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Fleming 1 Zack Fleming Traci Hodgson HST202 March 3rd, 2011 Bloodied, Battered, and Bruised A call to arms in 1776 started the revolutionary war. The sons of liberty were fed up with the English forcing their laws on them without proper knowledge of how the colonies worked. From that war emerged a Union of Confederated states, bound together by one large power over seeing every ones decisions and eventually leading the one country, the United States of America. Seventy Four years later the same
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  Fleming 1Zack FlemingTraci HodgsonHST202March 3 rd , 2011Bloodied, Battered, and BruisedA call to arms in 1776 started the revolutionary war. The sons of liberty were fed up withthe English forcing their laws on them without proper knowledge of how the colonies worked.From that war emerged a Union of Confederated states, bound together by one large power overseeing every ones decisions and eventually leading the one country, the United States of America. Seventy Four years later the same trouble was stirring, this time within the UnitedStates itself. The North was trying to stop the expansion of slavery to benefit white workers. Andthe South thought the North was trying to push their industrial way of life on them by getting ridof their livelihood with farming. Each side thought the other was against them, eventually leading to seven Southern States succeeding from the Union to preserve their states‟ rights. As the Confederacy fought for its ideals, their soldiers knew only of what they saw before them.And in a time when being Confederate meant being proud, being a private soldier in theConfederate army mean taking part in a brotherhood, constantly being hungry, and loathing theConfederacy itself.As young Southerners went off to the adventure of war they became like brothers. Fromthe time that they enlisted to their first march into battle they were constantly together. In anysituation when soldiers are away from home they keep occupied by spending time joking andbuilding their relationships with one another, all to keep from being homesick. Bonds wouldform to the point where the soldiers knew everything about one another and would be willing todie to try and save their new found brothers. One such person was Sam Watkins, in his memoir  Fleming 2 Co. Aytch he tells of two soldiers ordered shot by Stonewall Jackson because they stoppedfighting to carry off a wounded brother. Risking death for your brothers was second nature,whether the Minnie ball was from the Union or the Confederacy the end result was the same and still didn‟t matter to the soldiers. Discipline came into play with the same idea that if you let down your duty, you let down your brothers. Watkins mentions finding a group of soldiers frozen to death at their posts, “… there were just eleve n of them, some were sitting and somewere laying down; but each and every one was as cold and as hard frozen as the icicles that hungfrom their hands and faces and clothing  —Dead! They had died at their post of duty… standing sentinel with loaded guns in their frozen hands!”   1 The very sight of these men shook Watkins tohis core. Men frozen in time were very eerie, but these men died protecting one another andstanding sentinel to be sure that no Yankees could surprise them in the night.As the war waged on brotherhood between the Confederate army and the Union army  became more persistent. Both armies were continually at each other‟s breast, and a t that point theConfederates had no slack to play with. Men had to be on picket twenty-four hours a day.Sometimes the Confederate picket line was only a hundred yards or more from the Union picketline, and the opposing forces would often yell to each other in casual conversation. As thesoldiers saw it, they all faced the same situation; they were just on opposite sides of the situation.Camaraderie among the two armies became more and more common, even leading to the soldiers meeting between their picket lines and trading each other‟s goods. One account Watkins mentions comes where the two lines were on either bank of the Tennessee River, where it wasabout three hundred yards wide with an island in the middle. From across the river came aYankee shout, “„O, Johnny, Johnny, meet me half way in the river on the island.‟” The 1 Samuel Watkins, Co. Aytch (New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1962), 23  Fleming 3 Confederate sergeant replied, “„All right.‟” 2 And off he went, swimming to the island. He wasthere for a short time, and had invited the Yankee back to the Confederate line. On the way back the Rebel swam and the Yankee waded, claiming that he could not swim. They traded tobaccoand stories, and soon enough the Yankee was back on his side. At the battle of Missionary Ridgethe Yankee, who turned out to be General Wilder of the Union Calvary, forded his Calvarythrough the Tennessee River at the very point he waded days before and flanked all of General Bragg‟s army. Though the first meeting was a pleasant exchange it had another meaning for the Yankee that crossed, it was a tactic for war, and true deception.This was not always the case, sometimes they were genuine in caring for one another.Just before the actual battle of Missionary Ridge Watkins was standing picket when he got a warning from a Yankee, “„O, Johnny, Johnny Reb!‟ I started out to meet him as formerly, whenhe hallooed out, „go back Johnny, go back; we are ordered to fire on you.‟ „What is the matter? Isyour army going to advance on us?‟ „I don‟t know; we are ordered to fire.‟ I jumped back intothe picket post, and a Minnie ball ruined the only hat I had…” 3 No one on either side enjoyedkilling, and they were friendly enough to try and keep each other from dying. The Confederatesand Yankees became like brothers in the sense that they tried to protect each other from theultimate sacrifice.As brothers often do, Confederate soldiers would fight, bicker, and play pranks on eachother. Usually it was all in good run, but sometimes real fights would occur over food. Food wasmost often few and far between for the Confederate soldiers. Rations were given out as often aspossible, but that sti ll wasn‟t enough. Watkins says General Bragg “ was never a good feeder or 2 Samuel Watkins, 93 3 Samuel Watkins, 100  Fleming 4commissary- general. Rations with us were always scarce.” 4 With bad overhead and nothing toeat the soldiers would go out of their way to procure food, often stealing it from civilians alongthe way of their marches. Bragg eventually gave citizens the right to shoot soldiers they caughtstealing their food, but this would do little to keep the soldiers from taking as much food as they could carry. “… Byron Richardson and myself made a raid on an old citizen‟s roastingear pa tch.We had pulled about all the corn that we could carry. I had my arms full and was about starting for camp when an old citizen raised up and said, „stop there! Drop that corn.‟ He had a double -  barreled shotgun cocked and leveled at my breast.” 5 Watkins and Richardson eventually got thebetter of the old man and escaped with the corn, happy to have the extra meal. It wasn‟t only the private soldiers who had nothing to eat; some of the officers were foodless also. Watkins‟ father came to see him in Chatt anooga, and embarrassed by having onlyparched corn, Watkins sought out Colonel Field for fine dining, assuming the Colonel wouldhave a fine meal. When they sat down at Fields table the servant brought them each a dish of parched corn. 6 Watkins was amazed to see even the higher ups had to survive on poor rations.Seeing this gave Watkins a sense that maybe everyone was having hard times and that theConfederacy could be unraveling.Loathing the Confederacy only started after the first year or so of the war, when thesoldiers first went off to the war they felt they were on a glorious pilgrimage. But they beganseeing Confederate soldiers being shot by Confederate firing squads more and more, ordered byGeneral Bragg, or Stonewall Jackson. Watkins said Ston ewall Jackson “would have a man shot 4 Samuel Watkins, 34 5 Samuel Watkins, 42 6 Samuel Watkins, 78
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