The Civilian Experience

NPS Primary Theme: After being mere spectators at the war’s early battles, civilians in the war zone later would become unwilling participants and victims of the war’s expanding scope and horror.

NPS Secondary Theme: In response to the hardships imposed upon their fellow citizens by the war, governments and civilians on both sides mobilized to provide comfort, encouragement, and materiel. On the other hand, the Confederate government failed almost completely to care for the families of its soldiers

NPS Secondary Theme: Modern scholarship looks more broadly at the civilian population—those who fled before the hostilities and never saw soldiers—and at the profound changes they experienced during the war. It also looks more closely at internal dissent—Copperheads in the North and Unionists in the South.

NOTE: Please use the comments section below to chronicle your progress with this theme throughout the remaining weeks of the course. Begin by outlining how your group decided to work with the theme (e.g., assigning one theme to one person or dividing themes up between team members) and then outline in detail, at least once each week, the work that you have done toward crafting your three podcast proposals.

14 Responses to The Civilian Experience

  1. Mary C says:

    After a fabulous conversation with Rolf Diamant, Superintendent for MABI, I have decided to scrap the Care Packages, Aid Societies, and Sanitary Fairs topic in favor of a look at the African American Civilian Experience as seen through the community of Woodstock, VT.

  2. Mary C says:

    I have not yet been able to get in touch with Tim Kavanaugh at VICK, but have spoken with Michael Madell who has assured me that Mr. Kavanaugh is supportive of our project. I have started outlining for the VICK topic and this is what I have so far:
    II. Podcast: In Harm’s Way: Surviving The Siege of Vicksburg (VICK)

    1. Theme Statement: After being mere spectators at the war’s early battles, civilians in the war zone later would become unwilling participants and victims of the war’s expanding scope and horror.

    2. Abstract (one to two paragraphs that describes and summarizes your proposed episode. Be sure to articulate how it supports the NPS’ goals in Holding the High Ground):

    3. a. Tangible/Intangible/Universal:
    Caves
    Fear/loss/ desperation/

    b. Primary Resource/Document (including letters, quotes, artifacts, and images):
    Diary of Emma Balfour
    Loughborough, Mary Ann. My Cave Life in Vicksburg http://books.google.com/books?id=yY9G8OQ1zcEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=siege+of+vicksburg+civil+war+civilians&source=bl&ots=0IzDFDCjll&sig=aMWEqrNWmLB1800U5fqygxzMQto&hl=en&ei=Sm1MTa3rJIbmsQPl2vGyCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDIQ6AEwBDgU#v=onepage&q&f=false

    c. Secondary Sources:
    Ballard, Michael B. The Campaign for Vicksburg. National Park Civil War Series. Eastern National Park and Monument Association, 1996.

    Caldwell, Patricia I’se So ‘Fraid God’s Killed Too”: The Children Of Vicksburg
    Carter, Samuel III. The Final Fortress: The Campaign for Vicksburg 1862-1863. St. Martin’s Press, New York. 1980.

    Gregory, Edward S. Vicksburg During The Siege
    Hoehling, A. A. Vicksburg; 47 Days of Siege, May 18-July 4, 1863. The Fairfax Press, New York. 1991.

    Korn, Jerry. War on the Mississippi: Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign. Time–Life Books, Alexandria, VA, 1985.

    Loughborough, Mary Ann. My Cave Life in Vicksburg http://books.google.com/books?id=yY9G8OQ1zcEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=siege+of+vicksburg+civil+war+civilians&source=bl&ots=0IzDFDCjll&sig=aMWEqrNWmLB1800U5fqygxzMQto&hl=en&ei=Sm1MTa3rJIbmsQPl2vGyCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDIQ6AEwBDgU#v=onepage&q&f=false
    Werner, Emmy E. Reluctant Witnesses: Children’s Voices from the Civil War. Westview Press, A Division of HarperCollins Publisher, Inc. Boulder, Colorado, 1998.

