Tag Archives: Civil War

Brady Pics: Everyday Life During the Civil War


Family image

During the Civil War, food had to be cooked, laundry had to be washed, and shelter of some sort built. Few families accompanied the soldiers. (Pic credit: Library of Congress) Tomorrow, More Brady Pics. Rita Bay

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Brady Pics: Clara Barton


Clara Barton was a nurse (and many other things) when most women did not work outside the home. In 1864 she was appointed by Union General Benjamin Butler as the “lady in charge” of the hospitals at the front of the Army of the James. She is known as the “Angel of the Battlefield.” She was also the founder of the American Red Cross.(Pic credit: Library of Congress) Tomorrow, More Brady Pics. Rita Bay

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Black Soldiers in the Civil War

BlackSoldiersCivil WarBy the end of the Civil War, roughly 179,000 black men (10% of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 served in the Navy. Nearly 40,000 black soldiers died over the course of the war—30,000 of infection or disease. Black soldiers served in artillery and infantry and performed all noncombat support functions including carpenters, chaplains, cooks, guards, laborers, nurses, scouts, spies, steamboat pilots, surgeons, and teamsters also contributed to the war cause. There were nearly 80 black commissioned officers. Black women, who could not formally join the Army, served as nurses, spies, and scouts.

Tomorrow, This Writer’s Pen     Rita Bay

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Recruiting Poster for Black Soldiers During the Civil War

Men_of_Color_To_Arms_Civil-War-recruitment_BroadsideAfter the Emancipation Proclamation was announced, black recruitment of soldiers became a priority and was pursued in earnest. In May 1863 the Government established the Bureau of Colored Troops to manage black soldiers.. Frederick Douglass encouraged black men to become soldiers to ensure eventual full citizenship stating that “Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letter, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, there is no power on earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship.”

Tomorrow, Black Soldiers at War   Rita Bay

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The Beast Butler

Response to Butler's Proclamation

    In April of 1862, Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler and his Union army occupied New Orleans.  The abuse of his soldiers endured from patriotic Confederate women was a major. Bitterly resenting the Union occupation, whenever any of Butler’s men were present they would contemptuously gather in their skirts, cross streets, flee rooms, cast hateful glances, or make derisive comments. Some sang spirited renditions of “The Bonnie Blue Flag” and other Confederate songs, or spat on soldiers’ uniforms. One woman emptied a chamber pot on Capt. David C. Farragut from her window.  On May 15, to resolve the problem before someone was injured Butler issued General Orders No. 28:

“As the officers and soldiers of the United States have been subjected to repeated insults from the women (calling themselves ladies) of New Orleans, in return for the most scrupulous noninterference and courtesy on our part, it is ordered that hereafter when any female shall, by word, gesture, or movement, insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States, she shall be regarded and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her avocation.”

        Except for a few isolated incidents, the insults stopped abruptly when the women learned they would be treated as common women of the streets for demeaning a man wearing a U.S. army uniform.

Tomorrow:  A Toddy for the Body.  Rita Bay

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