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Mariah de Leon


U.S History

15 May 2017

The Unavoidable War

The Civil War was a war between citizens of the same country the North and the South.

Though the Civil War was bad, it brought the country closer to the American Ideals: democracy,

rights, liberty, opportunity, and equality.

The first major conflict of the Civil War was the first battle of Bull Run, which occurred

on Wilmer McLean’s farm in Manassas Junction, Virginia. The advantages the Northerners had

to the Southerners was major. They were outnumbered in “farm production, factories, naval

force and railroad lines, which were crucial for moving troops and supplies.” The Southerners

knew what they were up against but it didn’t let their guard down because they too had

advantages. “They had the advantage of fighting a defensive war on their own soil, as well as an

outstanding military leadership.”

Equality was given to very little people. The war affected many African Americans

thousands of them left to the Union lines. “There were no government policy on the fugitives,

Union commanders were left to make their own decisions about what to do with them. Some

tried to return fugitives to their former owners or to keep them out of Unions camps. Others paid

the fugitives wages for non combat work as cooks, carpenters, guides, and drivers.” This proves

that they were not treated equally. In the Declaration of Independence it states that “all men are

created equal.” I’m not really sure that it’s true. Frederick Douglass was all for having African

Americans as slaves. He wrote “The Negro is the key to the situation, the pivot upon which the
whole rebellion returns . . . This war, disguise it as they may, is virtually nothing more or less

than perpetual [everlasting] slavery against universal freedom.” African Americans were not

allowed to go to war, but on 1862 it changed. “The next year, the war department issued General

Order 143 , which authorized the “organization of Colored Troops.” The 54th Massachusetts

Regiment was the war in which many African Americans were able to go to war. They were

killed in New York City draft riots, they were “not good enough” so they got jobs such as

digging ditches. They were given weapons that weren’t the same as others, they were really bad

and they were not given proper training as the white soldiers. “Black soldiers who were captured

in the South faced the risk of being enslaved or executed rather than imprisoned, as white

soldiers were.” so much for having equality.

Women were involved in the Civil War, but not the same way soldiers were. Women

were nurses and they assisted with the recovery of soldiers. Since women were not allowed to go

to the armed forces they saw the war somewhere and some even dressed themselves as men and

joined the army. Women were very good spies, for example, there was a woman named Rose

Greenhow and she was one of the most famous confederate spies. Women were good spies

because no one suspected that they’d do something like that, and if they would’ve gotten caught

for it, they wouldn’t have gotten punished as bad. Someone we know about is Harriet Tubman,

she served in the war, but as a Union nurse. Since the war took place in the South, the women in

the South had turned their houses into shelters for people who need medical help, so like a very

small hospital. “After the First Battle of Bull Run, for instance, Sally Tompkins established a

hospital in a private home and began caring for wounded confederate soldiers.”Women had the
opportunity to be partially in the war. Even though they weren’t fighting in the war, they were

able to help the wounded soldiers. Some women even got the opportunity to be spies in the war,

though they could’ve been punished severely.

Now, we are even more united than we were before, and the Civil War had a major

impact on this. The progress in American history went from: ending slavery, having hospitals

instead of having them in homes, we now see ourselves as democrats and republicans, we take

some rights to heart and commit to them. The war contained all the American Ideals: equality,

opportunity, rights, liberty and democracy; but mainly equality and opportunity. African

Americans fought their way for equality and to have the same opportunity as the rest. When you

get an opportunity, you need to take it because you never know when you’ll get another

opportunity like that again.

Works Cited

- Hart, Diane, and Bert Bower. History Alive!: Pursuing American Ideals. Rancho Cordova

l, CA: Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, 2013. Print.