    Winschel, Terry. “The Siege of Vicksburg”. Blue & Gray Magazine, Columbus, Ohio. Volume XX, Issue 4. Spring 2003.

    d. Contacts:
    Michael Madell- Superintendent VICK
    Tim Kavanaugh- Interpretive Program Lead VICK

    4. Notes/Misc.:

    5. Outline/Script:

  3. Mary C says:

    I have started outlining for the MABI topic and this is what I have so far:
    III. Podcast: Comfort From Home: Care Packages, Aid Societies, and Sanitary Fairs (MABI)

    1. Theme Statement:
    In response to the hardships imposed upon their fellow citizens by the war, governments and civilians on both sides mobilized to provide comfort, encouragement, and materiel.
    “Especially in the North women’s lives were transformed as they exchanged domesticity for volunteerism. As part of the national relief societies- the United States Sanitary Commission and the United States Christian Commission- women sewed and filled baskets with food and books, paid for by the sales of homemade food and clothes (and even relics from the battlefield) at sanitary fairs.”
    2. Abstract (one to two paragraphs that describes and summarizes your proposed episode. Be sure to articulate how it supports the NPS’ goals in Holding the High Ground):

    3. a. Tangible/Intangible/Universal:
    Letters/ Housewives/Articles
    home sickness/loss/helplessness/want/need/patriotism
    b. Primary Resource/Document (including letters, quotes, artifacts, and images):
    Gallipolis [Ohio] Journal newspaper dated March 24, 1864, How to Send Supplies to Union Prisoners.
    Letter to Father. Andrew Gale, 137th NYSV. March 1, 1864
    Letter to Father. Andrew Gale, 137th NYSV. Sunday Dec 27/63
    Letter to Parents. Andrew Gale, 137th NYSV. Forest Church Georgia May 6th, 1864
    Letter. Rebecca Adams near Fairfield Texas. 1864
    Letter. Rebecca Adams near Fairfield Texas. Nov 30 1863
    Letter. Mary Adams Maverick from San Antonio to son Lewis. February 2, 1864
    Letter. Mary Adams Maverick from San Antonio to son Lewis. September 11 1864
    Letter to Parents. Sgt. Charles Wiksberg, 26th Wisconsin Infantry. October 17, 1863, Camp near Bridgeport
    Letter of Darwin Cody, Battery I, 1st Ohio Light Artillery. December 1864 Chattanooga

    c. Secondary Sources:
    Mescher, Virginia. Comforts from Home. Posted March – April 2003 http://www.raggedsoldier.com/soldiers_boxes/pdf

    d. Contacts:
    Rolf Diamant -Superintendent MABI
    4. Notes/Misc.:

    5. Outline/Script:

  4. Mary C says:

    I have started outlining for the FODO podcast topic and this is what I have at this point:
    I. Podcast: The Bohemian Brigade (FODO)

    1. Theme Statement: Modern scholarship looks more broadly at the civilian population and at the profound changes they experienced during the war. Civilian reporters braved the dangers of the front to bring news of the war to the public.
    “With the most newspapers in the world, Americans on both sides rushed to the post office after battles to read the casualty lists. Widely shared illustrated magazines as well as photographs of the battlefield brought the war into every home.”

    2. Abstract (one to two paragraphs that describes and summarizes your proposed episode. Be sure to articulate how it supports the NPS’ goals in Holding the High Ground):
    Civilians relied on newspapers for news of the war and of their friends and families serving on the warfront. The men and women of so-called “Bohemian Brigade” served their country by reporting from the front lines. Among their number were the famous Winslow Homer, the forgotten Alexander Simplot and the unexpected Thomas Morris Chester.

    3. a. Tangible/Intangible/Universal:
    fear/uncertainty/connection/loss/ bravery/

    b. Primary Resource/Document (including letters, quotes, artifacts, and images):
    Harper’s Weekly http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/the-civil-war.htm

