African American And Women In Civil War

The Civil War was a harsh battle between the Northern forces and the Southern forces. The Civil war led to 680,000 to 800,000 total deaths. Many soldiers could not fight the battle with just themselves, and that’s where women and African-Americans come into play. Many women wanted to assist the soldiers in battle, so they signed up to become nurses to aid them during their battles. Without these courageous women, the men fighting wouldn’t have gotten as far as they were. For African-Americans they played a huge part in helping the soldiers fight in the front lines. The African-Americans showed bravery and courage to fight for their side, when others did not. African-Americans played an enormous role in being by their fellow soldiers’ side.

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During the Civil War, women had a huge role change in their society. Before, women were expected to stay at home, cook, and monitor their house, but that changed during the Civil War. Many women assisted the soldiers by being nurses for them. The women would care for the wounded soldiers, but nursing wasn’t the only thing women contributed to. Women also cooked food for the soldiers, mended their damaged clothes, did their laundry, and provided essentials for the soldiers, such as clothes and blankets. One of the most impactful things that women assisted in was that the women also held fundraisers for the soldiers. The women would try to help raise money for the soldiers’ needs. Over, 20,000 women served as nurses during the Civil War. One of the first women who served as a nurse in the Civil War was a woman named Clarrissa “Clara” Harlow Barton. Clara Barton played a significant role in the Civil War, she aided the soldiers, by making an agency that would supply the soldiers during the War. Clara Burton was also a huge inspiration for other women during the Civil War, she encouraged many women to help assist the soldiers, she made a huge impact on the role changing of women during that time.

Not only did women play a significant role during the Civil War, African-Americans played a huge part as well. Approximately, 200,000 African-American soldiers served during the Civil War. African-Americans were able to fight during the Civil War in the first place, due to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation gave African-Americans the ability to be able to sign up to fight in the army. When white people didn’t have the courage or bravery to help fight for their country, African-Americans stepped up to the plate and offered their assistance right away. Having the African-Americans assist the other soldiers during the war allowed them to have a better fighting chance, due to the amount of soldiers they had fighting in all. Even though the African-Americans joining the army was a huge positive, it led to some negative outcomes that the African-Americns had to endure. Many of the African-Americans still faced discrimination and other racial prejudices during their fight in the Civil War, which did not make life any easier for them. An important service that assisted the Union Army was the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. The 54th Massachusetts Regiment was made up of many African-Americans, they all assisted the other soldiers by showing their courage and bravery, and by having essential fighting skills. African-Americans played an essential role in the Civil War, by being present and by showing their strong sense of courage.

As positive as it is that women and African-Americans served in the Civil War, it didn’t always result in positive outcomes. For example, when African-Americans served during the Civil War it caused a lot of conflict and chaos. Many African-American soldiers who served didn’t have equal pay like a lot of the other soldiers, and when an African-American soldier was captured by the opposing side, they would be treated very harshly. Also, many people did not favor African-Americans serving during the Civil War, they were still treated as outcasts and were discriminated against. Many people in the North no longer showed their support for the Civil War, when they found out African-Americans were going to be serving. For women, after the Civil War many of them had to go through lots of hardships and grief. Many of the women who served were very busy and hard at work helping the soldiers continue their fight during the Civil War. For the women who stayed at home, they had to bear the hardship of constantly wondering if their partner would return home or not. When lots of women’s husbands died during the war, women had to step in and take over shops that their husband used to work in. Many people didn’t get used to the change of women’s roles in society. For women, they had a difficult job maintaining their family without a father figure present, they had to work for their family as well as discipline their children.        

07 July 2022

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