Wednesday, November 20, 2013

U.S. Civil War: People Became Acquainted with Death

Death is the most common denominator from the U.S. Civil War.  People on all sides of this war became acquainted with death, much more than they would have liked.  According to an article in “U.S. and World Report Secrets of the Civil War,” written by Drew Gilpin Faust 620,000 soldiers died.  The confederacy was hardest hit in percentage of the population as the deaths represent 20 percent of the fighting age men.  In other words, nobody escaped death in the South, while in the North, because of the greater numbers of soldiers the percentage was lower.  More Americans died in this war than in the other U.S. wars combined.  Two percent of the U.S. population passed away.  If two percent of the population were to die today this would be six million people.  
Soldiers did not have a monopoly on death.  The civilian population was also hard hit, with likely over 50,000 civilian deaths.  Some of these were the result of violence directed towards them, New York riots, vigilante gangs in the Midwest etc.   Some was the result of being in the battles way.  Death was also present during this time as a result of disease.  Having soldiers in close quarters spread disease, which then spread to civilian populations. 
National Memorial cemeteries sprung up as a result of the war.  One of these was Arlington Cemetery she is on the old Lee property in Arlington.  This is where Robert E. Lee lived before the war.
Another reason death became closer was the use of photography for the first time to document was.  People could see pictures of war dead for the first time.  

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