mandisolomon

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Doughboys

Posted by mandisolomon on September 30th, 2008

The preface goes into the GI bill, the Army, and the bonus march which are all very important to how the government response to veterans today. Without the GI bill most soldiers would not be able to pay for schooling. The army becoming one solid unity is why the army is more effective. And the bonus marched shows how much has to go into paying veterans so that they can survive. In the introduction the author goes into telling the reader that for the first time in American history the draft became honorable in the Great War. This made me think because today the draft is seen as anti freedom. If the government had a draft today there would be such an uproar. Also a theme is the name Doughboys. Where does it come from? The author indicates that there are two possible sources. The second of which is that it came from Civil War times. This shows a connection to the past veterans but as the author states, also shows that these veterans have little else in common. I enjoyed the doughboys reading and how it showed a generation who really is not seen in our history. A lot people in our class talk about how family members fought in Vietnam, World War 2, and even the Civil War, but who fought in the first world war? Who’s grandfather went off to war to fight as a doughboy? I don’t know because i have never hear of someone’s family member being in this war.

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To Appomattox and Beyond

Posted by mandisolomon on September 23rd, 2008

What are the differences between Union and Confederate veterans? Socially i found differences, they were all war heroes to there families but the areas they went home to were very different. One difference i fought was the pensions. The Union soldiers ” could receive 8 to 30 dollars a month” where as the Confederate veterans received nothing. This makes sense because really the Confederate veteran committed treason and therefore giving them pensions would have created an uproar in the North. In the north they had the federal governments money so they were able to find outlets if they had disabilities from service where as the Confederate veterans had to deal with it on their own. There was this idea of making veteran groups as an outlet for soldiers, the Union side had Grand Army of the Republic

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Co. Aytch

Posted by mandisolomon on September 16th, 2008

“We are one and undivided” this is the opening line to a book that in fact is about a people who are divided. Who is this author? Sam R. Watkins is a confederate soldier. He is a regular soldier, not an officer or a general. He sees the battles first hand, not from the sidelines. But why did he write this book? He seems to me that Watkins wrote this book for the reason that he wanted his story to be told because the common soldiers seemed to have little voice from the Civil War. Throughout the first 12 chapters Watkins tells the readers about 9 battles that most of us have never heard of. The only battle i learned about in school was Shiloh. But what about Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Fidge, Resacraca, Zion, Dallas, and Cat Creek. To Watkins these were key battle but history has lost these battle. Another theme throughout the chapters is hard discipline on the confederate side. This again was a surprise to me because i had never heard of this happening in the Civil War. There was a lot of stories of count marshaling that seemed to go on during the war. Why are the confederates so scared of inward problems? And did the union have the same problem? I don’t know but it is something i would like to find out.

To Compare this to the last book on the Revolutionary War, Watkins talks about how this is a poor mans war. One of the statements is that when the war got too hard the Confederates say that if a man owned a least 20 slaves you could go home. This is the same thing that happens in the Revolutionary War. Also there is a meeting with Lee that Watkins talks about. It reminded me a lot of the meeting with Washington in the Revolutionary book. 

This book seems have a historical value to it. Even though it was written 20 years after, it seems to be very truthful and not farfetched. 

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John Resch

Posted by mandisolomon on September 11th, 2008

The author talks about a lot of what we know to be the majority of the Revolutionary soldiers that had to come home to a world that had changed in their eyes. No longer were they those war heroes who were bringing liberty to the people. The people had their liberty, so what did they need to support the troops for any longer. At the end of introduction it is clear that the author has a great deal of knowledge because he understands that those who fought in the war were no of any class and ere going home to nothing. I find it appalling that it takes another war to show the American people that their veterans should mean something to them but this is a regular them throughout human existents. I find it still hard to believe that these people choose to believe that the revolutionary war was a flux that only could happen once and therefore a standing army was not needed. This concept is foreign to me because I have never seen an America without a standing army. To me the question is ho will go to war right away in a time of need? Drafts take a long time and then you have to train those men. To jump away from this idea, I really liked the last line on page 201. It reads, “in doing so they trusted their hearts as well as their heads to guide the nation’s destiny.” I like that this talks of the generations to come because for once we see the effect the veterans played on the next generations. 

