The most notable byproduct of war is scar tissue. This takes many forms, from psychological to actual scarring of the landscape. As the war closed, Americans saw a transformed America; one that had been marred by railroads that careened over the landscape like fresh sutures, created to help move the war machines and supply troops. Settlers began to homestead out west, carving the land into small parcels. The country redrew state lines and even the creation of a new state of West Virginia in the wake of the secession. The divide of the mason Dixon line further split the country as the South came to terms with the North's boot heel crushing it into submission. The psychological wounds echo today, haunting the South.
Lincoln's wartime reliance on the telegraph ultimately led to a wave of investment in new communication machines; lines quickly found themselves jutting out of the American landscape. The Democratic and Republican parties endured the war and have held their places as the dominant US political parties ever since. We still feel the political quagmire and tribalism to this every day.
War journalists are still very prevalent to this day. Reporters dispatched eyewitness accounts by soldiers via telegraph to the country's 2,500 newspapers, printed almost instantly, and then read voraciously by citizens frantic to know how the war was shaping up. The war was the first war in which people at home could absorb battle within a short time.
The first memorial days were group events arranged in 1865 in both the South and North, just a month after the war ended. Quickly developing into an annual ritual, these "decoration days" were usually set for early summer, when the most flowers would be available to lay on tombstones. Decoration days helped the torn nation heal from its wounds. People retold their war stories, celebrated the accomplishments of local heroes, and reconciled with one-time adversaries.
When I take a step back and recognize the civil war, all I see are phantoms that still torment us to this very day.
3:23 Sherman's March to the Sea
15:51 Piracy Part Four
22:28 Andersonville Prison
27:16 Emancipation Proclamation
Sherman’s March to the Sea
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