    c. Secondary Sources:
    Hunter, John. Alexander Simplot, Forgotten Bohemian. The Wisconsin Magazine of History, Vol. 41, No. 4 (Summer, 1958) pp. 256-261. Wisconsin Historical Society.
    Foster, Sarah Whitmer and Foster Jr., John T. Historic Notes and Documents: Harriet Ward Foote Hawley: Civil War Journalist. The Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 83, No. 4 (Spring, 2005), pp. 448-467. Florida Historical Society.
    Civil War Illustrative Journalism: Traveling Artist Alexander Simplot. Ft. Donelson National Historic Site Educational Handout.
    Andrews, J. Cutler. The North Reports the Civil War. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1955. Paperback reprinted 1985. See also The South Reports the Civil War by the same author.
    Beckett, Ian F.W. The War Correspondents: The American Civil War. Dover, New Hampshire: Alan Sutton, 1993.
    Blackett, R.J.M., ed. Thomas Morris Chester: Black Civil War Correspondent. New York: Da Capo Press (published with special arrangement from Louisiana State University Press), 1989.
    Caren, Eric C., ed. Civil War Extra: A Newspaper History of the Civil War. Edison, New Jersey: Castle Books, 1999.
    Dawson, William Forrest, ed. Edwin Forbes: Civil War Etchings. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1985.
    Farnsley, Michael, ed. Alfred R. Waud Civil War Journal & The Bohemian Brigade. http://www.bohemianbrigade.com.
    Grafton, John. The Civil War: A Concise History and Picture Sourcebook. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, 2003.
    Hankinson, Alex. Man of Wars: William Howard Russell of The Times. London: Heinemann Books, Ltd., 1982.
    Harris, Brayton. Blue & Gray in Black & White: Newspapers in the Civil War. Washington, D.C.: Brassey’s, Inc., 1999.
    Lowenfels, Walter, ed. Walt Whitman’s Civil War. New York: Da Capo Press, 1960.
    Maihafer, Harry J. The General and the Journalists. Washington, D.C.: Brassey’s, Inc., 1998.
    Miller, Ilana D. Reports From America: William Howard Russell and the Civil War. Sutton Publishing, 2002.
    Morrison, Taylor. Civil War Artist. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999 (especially for younger readers).
    Perry, James. A Bohemian Brigade: The Civil War Correspondents. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2000.
    Perry, James M. and Wiley, John. 2000. A Bohemian Brigade: The Civil War Correspondents, Mostly Rough Sometimes Ready.
    Ray, Frederic E. “Our Special Artist”: Alfred R. Waud’s Civil War. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 1994.
    Simpson, Marc. Winslow Homer Paintings of the Civil War. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1988.
    Starr, Louis M. Bohemian Brigade: Civil War Newsmen in Action. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1954. Reprinted 1987.
    Thomas, Benjamin P., ed. Three Years With Grant: As Recalled by War Correspondent Sylvanus Cadwallader. Lincoln, Nebraska: The University of Nebraska Press, 1996.
    Tucher, Andie. Reporting for Duty: The Bohemian Brigade, the Civil War, and the Social Construction of the Reporter. Book History – Volume 9, 2006, pp. 131-157
    Civil War Reporter. Ebony. Chicago, Ill. November 1959. pp. 131-136 http://books.google.com/books?id=7oo5tbhLPgoC&pg=PA131&lpg=PA131&dq=black+reporter+civil+war&source=bl&ots=8_GpbK0RSn&sig=JMEifocYtJ_kHcKgjQIrwzikffA&hl=en&ei=EGdMTfzYGo_2tgPq1viCCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBjgK#v=onepage&q=black%20reporter%20civil%20war&f=false
    Thomas Morris Chester, Black Civil War Reporter: First African American to Report for a Major Newspaper. Aug 7, 2009. Eric Niderost. http://www.suite101.com/content/thomas-morris-chester-civil-war-journalist-a137383
    In News History: The Lone Black Reporter of the Civil War. February 2, 2011. Sharon Shahid. http://www.newseum.org/news/2011/02/thomas-morris-chester.html

    d. Contacts: Doug Richardson-Chief of Interpretation FODO

    4. Notes/Misc.:

    5. Outline/Script:
    Alexander Simplot-
    Winslow Homer- Harper’s Weekly
    Thomas Morris Chester- Philadelphia Press -a free African American correspondent who had lived in Liberia, Africa, and was one of the first Northern reporters to visit the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, after it fell to Union forces on April 2, 1865.
    Harriet Ward Foote Hawley- Hartford Evening Press- Florida

  5. Pingback: Update on Responses & Example of Support for Our Work | Interpreting the American Civil War

  6. Mary C says:

    I have sent out emails to the Superintendents and Chiefs of Interpretation at VICK and FODO but have not yet heard back from them. In the meantime I will continue to research my intended topics and am beginning to outline my ideas for scripts.

  7. Mary C says:

    Greg and I have both been in contact with Rolf Diamant, Superintendent at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. He has been incredibly supportive of this project and has provided me with an assortment of materials regarding their existing CW programs. The site has already produced some amazing programs on this basic topic and I will be hard put to come up with something of the same caliber as their other programs. They have developed a ranger-led Walking Tour, partnered with local Woodstock Union High School and community members at the Woodstock Historical Society to produce a student newspaper depicting life on the Home-front and created the film “Woodstock’s Civil War: A Speakchorus” in partnership with Woodstock Union High School.
    We have received videos that I believe Greg will be sharing in class on Friday. I will be contacting Rolf with possible times for a phone conference so that we can go over “in-person” the possible topics that I would like to link to this site.