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Ch 3- Ch 5 of Wages of War

Posted by mandisolomon on September 9th, 2008

I don’t understand the valve that Americans apparently have always had which is to be suspicions of those with power. Henry Knox thinks it will be hard for him to get a pension because of this inherit distrust. Where did this distrust come from? And from this distrust America still found trust in Knox an officer with no ration in society unlike his other officers. I find it hard to see Knox’s point because he is fully gaining from this war. He gets a stable job after the war and he is not thrown back into the part of society he originated from. But I can see why he deserves these honors after the war. To be a 280-pound man and convince states that the troops are starving is amazing. He deserves a lot for making such a feat occur. And now I must say that I am a hopeless romantic and as such fell for Knox when the authors told us about his letters to his wife. I find not why the authors are telling us about his lovesick puppy ways but I find it cute and endearing nonetheless. If they were trying to make him an endearing figure then the authors have suggested on me! The authors are putting a lot of detail into the story of Knox and I understand it is good background knowledge but it doesn’t show anything about veterans. The authors fluff the stories up too much which doesn’t help me understand veterans in anyway. So I do not like the authors writing styles.

As the Chapters progresses they show the difference between the poor veteran who comes home vs. the veteran who became productive and part of the well off society. This is shown with the difference between Shay and Knox. 

 

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Ch 1 and Ch 2 of Wages of War

Posted by mandisolomon on September 4th, 2008

Ch 1 of wages of war starts with a quote that really does portray how hard it was for veterans to come home from war. I love this quote and find that it is insightful on how the veterans must feel when they come home. I see now that veterans haven’t really been treated with fairness by both a social stand and a governmental stand. For these revolutionary soldiers, the government did not give them pensions, which create so much debt. This lack of income created a lot of issues. These soldiers were hungry and jobless and I still cannot believe that our government could over look those that had made the country a possibility. I know the government lacked funds and therefore lacked ways in paying pensions but there seems to be little attempt in helping the soldiers in other ways like finding jobs or having a place to sleep. The lack of confidence for the us dollar is the obvious problem but I can still see no reason why the government could not feed its soldiers, maybe its because I live in a world with soup kitchens but I cannot see why those couldn’t be established.  

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Joseph Plumb Martin

Posted by mandisolomon on September 1st, 2008

This diary of a teenage veteran does not seem to fit as a diary because it was published by the writer when he was 70 years old. Most likely it was altered in some way because as stated in one reading the author added anecdotes later on. But i do belive this book can give great information on a soldiers life in the revolutionary war. one thing we can learn is escapement. Joseph does not talk of death in the way most of us would. He does not mourn or talk of sadness that he feels. in one part he says “cut up some of us,” as if it is just an objective event. This is a theme of war. A soldier will separate himself from the bloodshed. Joseph is no different and it can give the reader insight into a steady theme of war. Bloodshed is the unpleastry of war, it is also the almost always in war. This bloodshed made Joseph grow up faster then most of us had to do. he was no longer a child of 16 but a man who had seen so many die in front of him. So it is assumed that Joseph was not the naive boy when he left the service. Is this still a problem? Does war change soldiers for the worse?

Another thing i noticed in the readings is a comment made to him by a “southerner.” The comment was “They call me that ‘damn Yankee’ That’s about the nicest thing they say. This is a forshadowing of so much to come in american history.

What else can be taken from this diary? Another part of the dairy is about Washington himself. If this is a truthful account of meeting Washington then it is of great use to us today, so that we may see how a common soldier viewed Washington. Again Joesph makes a reference to Washington later in his journal entry. He says that Washington was the first to “brake ground at the siege of Yorktown.” He acts as if he personal saw this and again if he indeed saw this take place then it is a wonderful account of how a common soldier felt about the great general. Also in this same journal entry Joseph spoke of the taking of a fort at the end of the war. i find it interesting the way Joseph describes the event as i he is impatient for it to begin and then rushes through it to tell us the end. Another part i took notice of was the emblements that seemed to take place so easily through out the dairy. one of my favorites was, “I put my hand on his forehead and found his skull was shattered all in pieces and the blood flowing from his nose and mouth, but not a particle of skin was broken.” I personally do not know if this is true or not but its shows extremely over dramatized work. This is showed again when he talks of the surrender of the British. He could not know what the British were feeling but he wrote as if he could. He wrote of there distain for the french. This again is over dramatized.

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Who am i?

Posted by mandisolomon on September 1st, 2008

hi everyone! my name is Mandi Solomon and I am from Brookeville, MD. I was born in Fredericksburg but moved away when I was three which is what first drew me to look at UMW. I looked at the school and found that I loved the campus and they had a historical preservation program. These were the reasons that made me choose the school over my other chooses. Now that I am at the school I find myself in a Freshmen class on veterans. I wanted to take this class because I think it would be interesting to find out about veterans though out history. As a student of history I have never be taught the history of veterans. I wanted to know more about this group who is usually forgotten.

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