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The Civil War in 18 Objects
Transcript of The Civil War in 18 Objects
By: Jordan Brown, Surta Dave, Morgan Glover
This pen represents the progression of women in economic and political roles because it tells the story of many women in the North and South during the Civil War that were left to support their household. It shows that because women were educated they were able to write and leave behind the their legacy and their recollections of the Civil War and foreshadows to the future when women would have many more rights. It tells the story of the women behind the survival of the nation during the Civil War and their ability to carry on the tasks previously only thought capable of men. Furthermore, this object was included in the collection because it represents a turning point for women which was only possible because of the implications of the Civil War and how the Civil War affected the Homefront directly while the women most times weren't actually a part of the war.
War on the Homefront:
4. Women of the North and South
An typical eye glass used by spies during the Civil War.
War on the Homefront:
8. Black Civil War Experiences
14. Robert E. Lee
This is a pen that was used to write during the Civil War to write about their experiences during the war.
A Soldier’s Life:
9. Motivation for Fighting
The main motivation that kept the soldiers fighting was patriotism. Both sides, the North and the South, believed that they were still fighting for the cause from 1776, even though they interpreted the Constitution, meaning of the Revolution and other political decisions differently. The Northerners believed that the best way to preserve the Union would be without slavery, while destroying the Confederate ideals at the same time. These goals kept them motivated throughout the war, even when they were losing many important battles. The uniforms for the Northern soldiers were provided by the government, allowing them all to look similar and unified. This kept them motivated to work together as one group of people, and was a major influence on the moral of the soldiers. The picture shows three versions of the Unionist uniforms.
15. Abraham Lincoln
A Soldier’s Life:
10. Life Between Battles
This is the actual top hat that Lincoln wore during the duration of much of his presidency and what he wore to the Ford Theater on the night he was assassinated.
Although the story of the Civil War is typically known through battles, many deaths occurred due to poor sanitary conditions in soldier camps. Most of the people who died suffered from bullet wounds, having limbs amputated only to have them get infected in the next few days. Soldiers were given very few vegetables and beef, which was detrimental to their health, not giving them enough nutrients to keep their bodies at peak performance. The picture displays a typical doctor’s kit during that time period. Most of the tools were useful in amputations. These items are significant because they were connected to more than 2/3 of the total deaths of the war.
Lincoln's top hat was one of the main objects that represented the Honest President Abe. He wore it to most of his speeches and public appearances and it was the symbol of freedom and equality that came with Lincoln being the president of the Union. Lincoln believed that his most important duty was to protect, and preserve the Union. Although he tried to avoid conflict at any cost he was willing to use force to defend the union. This item was included in the collection because this hat was the symbol that represented not only Lincoln but his ideals and values, his want for freedom and equality and to preserve the union just as this hat has been preserved.
A Soldier’s Life:
11. Northern Black Soldiers
Three variations in uniforms worn by the Union soldiers.
The typical doctor's kit used during the Civil War.
The original Emancipation Proclamation written by Abraham Lincoln.
The Emancipation Proclamation was one of the most important documents written during the Civil War. It was written by Abraham Lincoln and officially allowed the African Americans to enlist in the Union army. Many white soldiers were disgruntled by this and made the lives of the black soldiers very difficult, which brought up the question of why this was a good idea in the first place. Black regiments helped strengthen the argument for equal rights for blacks in general, giving them an equal chance to act and aid their country. This document set the standard for the treatment of blacks and led to their inclusion in many things. It is significant because without this document, black soldiers wouldn't have existed in the North.
Damaged locomotive in Richmond, Virginia.
The Civil War was the first war in which railroads were a major factor. The North had almost 3 times more railroads than the South, which proved to be devastating. Before the war began, the South made their railroads from metals imported from Britain. They were forced to stop development once the war began because there were Union blockades that kept anything from arriving at ports. The image represents the difficulty both sides of the war had in using existing railroads due to the sabotage from soldiers to prevent the other side from receiving supplies. It is important because it would cut off supplies and communication, and put soldiers at risk of starvation.
The Double Barrel Canon, a prime invention during the Civil War.
The North and South had two very different economies before the war began. The South relied predominantly on slave labor in producing cotton. The North relied mostly on advancing manufacturing and production. As the war progressed, the Northern manufacturing industry rapidly expanded. The disadvantages of a smaller industrial economy and the southern locations of the war hampered Confederate growth and development. Some of the prospering northern goods included weapons, leather, and textiles. The Double Barrel Cannon, as seen in the image, was one of the major inventions during the Civil War. It increased fire-power and made weaponry more accurate and effective. It was important because it gave the North a large advantage and increased their revenue from weapon production.
A telegraph from the 1860s used to communicate transcontinentally.
Abraham Lincoln was the first president who was able to communicate on the spot with his officers on the battlefield. The White House telegraph office enabled him to monitor battlefield reports, lead real-time strategy meetings and deliver orders to his men. Here, as well, the Confederate army was at a disadvantage: They lacked the technological and industrial ability to conduct such a large-scale communication campaign. There were a few problems with this technology: 1) if lines were destroyed, communication would be cut, and 2) messages could be intercepted by the opposite side and plans could be ruined. The image shows the simplicity of the telegraph compared to today’s technology. It is important because it became the fastest communication available and helped army commanders communicate.
Eye glasses were used to amplify vision by spies during the Civil War, many of which were African Americans. This object tells the story of the Civil War because it reflects how Black spies were large participants of the Civil War for the north. It tells the story of War on the Homefront because it reveals how these spies infiltrated the enemy side many times and how the Africans Americans aided in the war effort other than fighting. This was included in the collection because it provides an account of how the Civil was fought and who helped in that effort.
