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Free «The Blue and the Gray: New York During the Civil War» Essay Sample

The American Civil War involved the Union and Confederate forces, which needed different attires to distinguish one from another during the war. The Confederate forces wore gray uniforms, whereas the Union forces wore blue uniforms, hence the terms are the Blue and the Gray. The Union forces included the African American forces, which had joined hands to counter the effects of the Confederate forces (Bernstein, 1990). New York City acted as an important commercial city; a military training ground and a major supply point for the Union forces, which were loyal to the American president Abraham Lincoln.

The city was highly populated and was famous because of the presence of different cultures, lucrative trade, and different political views. The city was protected from attacks by the Confederate forces. The city was also famous for innovative military hospitals, which took care of the injured Blue and Gray solders working with zeal, yet they were not trained in these areas. They were mostly frontiers with insufficient knowledge in medicine (McCabe, 1868). Major private businessmen who were good entrepreneurs assisted the army with supply that soldiers required. Other individuals who provided funds and could oversee recruitment processes also supported them. In 1861, 30,000 men had been recruited whereas 150,000 US Dollars had been raised (Harris, 2003). In addition, the city had a renowned publisher who had gained recongition in other parts of the country, and this was a strong weapon used to convince and sell the Union’s policies everywhere.



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President Abraham Lincoln purposely used this city to promote his mission towards the success of the Civil War. This increased the intensity of the war between the Democrats and the Republicans. The Democrats won the elections led by the Wood. These Democrats constituted the majority in the state, and they declared that they had fully gained freedom. However, they had their own interests towards this declaration. This is because by doing so, they could occupy most of the prominent jobs in the New York City illegally (Harris, 2003). In addition, the army recruitment was not straightforward because it included volunteers who wanted to win the game. The strategic importance of New York to both the South and North attracted interest of the two opposing sides. The Confederate royalists were also in the city and could provide some vital information to the Southern states and plan possible attacks.

The war also included Jews who were represented in all sides. It is believed that there were 7000 Jews who supported the Union forces whereas 3000 supported the Confederacy forces (Harris, 2003). Each group had its own reasons for the side they supported. Those who owned slaves supported the Confederate forces.

Republicans led by Abraham Lincoln, were against these injustices that were promoting the continuity of the Civil War. They therefore protested to stop the extension of the expiry periods of the retired soldiers and inclusion of volunteer soldiers who were only native Americans. The protest however resulted to civil orders concerning the Republicans, especially to the blacks. It was followed by mass destructions of buildings, homes, and orphanages for the blacks (McCabe, 1868). This was performed by the military actions with an aim of calming the mob. The media on the other hand was used to spur the war, especially when suppressing the Republicans. Some of the influential newspapers could be used to give some false stories concerning Abraham Lincoln in 1864.

The Civil War in New York resulted in many deaths, especially those of the soldiers. The Blue and the Gray was a poem written by Francis M. to reconcile the South and North of New York. A young girl recited it at the Memorial Day ceremonies near the graves of the soldiers who died during the Civil War. The most notable factor about this war was that the soldiers’ great interest had been baseball. This game is known to have played a great role in the unity of the country. This can be shown by the fact that the game continued to be popular even after the war. It is also said to have united the veterans in their earlier wars. It is also evident that, although the Americans were involved in the civil wars, they engage themselves in baseball games, as a way of releasing tension of the war.

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During that period of war, the Americans excelled in that game as never before towards coming to the nationalism (McCabe, 1868). Baseball is an important American game, which acts as a way of bringing people together during hardships such as wars, economic recession, and natural disasters among others. It actually releases tension and fear resulting from them. This can be dated back to the great differences in political and social factors between the South and the North New Yorkers, who still shared a common interest in the game.

The baseball united many soldiers though from different backgrounds. The spirit of teamwork, which was demonstrated on the game field, was also applied on the battlefield. In the same context, the game was uniting the officers and their subordinates, as they played on the same field. This particularly promoted their positions depending on their athletic talents (Bernstein, 1990). In addition, it acted as form of relaxation from the hardships experienced during the war.

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Despite dividing the Americans into the Blue and the Gray, the war brought unity not only to the people of New York but also to the country in general. It led to emergence and development of baseball and to the thriving of New York. The people of New York played a great role to unite the country.


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