Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Description The Blue, the Gray, and the Green is one of only a handful of books to apply an environmental history approach to the Civil War. This book explores how nature-disease, climate, flora and fauna, and other factors-affected the war and also how the war shaped Americans' perceptions, understanding, and use of nature. The contributors use a wide range of approaches that serve as a valuable template for future environmental histories of the conflict.
In his introduction, Brian Allen Drake describes the sparse body of environmental history literature related to the Civil War and lays out a blueprint for the theoretical basis of each essay. Kenneth W. Noe emphasizes climate and its effects on agricultural output and the battlefield; Timothy Silver explores the role of disease among troops and animals; Megan Kate Nelson examines aridity and Union defeat in New Mexico; Kathryn Shively Meier investigates soldiers' responses to disease in the Peninsula Campaign; Aaron Sachs, John C. Inscoe, and Lisa M. Brady examine philosophical and ideological perspectives on nature before, during, and after the war; Drew Swanson discusses the war's role in production and landscape change in piedmont tobacco country; Mart A.
Stewart muses on the importance of environmental knowledge and experience for soldiers, civilians, and slaves; Timothy Johnson elucidates the ecological underpinnings of debt peonage during Reconstruction; finally, Paul S. Sutter speculates on the future of Civil War environmental studies. The Blue, the Gray, and the Green provides a provocative environmental commentary that enriches our understanding of the Civil War. Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x Other books in this series.
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Lens of War J. Soldiers used meteorological events such as storms, both rain and snow, to conceal their offensive and defensive movements or elude the enemy. At other points in the conflict, inhospitable weather even had the power to cause fighting to occur that otherwise would not have happened at all. A prime example was when the Confederate army was retreating after being defeated at Gettysburg and had to engage in several minor engagements, during which they suffered further casualties, against the pursuing Union units because they could not cross the rain-swollen Potomac River until the water level decreased.
Throughout the Civil War, mud distinguished itself as one of the most detrimental environmental conditions related to weather.
Mud made travel in the Confederate states exceptionally arduous for armies and oftentimes hindered their maneuvers, especially in the winter because the ground did not completely freeze. In January , the Union army commanded by General Ambrose Burnside attempted to cross the Rappahannock River in Virginia in order to outflank Confederate forces led by Lee, but over a day of constant rain transformed the roads to sludge. Environmental difficulties were an ever-present adversary for the soldiers of the North and South, ones that posed a greater threat and had to be confronted much more frequently than the actual enemy troops.
Download The Blue The Gray And The Green Toward An Environmental History Of The Civil War
Adverse weather and other physical features of the environment certainly served as an obstacle for soldiers, but the aspect of the natural world that inflicted the most damage and hardship on armies was disease. Measles, pneumonia, typhoid, exposure, scurvy, dysentery, and malaria were only some of the illnesses that regularly ravaged the vulnerable troops of the Union and Confederacy.
Almost every soldier suffered a bout of some type of sickness, even the commanders, including the Union General George McClellan. The thousands of animals that accompanied the military units during the Civil War also faced threats from epidemic sicknesses. The disease that was the most devastating to the animal resources of the Confederate and Union armies was glanders, a highly contagious and lethal equine infection. Illnesses and diseases, as well as the other ways that the natural environment acted as an adversary, inflicted more physical and mental damage on Civil War soldiers than enemy troops ever possibly could.
Understanding the environments that they were regularly forced to live, march, and fight in was part of the seasoning process for soldiers, who needed that comprehension if they had any hope of surviving the conflict. Men possessing knowledge about how to maintain their health and conduct military activities amid the various environmental conditions of the war, particularly the hazardous ones, were overall more efficient soldiers, and they had a distinct advantage over an enemy who was less knowledgeable than themselves.
The Union and Confederate soldiers perceived nature as an omnipresent obstacle that needed to be endured and overcome, but they still valued environments as a resource and understood that they relied on them to survive. The importance of natural environments for the North and South was the reason that over the course of the war, they became primary targets for military forces. From the beginning of the Civil War, soldiers on both sides sought to obtain and utilize the supplies and natural resources of the enemy.
However, as the conflict progressed, Union commanders realized that an effective way of inflicting widespread damage on the Confederacy would be by targeting its connection with the natural world, specifically its agricultural system, its greatest military asset. If the enemy were deprived of the economic means to maintain armies, then the armies obviously would collapse. During these expeditions, which were meant to be a dramatic demonstration of power, invading Union troops seized food, animals, and any other stores that they could carry and then destroyed the economic and agricultural resources that remained.
The foraging raids implicitly combated and weakened the Confederate soldiers, but they directly disrupted the daily lives of southern civilians, who suffered the most immediate harm.
No longer able to use the natural landscape as a resource and left with little provisions, the southern population of Vicksburg and the neighboring lands had no way to continue resisting and were soon forced to surrender to the Union army. Springdale was left like a wilderness, almost every living animal on the place either being driven off or else killed in sheer deviltry and wickedness. Sherman and his soldiers were determined to dismantle the military and agricultural infrastructure of the Confederacy, as well as strike such a momentous psychological blow to southerners that their spirit to continue fighting would be crushed.
By making natural environments a target, Union forces inflicted severe logistical, strategic, and social damage on the South. Although the natural world of the Confederacy suffered widespread devastation during the Civil War, not all of the damage was deliberately inflicted. The Secession Movement in North Carolina. Wakelyn, Jon L. Southern Pamphlets on Secession, November April Main article: Bibliography of American Civil War battles and campaigns.
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Bibliography of the American Civil War - Wikipedia
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