  8. Melissa Lang says:

    Greg and Mary
    I am a little concerned with a lack of African American Civilian experience included in your topics…I found this site if you are interested in going there.
    Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor

    Also Doug and I are covering Arts and Literature as one of the three podcasts for the ‘Legacy’ section, were hoping on using the Walt Whitman site.

    • Mary C says:

      Melissa, I understand your concerns about a lack of African-American specific information, but I made the decision not to focus on that because we already have two Themes dedicated to Race and Emancipation.

  9. Mary C says:

    On further consideration I have decided on three topics along this theme:
    -“Comfort From Home; Care Packages, Aid Societies, and Sanitary Fairs”
    Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

    -“Civilians Under Siege”
    Vicksburg National Military Park

    -“The Bohemian Brigade: Reporting the War”
    Ft. Donelson because they have a program on travelling Artists in the
    Civil War
    Or
    Winslow Homer Studio, if it is tied to a specific park

  10. Greg Shine says:

    For the theme of “The Civilian Experience” part of the challenge might
    be in the framework you’ve established. Use the essay as a guide, but
    don’t feel obliged to regurgitate it verbatim. On the other hand, don’t stray too far, either. It’s a fine line. Anyway, I’d recommend
    revisiting your framework and then considering the following parks:

    Walt Whitman & the Chatham House at Fredricksburg & Spotsylvania:
    http://www.nps.gov/frsp/whitman.htm
    This could bring in the nursing theme and also touch on Arts &
    Literature; something that really needs to be included in our plan.
    Whitman’s writing was very much inspired by his wartime experience,
    and you could discuss not only his role as a civilian nurse, but also
    the effect of war on his subsequent writing (and that of others). Yes,
    I know that we’re already using this park in another theme, but this
    use would justify an exception.

    Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
    http://www.nps.gov/mabi/planyourvisit/civil-war-home-front-walking-tour.htm
    This park has a ground-breaking program (including a walking tour
    booklet available for download) that explores the Northern civilian
    experience during the Civil War — a perfect connection to your theme!

    Vicksburg National Military Park or Charles Pinckney NHS are logical
    ones to explore the Southern civilian experience. This could be
    crafted to balance the Northern perspective in Marsh-Billings above.

  11. Pingback: Parks to Illustrate CW150 Themes: A Preliminary List | Interpreting the American Civil War

  12. Mary C says:

    Here is some of the primary documentation I have found thus far:

    “Care Packages From Home”

    Gallipolis [Ohio] Journal newspaper dated March 24, 1864,

    How to Send Supplies to Union Prisoners.

    The following communication furnishes important information:

    To the Friends of the Union Prisoners now in the hands of the enemy

    Fortress Monroe, March 8. The undersigned, members of the Board of Distribution,” {note: there is no opening quotation mark} lately confined in Libby Prison, feel that the greatest favor they can confer on their unfortunate comrades is to call the attention of their friends and families in the North, to the following suggestions:

    First — Boxes should not exceed twelve cubic feet, or two feet square and three feet long.

    Second — They should invariably be stoutly and securely bound with iron hoops.

    Third — Coffee, tea, sugar, flour, toabacco and articles of like character should be put in stout paper or canvas bags.

    Fourth — All perishable articles be excluded as tending to injure the remaining contents.

    Fifth — Under no circumstances should articles of a contraband nature, such as liquors, wine, money or citizens’ clothes be sent. The prohibition is imperative and the scrutiny most thorough. Every box in which they are discovered is liable to confiscation.

    To the friends of the enlisted man we would most emphatically say, send nothing excepting letters.

    In making this recommendation we would not be understood as charging the Confederate authorities with want of faith or disposition to carry out their pledges, but owing to the scarcity of transportation and uncertainty as to the whereabouts of the person addressed, it is almost an impossibility to secure the proper delivery of any package.

    James S. Sanderson, Lieut.-Col. and C.S. 1st A.C.
    Alex Von Schrader, Lieut.-Col. and A.I.G. 14th A.C.
    S.M. Archr {sic}, Lieut.-Col. 17th Iowa Infantry.

