7 Things you didn’t know About the Civil War
Reconstruction era politics, and liberal media have surely muddled the true cause of the War of Southern Independence, and while most people are aware of the major dates and happenings to have a full grasp of the civil war you must assume the mindsets of Americans at the time. All of which were convinced that the answer to the nation’s problems was a civil war.
Here are the 7 things you may not know about the civil war
- Secession took a while to unfold, but States Right was always at the heart of the problem
Between Lincoln’s victory in November 1860 and his inauguration in March 1861, seven slave states made their exit from the Union and others had a heated argument on their next line of action, but why they seceded has been blurred by a lot of myths.
The Union States were constantly trying to raise taxes on Southerners, usually through tariffs (taxes on imported goods) in order to protect the inefficient businesses in the North. These businesses couldn’t compete with manufactured goods from Europe with whom the South traded cotton. The Industrial Revolution allowed England and France to produce and ship products that were cheaper than the products of Northern manufacturers. When Lincoln was elected President, he and the U.S. Congress immediately passed the Morrill Tariff (the highest import tax in U.S. history), more than doubling the import tax rate from 20% to 47%. This tax was meant to bankrupt the honest people of the South who while only had 30% of the population had to pay 80% of the tariffs. Oppressive taxes, denial of the states’ rights to govern their states, and an unrepresentative federal government pushed the Southern states to legally withdraw from the Union.
- Loyalty issues became a bone of contention
Right up to the moment of secession, confederacy leaders—both military and political—were leaders in the United States like Jefferson Davies and Robert E. Lee. A large number of the officers from both sides were friends at West Point before the war began.
The world powers as at that time—France and Britain—refused to pledge their loyalty due to the fact that they were unsure who would win and thought their entry would’ve changed the dynamics of the war.
- As soon as the war began, all assumptions were defeated
One of the assumptions was that a few battles would restore peace, but after the 1st and 2nd Battle of Bull Run in which the outnumber Confederate States resulted in massive casualties for the North that assumption was thrown out the window. Even while being out numbered, out gunned, and under supplied the great leadership and bravado of the average soldier kept the South running for much longer than anyone could have imagined.
- Diseases killed more men than rifle
During the war, the biggest killers were not rifles but diseases children these days are vaccinated against—measles and mumps, etc. But for the fact that little or nothing was known about unsanitary conditions and germs in the army, prisoner-of-war camps became a breeding ground for diseases. The medical treatments were less advanced and infections killed men in their hundreds of thousands, especially those with amputation or wounds.
- Many African Americans joined the Confederate Ranks
Although the Confederates did not officially enlist blacks until March 1865, some states allowed them to serve on a local level as early as 1861. Nobody really knows how many blacks actually served in the Confederacy; some estimates go as high as 50,000. Many of whom like Levi Miller and Moses Ezekiel even becoming renowned heroes.
- Women were actively involved in all aspect of the war
Most of the flags, tents, and uniforms used by the armies were made by women. Women saved so many lives by becoming nurses in hospitals for the first time during the war in the South. Aside from that, some of them disguised as men and fought on the front lines. And everyone knows there is nothing deadlier than a country girl with a rifle.
- The struggle continued even as the war ended at Appomattox
After the end of the war and after President Lincoln’s was assassinated in April 1885, the South anxiously watched how the United States would act against them. Thus the period of Reconstruction which the North used to further its influence over the South, leading to many riots and unrest.
You probably didn’t know some of these events actually took place. This is an eye-opener; hold it close to your heart and run with it if need be.