Challenges Confronted by the Army Following the Civil War
The United States’ military faced several challenges during and after the war that no American would like to remember because the experience inflicted pain to many. Carin says that the painful challenges that the army went through cannot be easily erased from the minds of many (74). The soldiers had very long and tiring moments during the war. Although the civil war had some positive impacts in some aspects, the challenges were tough to endure. This research paper explores the challenges that confronted the military army following the civil war.
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According to Rosenheim, the life of soldiers was not easy. Besides being at a high risk of losing their lives in the battlegrounds, they were also faced with many hardships (34). As Kingseed states, many soldiers lost their lives and several others were left with permanent injuries which they nurse to date (53).
According to Tucker, the soldiers faced the risks of death and health problems in the battlefields that affected their fighting ability (56). Enslow argues that many of the soldiers who died of diarrhea and dysentery outnumber those who died on the battlefield (89). The problem was caused by the use of contaminated water, poor sanitation at the camps, and general lack of hygiene among the soldiers because of the nature of the battle. These poor living conditions also led many to die from measles, malaria and many other prevalent diseases. The idea of acquiring medicine was very primitive during this period as many doctors even did not know much about the infections. This led to the death of many soldiers even from very minor diseases that be treated by drugs obtained over the counter today.
The army was also frequently faced with the challenge of food shortage. The civil war soldiers often received small portions of food. This shortage was caused by the already destructed agricultural economy leading to poor and low production. They would sometime go to battle without taking food, making them weak and unable to attend to their duties effectively while in the battlefields.
Another challenge faced by the soldiers was the issue of clothing. According to Tucker, at the onset of the war, there was a specific problem with the color of the uniform to settle on, and the armies experienced delays acquiring the uniform because of the dragging contracts between the government and the selected manufactures (44). Woodworth says that the army finally received cheap clothing from the women’s sewing groups and even when they acquired the uniforms, their quality and supply were low (52).
It forced the officers to depend on their families and friends for a continuous replacement of their worn-out uniform, a fact that affected their morale in the war. This scholar says that the most serious clothing problem for the soldiers was to keep good shoes. Most of these military officers were forced to fight barefooted, leading to injuries and pain.
The army was also faced with the problem of a lack of arms. According to Wolseley, there was a low supply and poor distribution of firearms to the troops (65). This scholar says that the officers were forced to carry old ineffective sporting rifles and shotguns. Many youths volunteered to join the military, but they had to wait for a long time to get the weapons and uniforms.
Carin, Ford. The American Civil War: An Overview. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 2014. Print.
Kingseed, Cole. The American Civil War. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2004. Print.
Rosenheim, Jeff. Photography and the American Civil War. London: McMillan, 2013. Print.
Tucker, Spencer. Almanac of American Military History. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2013. Print.
Wolseley, Garnet. The American Civil War: An English View. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2002. Print.
Woodworth, Steven. The American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2006. Print.