War on the Homefront: 6. Making Do
A typical candle made by people in the Confederacy from grease or other products during the Civil War.
This candle represents the impact of the Civil War on the homefront and tells the story of how resources in the south were reallocated for the war and the people had to make do with the materials they had. It shows that that even everyday life in the Confederacy was impacted by a war within one nation. This object was chosen for the collection because it encompasses the devestation the south suffered through as a resutl of the Civil War.
Battles: 16. 2nd Bull Run
Real confederate flag framed in a museum in Virginia, it was the flag of the Southern Confederacy.
This was the actual Confederate flag until 1963 from the Virginia Historical Society .
This is a Confederate flag from the 1800's that was the symbol of the Southern portion of the Union that seceded, also known as the Confederacy. Robert E. Lee was the leading General and Commander of the Confederate army. He led the army to victory at the first battle of Bull Run and although the Confederacy did not come out victorious in the end Robert E. Lee was faithful to the Confederacy and fought for them tooth and nail until the end. He was an amazing general with lots of military experience and his strategies for his army were swift and diligent. This flag was included in the collection and was chosen to represent Robert E. Lee because it was a flag that was in the War with the confederacy and it has lasted for almost 150 years after that and has stayed mostly intact. This is very to similar to how no matter the odds, Robert E. Lee kept fighting and stayed loyal to the Confederacy until the the very end, and he never gave up the fight just like this flag has survived a war and stayed intact for 150 years.
This flag tells the story of battles during the Civil War because it represents Confederate victory. The 2nd Battle of Bull Run was a victory for the Confederacy. It shows how the Confederacy was able to win many battles during the Civil War so its flag represents the prosperity of the Confederacy. This was included in the collection because it shows how the Confederacy was able to prosper for much of the time and win many battles during the Civil War.
The End of an Era
25. The Surrender at Appomattox
Battles: 24. Gettysburg
The Appomattox Court House, was the building where the civil war was officially concluded. Robert E. Lee with his army surrounded, his men weak and exhausted, realized there was little choice but to consider the surrender of his Army to General Grant. After a series of notes between the two leaders, they agreed to meet on April 9, 1865, at the house of Wilmer McLean in the village of Appomattox Courthouse. The meeting lasted approximately two and one-half hours and at its conclusion the bloodiest conflict in the nation's history was concluded. This item was included in the collection and represents the surrender because it was the place that the North and South came to the agreement to end the war and it if they had not peacefully come to this building in Virginia the war might have continued.
21. Gettysburg Address
20. The Emancipation Proclamation
This rifle is a typical rifle used by the Union during the Civil War.
This rifle represents the battles during the Civil War and shows the superior advantage the Union during the Civil War because they had more technology and resources to win. The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the war and a Union victory and won because of the advantages the Union had. The rifle shows how the Union always had the advantage in the war based on resources. This was included in the collection because it shows the weapons used during the war and is useful in understanding why the ultimate victory was on the side of the Union.
This is the original Declaration of Independence written by the Founding Fathers, that is on display in the National Archives in Washington DC.
The Declaration of Independence
was a document written by the Founding Fathers in 1776. It declared America's freedom from Great Britain and it advertised the ideals of the Union of the United States. The document outlines how the union must stay together and must represent the ideals of the government for the people by the people. This document was chosen to represent the Gettysburg address because the address was a speech given by Lincoln after the conclusion of the Civil War. It outlined that the Union in its destroyed state will pick itself up and uphold the ideals of the original republic and will make its government democratic for the people by the people. That is why the Declaration was chosen to be a part of this collection because it represents the foundation of ideas that Lincoln addresses in the Gettysburg Address.
The End of an Era: 26.Lincoln's Assassination (Surta)
This is the gun that Lincoln was assassinated which is displayed in Ford's Theatre.
This gun was used to assassinate Lincoln and it tells the story of The End of an Era because after Lincoln was assassinated it represented the end of the Civil War era because at that time the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments had already been passed and reconstruction was beginning. It tells the story of the animosity the south had for the north as a resulting of them losing the war. This was included in the collection because it is not just another gun, it is the gun the killed Abraham Lincoln and represents the Civil War and the sacrifices made for it. It is essential to understanding the end of the Civil War era in that it ended the life of the president that made many changes to the country for its betterment and unity, while most of the nation still did not believe so.
This is a pair of leg shackles used on slaves in the US to keep them from running and to keep them orderly when being transported or sold publicly.
The Emancipation Proclamation was a document or mandate that was written by the president during the time of the civil war. It when issued in the 3rd year of the bloody civil deemed that all slaves held in rebel states from then on should be free. Slaves in the South were treated horribly and cruelly and bound by handcuffs and leg shackles to keep them in line. These leg shackles were included in the collection because they represent what used to bind them to servitude, the metaphorical and actual "handcuffs" and how the Emancipation Proclamation was an aim to free the slaves of these jails of southern slavery that confined them.
13. Injuries/Death/Battlefield Medicine
This is an original amputation saw used in the civil war to cut off wounded or partially blasted off body appendages from soldiers.
The Civil War is the bloodiest wars in the History of the United States. More than 620,000 soldiers died in the war, compared with 644,000 total in all of the other wars the US has fought combined. The deaths were not only from being in the line of fire, but by disease, amputation, wounds, explosives, and many other horrible ways. Many Soldiers were wounded in the arms, legs, fingers and other such limbs, and at this time in history the only cure for gunshot wounds or any serious injury on an appendage was amputation. Amputations were actually sometimes even more deadly than the original injury and many many soldiers died after their amputations due to blood loss and infections. This civil war amputation saw was included in the collection because it is an original saw that was used in the war to amputate limbs; it was a leading cause of death among soldiers and also a common form of battlefield medicine during the time.