Place an order for a custom essay, research paper on this or related subject.
Michigan was one of the states that made a substantial impact and contribution to American civil war. It supplied numerous troops as well as generals. Michigan’s contribution to the civil war was quite tremendous. From 1861 to the year 1865, Michigan sent about 90, 747 men to participate in the civil war (The civil war, 2009).[i] Around 90,000 Michigan who ended up leaving their farms, loved ones and businesses ended up dying (Don, 2010).[ii] Others returned disabled and maimed. When the President Of USA, Abraham Lincoln asked for volunteers who could defend the country and the union, most Michigan men and women rose to this challenge. With a spark of intrigue and a sense of adventure they banded all together only to realize that the war was actually more than they had bargained for. Heroism was followed by great catastrophe that left most families with sad memories.
The Civil war proved to be one of the most catastrophic and violent events of History. Soldiers faced numerous trials and children who once had their families intact came to the dark realization that they were no more. Michigan’s volunteers were just an example of Lincoln’s call for addition troops in the year 1862. Some of the Michigan men got released from the war due to sickness and inability. They suffered severely after weeks of fighting both psychologically and physically. Others were taken as captives and were inflicted by the physical conditions of the prison. The sandy soil, flat topography, elevation higher above the tide that had resulted to poor drainage and extreme weather conditions that amounted from chilling cold to blazing heat. There was polluted water that exacerbated the strains of inadequacy of food, fuel, clothing, medical care and housing. All these were just an imagery of what the Michigan captives and soldiers went through in their role to safeguard the union. Almost 4,000 prisoners had died in a span of around 22 months (William, 1863-1864).[iii] Correspondents were sent from home written by sisters, mothers, wives of the soldiers and prisoners complaining of family hardships and emotional torture.
Michigan State was at haste to respond to the war outbreak. It gave Federal Service its military forces that comprised of twenty eight militia companies. There were numerous volunteer recruits who came from the offices, shops, farms and schools. They were all filled with great enthusiasm, patriotism and loyalty. They had sworn to serve the country to the bitter end against the opposers and enemies. Every appeal from the president for more troops was completely met by Michigan.
Michigan’s contribution to the war was quite immense until President Abraham Lincoln asserted, “thank God for Michigan”.[iv]During the civil war, approximately 23% of the male population in the year 1860 contributed in the American civil war. Before the war came to an end, Michigan had furnished more than 90,000 men of which 85,000 were actually volunteers (Ida, 2007).[v] The forces formed eleven Calvary regiments and thirty infantry regiments. Even after having to endure and survive all the years of war, death still stalked them while some of them went back home to continue with their interrupted duties as much as they could. They had stories to take back home to their grandchildren and children as well as write reminisces that could be read at the regiments reunion.
Despite the fact that Michigan got appraisal from the president, the war had great adverse effects on the soldiers and their families. There were 14, 753 reported cases of death among Michigan men who died in the war.[vi] Around 4,448 were combats deaths and about 9,000 were as a result of diseases brought by poor sanitation and poor living conditions. Michigan’s black race and the first colored Infantry got an opportunity to contribute heavily to the civil war and demonstrate their loyalty as well as earn a measure of equality (Darlene Earnestine, 1999). [vii]
During the civil war, most people from Michigan suffered from communicable diseases and chronic illnesses. They suffered from measles, whooping cough, typhus, meningitis, diarrhea, jaundice, smallpox, yellow fever, bights disease and rheumatism.
When the civil war came to an end, Michigan finally felt at ease knowing that they had fulfilled their major duty. Its cavalry was tremendously celebrated than any other troop.[viii] Most of the regiments were quite feared. They were present in each encounter. Women just like men had their share of stories to narrate on the effects of the civil war to them. According to most people’s convention, there is always a tendency to think that the civil war was just a man’s fight but this is just a fallacy. There were images of Michigan women who acted as romantic spies, volunteer nurses and brave ladies who maintained their homes in the absence of their husbands.
Michigan men who participated in the war lived in camps and engaged in some heinous battles while languishing in appalling camps end ended up dying horribly though heroically. Women also played a major role in the battle as they bore the arms as they charged in the battle (DeAnn. N.d). [ix] Just like men some women lived and suffered in prison. Others ended up dying equally. The women soldiers who were involved in the civil war were seriously wounded and could be taken as prisoners. They were hence killed. Most of the women could hide their identity to be in a position to fight closer to their loved ones. Though the women suffered from inferiority complex most of them already knew how crucial it was for them to stand by their husbands during the war era. Pauline Cushman from Michigan played the role of a spy to the Union.
She could follow the confederate Army and gather some crucial information. However, she eventually got captured since she had some incriminating papers and was sentenced to be hung. She eventually got rescued by the Union Troops and later made as an honorary major by the President (Linda, 2010)[x] Women could assume the male identities and put on uniforms ready for the battle. Women also took the nursing roles in order to save the soldiers lives.
They also worked hard to manufacture ammunition, uniforms, arms as well as other supplies for their soldiers. However, some were highly affected who initially had considered themselves as ladies and not necessarily as women. During the civil war they found themselves assuming some unaccustomed duties like providers, protectors and workers as their husbands were busy fighting. Most children at this time suffered since they were forced by the civil war to be separated from their parents and at times they ended up dying as a result of the war that prevailed.
It is lucid that Michigan soldiers and volunteers played a major role in the Civil war. In a span of a short period they had already become heroes among people they hardly knew. However, it is also patent that they got more than they had bargained for. They ended up dying out of sickness and other social factors. Others ended up sustaining serious wounds while their families underwent psychological, social and physical trauma because of losing their loved ones. It is a period full of sad memories for those who were greatly affected and to generations to come. However, it will always have some wonderful though to some extent tragic moments for those who survived it as they are legends who will always be viewed with admiration.