Civil War
Sequicentennial

     Some states have finalized plans while others have just started organizing events. Some states have not yet organized the troops.

     As we remember the profound events of the Civil War, contemplating the ways in which it has shaped our nation, we must embrace the sesquicentennial period as an opportunity to improve our knowledge of history and the events leading us to today.

     But, the most important thing to remember, regardless of the causes of the war or the beliefs of the people of the time, are the war’s many participants, who were ALL American heroes. Both Union and Confederate soldiers; women, whose role in society was forever changed; and the African-American soldiers who fought for the Union to achieve dignity and freedom. In the end, the history of the Civil War, be it good and bad, served a purpose in shaping the great nation that the United States is today.

     I used Ham Radio several years ago before the Internet and email became so popular. I sent and received many facts about the Civil War with this, as some people say, an antiquated Mode of communications. How would we communicate if we lost our Internet, Cellfones, Ipods, and other electronic toys. Here are a few to just start out to begin my input for the Sesquicentennial

A couple Web Sites to follow for Sesquicnetennial informations in West Virginia
West Virginia Civil War Task Force
West Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission



WEAPONS OF THE UNION and CONFEDERATE ARMIES

     Except to say that the south did use a lot of captured weapons and both sides used British weapons. This is by no means complete and maybe others can add too it. Model 1855, 1861, and 1863 Rifled Muskets .58 Cal using a 500 grand conical bullet (Minie Ball) and 60 grains of black powder. two and three band rifles and carbines (Breech Loading), Spencer (Repeating Carbine), Colt Revolving Rifle, Smith Carbine (Breech Loader), Burnside Carbine, Edwin Wesson Targit Rifle with scopes (Sharpshooters), Hall (Breech Loader), and Merrill Carbine (Breech Loader).

MARRIAGE IN THE UNION ARMY

     Army regulations also prohibited the original enlistment of married men, but recruiting officers had little opportunity, and even less desire given the perpetual shortage of recruits, to confirm wheather a recruit was actually single.

     Once in the ranks, a soldier could get married with the permission of his commanding officer and the position of laundress existed as a suitable employment opportunity for the Army wife.

     From an examination of company muster rolls, it appears that a number of the enlisted men, particularly noncommissioned officers, were married to laundress at this time. There may also have been common law marriages.

FOOD RATIONS UNITED STATES ARMY REGULARS

     Army regulations prescribed a generous daily ration for the Army consisting of one pound of salt or fresh beef or 12 ounces of pork or bacon, 18 ounces of soft bread or one pound of hardtack, and smaller amounts of coffee, sugar, beans, peas, rice, salt, vinigar, and desiccated (dehydrated) vegetables. Of course, the menu could be pretty monotonous and the actual diet depended on available supplies. Wild game was occasionally available, and many of the Officers were avid sportsmen.

     Most posts maintained a garden as a source of fresh vegetables. The companies of the Third Infantry arrived in Texas too late in the season to plant a garden, but perhaps they benefited from the labors of the troops they replaced. Additional foodstuffs could be purchased locally from Mexican and American farmers or from the private sutlers that always followed the troops. One soldier explained that although always issued food enough to eat, he paid out a good deal for such things as potatoes, fresh meat, etc. Whenever there was a payday, the soldiers would not touch their rations. Instead, they purchased "dainties"* until their money was gone. Then they are satisfied.

*noun, something delicious to the taste; a delicacy


Return to  Main  Page
Return to  Archives  Page