    October 17, 1863, Camp near Bridgeport – “Dear Parents, now I would like to ask a favor of you. I would like to have some thing sent. There is terrible mud here after it rains. And I would like to have a pair of boots. If I want to buy some here, they cost me 10-12 dollars. And then they are not very good. You will get money soon. So please send me a pair of good pig’s leather boots, size 9. You know how they have to be. With double sides, but not too clumsy. And then I would like to have two wool shirts, the sleeves not too short, and a scarf, a handkerchief and a towel. The shirts should not be white. Then I would like to have 1/2 pound of pectoral tea. I wanted to buy those things here but they would be more expensive then if you buy them. When you send the things, you have to send them by Adams Express. Inquire at the post who manages Adams Express. Then you pack the things into a box and close it securely.” Sgt. Charles Wiksberg, 26th Wisconsin Infantry

    December 1864 Chattanooga – “What is the trouble? I wrote the 25th of Nov and no answer yet. I guess you did not get the letter or you would of answered it. I wanted $10.00 in money, a Diary for 65, three Fine woolen shirts such as I got while at home. You will probably remember. Go to Beckman’s foot of Main St., one fine Single Soled pegged Calf Skin Large No 6s, one box of Tooth Soap. Send all you can by Mail–balance by Adams Express. Mark plain Dilgers Battery Chattanooga Garrison Artillery. Cover with thick paper–better than box. I am sorry you did not get my letter. I am in need of all very much”. Letter of Darwin Cody, Battery I, 1st Ohio Light Artillery.

    September 11 1864 Mary Adams Maverick from San Antonio to son Lewis. I sent by Frank Mullen 4 flannel shirts, 2 calico do, 2 pr drawers, 8 pr socks–maybe 6, 4 white handkerchiefs & some other items I forget–by Maj Beck 1 pant & jacket for you, Do for George, 2 pr drawers for you–3 shirts for you & 1 for George, 1 silk hdkf each. 1 pr shoes, 1 pr thick socks each, a guard cap for either who wish it–tobacco, paper & envelopes, & songs.

    “Secesh Bonnet, Union Apron; Patriotism Meets Fashion”

    DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], November 15, 1860, p. 1, c. 6
    The Ladies and the Blue Cockade. There was a large number of ladies present to hear Senator Robert Toombs at Montgomery on Friday night, the 29th ult. They wore the “blue cockade,” we understand, and warmly indorsed the noble Southern sentiments uttered by the distinguished orator. The women are always right. They admire spirit and daring in a man, and have little use for those who would submit to everything before resisting. The women of the revolution inspired the patriots of that day with their bright smiles, and stripped the rings from their fingers and jewelry from their necks to mould into dollars to whip the red coats, and sustain the “rebels” against British aggression. They will cheer those who are engaged in a war for their home, and bid them “God speed?” [sic]
    Senator Toombs wore in the streets of Columbus, on Saturday, the “blue cockade” given him by the fair ladies of Montgomery. God bless them! We are for them and a union with them, where love, harmony and good feeling exist, but are opposed to any other sort of Union. Columbus Times.

    DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], November 15, 1860, p. 1, c. 6
    The Ladies in the Field. Yesterday was a very bright and beautiful day, and our fashionable thoroughfare Canal street was crowded with an unusually large and brilliant array of the beauty of our city the stately matrons and lovely damsels of the South. What gave peculiar interest to this grand display of beauty, grace and elegance, was the exhibition of blue cockades worn on the shoulders of nearly all the ladies who appeared in public. All our ladies are for the South, and for resistance to the aggressions, outrage and insult of an Abolition dynasty. No man will merit their favor who is not ready to sacrifice everything for that cause. Delta, 14th inst.


    Patriotic Apron

  13. Mary C says:

    My group has decided that we will each take one topic to do individually and then will split one topic between two people.

    I started by reading the section in the NPS Guidebook and examining the individual websites for the parks mentioned. I haven’t settled on specific sites to highlight yet, but am considering pairing northern and southern parks for this topic.

    I have been brainstorming podcast topics and I am pretty sure that the first two should be about care packages- “Care Packages From Home” and visible expressions of patriotism- “Secesh Bonnet, Union Apron; Patriotism Meets Fashion”. I am still coming up with a third podcast topic, but am thinking about something that addresses role-reversal.

    I have been doing some research on both of these topics, primarily looking for primary source materials such as magazine descriptions of patriotic accessories, originals in museum collections, and letters requesting goods from home.
    For the care package podcast, I would like to include lists of modern-day requests and period ones as a way of demonstrating how little has really changed.

    This is a fabulous article about care packages:

    Ragged Soldier Articles
    look for “Comforts From Home”

    And a great one from Vicky Betts at Tyler University in Texas on Patriotism in clothing in the South:

    Red, White And Red

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