Eleven states seceded from the U.S. to form the country, Confederate States of America. The war was between the CSA, the "South", and the remaining states, the "North", of the U.S. The CSA's uniform was usually gray, while the North's blue.
What Were The Causes Of The Civil War?
Was it States Rights, slavery, trade & commerce, Abolition, the election of Abraham Lincoln? Or, all of them.
The answers and issues will be found in the many history books available. Check out my reading list below for ideas.
My great grandfather volunteered on the Union side, the North, in the 3rd Iowa Infantry. Sergeant Newlon chronicles his Civil War experiences from April 1861 to August 1863 in two journals he carried with him.
On 28 May 1861, Indianola, Iowa, the twenty-four-year-old Will Newlon from Winterset, Iowa, enlisted into a small group of volunteers called the "Union Zouaves of Winterset". Will was mustered into Company G, 3d Infantry Regiment, Iowa Volunteers, as a private. On 8 June 1861 at keokuk, Iowa, he writes:
"Today we were sworn into United States service for three years; I felt the present occasion."
Will describes the Third's movements through Missouri and Tennessee. All the while, Will pens the tedium and daily struggle of a Civil War soldier, the marching, drilling and dress parades, the cooking and camp making, the cold and heat, the fighting, and the loneliness.
The first journal, the smaller one, begins with his enlistment & muster in May '61, basic training in Keokuk, Iowa, and ends at Benton Barracks, St Louis, September 1862 to await orders to go south into Tennessee.
"...We had but marched over half a mile when we suddenly came upon the enemy in a heavy body of timber lying in ambush with strong fortifications. We were close upon them before we knew they were there. Bullets as thick as hail, they opened a fire upon us with three cannons and small arms. They had their cannons planted so as to command the road where our column was marching. On our right was an open marsh; on our left was a heavy body of timber. Here we were, in this position, no chance to flank them, for they were on our right and on our left. We turned our cannons upon them as they were flanking. The first shot mowed them down like a hurricane. Our artillerymen only succeeded in giving them three shots with the cannon when they were all killed and wounded but three, and that silenced the gun. During this time we kept up a volley of musketry..."
The second journal, the ledger book, cited in the "Blue&Gray" magazine, 2007 (vol. XXIV, issue 4), begins where the smaller one ended, Benton Barracks, February 1862. Will ends his writing in the Jackson, Tennessee Army Hospital, August 1863, as he recovers from a leg amputation, and awaits his discharge papers.
"...About 11 o'clock P.M. the City Guards of New Orleans, 17th Louisiana, charged in an open field upon our regiment. We remained lying in perfect silence until they approached within 150 yards of our line. When we opened upon them with a volley of musketry, it appeared to me as though half of them fell the first fire, and it was but a moment when there was none to be seen on the field but the dead and dying. The ground was literally covered with bodies. In many places they were lying one upon the other, but few of them escaped with their lives. Such a sight I never before witnessed and may God grant another such may never be fought on this continent by a civilized and enlightened people, is my prayer..."
October 5th, 1862 Will was severely wounded at the Battle of Davis Bridge near Pocahontas, Tennessee. On 7 April 1863, Third Sergeant Newlon received a medical discharge at Jackson, TN. Will returned to Winterset and married his sweetheart, Lydia Ann Philbrick. Will & Lydia raised a large family, of which nine survived. Mary, a middle child, was my grandmother. She married Army 1st Lt. Clarence Roy Green in 1912; he later died in the First World War.
Will had a long and prosperous career as a newspaper publisher and land agent. He died, heart failure most likely, while driving his buggy home on 25 June 1902.
For a donation of $15 to GB&G, I'll send you a PDF copy via Dropbox. Be sure to email me your edress.
If you are a teacher with an .edu edress, I'll send it via Dropbox at no cost.
Civil War Recipes
List of CW Battles by State
CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELDS
CIVIL WAR GENERALS
ORIGINS OF THE CIVIL WAR
LIST OF CIVIL WARS
TENNESSEE STATE LIBRARY & ARCHIVES
MIKE LYNAUGH PHOTOS
Huntington Museum CW Photos
Civil War Music
BOOK MUSICIANS, Civil War Music
Davis Bridge Memorial Foundation, Inc
Battle of Gettysburg
Son of the South
Battle Reenactment- Blue Mills Landing
Civil War Photos, State Historical Library & Archives of Iowa
US Civil War Re-enactment Training
A List of Sunday Battles (1861-65)
06/03/61 – USA victory at Battle of Philippi, Va.
06/10/61 – CSA victory at Battle of Big Bethel, Va.
06/24/61 – USA gunboats shell CSA positions at Mathias Pt., Va.
10/21/61 – Battle of Ball’s Bluff (Leestown), Va., a resounding defeat for USA
04/08/62 – USA captures Island No. 10, Missouri.
07/15/62 – CSA ironclad Arkansas damages USA vessels near Vicksburg, Miss.
08/26/62 – Second Bull Run (Manassas), Va., Campaign begins.
07/01/63 – Battle of Gettysburg begins
07/22/63 – Battle of Manassas Gap, Va., CSA victory
08/12/63 – USA begins new offensive against forts in Charleston Harbor.
10/14/63 – Battle of Bristoe Station, Va., ends inconclusively.
11/25/63 – Three-day Battle of Chattanooga, Tenn., ends in USA victory.
05/27/64 – Battle of New Hope Church, Va., won by CSA.
06/03/64 – CSA victory at Battle of Cold Harbor, Va.
06/10/64 – Battle of Brice’s Crossroads, Miss., won by CSA.
06/17/64 – Gen. Grant begins Siege of Petersburg, Va.
07/22/64 – Battle of Atlanta, Ga., won by USA forces.
08/05/64 – USA wins naval battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama.
09/23/64 – Battle of Fisher’s Hill, Va., ends in USA victory.
02/16/64 – Battle of Nashville, Tenn., won by USA forces.
01/15/65 – USA forces take over Ft. Fisher, NC, capturing last CSA port
03/25/65 – CSA attack on Ft. Stedman, Petersburg, VA, fails.
USA begins Siege of Mobile, Alabama.
04/01/65 – Battle of Five Forks, Va., ends in USA victory.
Six U.S. Civil War Narratives
1. “A Civil War Narrative: Journals, Letters and Verse of William Clark Newlon”, Chris Newlon Green, ed., 2012, Chris Newlon Green PDF Collection, San Dimas, CA.
2. A Civil War Diary of Allen Morgan Geer, Twentieth Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, May Ann Anderson, ed., Cosmos Press, New York, 1977.
3. A Civil War Soldier’s Last Letters, Written by William F. Margraff (during the Civil War), Paul Janiski, ed., Vantage Press, New York, 1975.
4. Company Aytch: or a side show of the Big Show, M. Thomas Inge, ed., New American Library, New York, 1999.
5. A Diary from Dixie, Mary Boykin Chesnut, Ben Ames Williams, ed., Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1980.
6. Diary of a Contraband, the Civil War Passage of a Black Sailor, William B.
Gould, IV, Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 2002.
Check out the Page about Civil War-era Literature & Poetry
Shiloh's Confederate Memorial and Grave-site
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