 liable for military service. On July 13, 1863, the government's attempt to …

The Civil War: Part II

We're going to jump in right where we left off with the previous Civil War post.

The Battle of Fredericksburg (Virginia)

In November 1862, Major General Ambrose Burnside replaced Major General McClellan as the commander of the Army of the Potomac.

The Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862 involved nearly 200,000 combatants. Burnside led his more than 120,000 troops across the Rappahannock River, where they did a two-prong attack on the right and left flanks of Lee's 80,000 men army. On both ends, Lee's men turned back the Union assault with heavy casualties.

The Battle of Fredericksburg was a crushing defeat for the Union, and the Union morale plummeted. Burnside accepted blame for the defeat. The Battle led to an increase in morale for the Confederates.

Battle of Shiloh (Tennessee)

On April 6, 1863, 40,000 Confederate soldiers under the command of General Albert Sidney Johnston poured out of nearby woods and struck a line of Union soldiers occupying ground near …