How the North Won the Civil War When one thinks of the American Civil War, thoughts will no doubt return to the big Hollywood movies such as Gone with the Wind and the miniseries North and South, both films which depicted the glorious battles fought long and hard by the Union (the North) and the South (Confederate States of America)…
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This paper will delve deeper into the history of the war and how exactly the North managed to turn the tide of battle in order to win the war. At the beginning of the war the Northern states had a combined population of 22 million people. The Southern states had a combined population of about 9 million. This disparity was reflected in the size of the armies in the field. The Union forces outnumbered the Confederates roughly two to one. 1 The sheer size of the population alone should have assured the inevitable victory of the North. However, due to the financial abilities of the South they managed to fend off the advances coming from the northern challengers for quite a long time. The bigger population of the North translated into more soldiers enlisting for the war. Since the North had a steady supply of soldiers enlisting for service in the war, they managed to keep a decent number of soldiers on the battle front as opposed to the South whose soldiers came from the ranks of the privileged and therefore did not always have the mettle with which to fight a battle. However, not every person who fought for the Union was in the war of his own volition. Most of these young men were serving in the army coming from the farmlands. hoping to fight in a batthle that would not last more than a few months at the most. Those who managed to dodge the draft did so to the tune of $300.2 Money which was used to help keep the war machine of the North well oiled and quipped. Those who served in the military action were mostly men in their 20's who held strong onto their ideals. Being part of the government troops meant that they were better equipped than their Southern counterparts. Since the south was known mostly for the cotton that they produced, their military uniforms were made of the same material, which made it quite uncomfortable for the soldiers who had to wear the material during battle since the material tended to absorb sweat and become heavy when wet. The Union soldiers on the other hand, wore uniforms made of wool. The reason was that wool would not take in water, or remain wet like cotton in the event of rain, and it was also more durable. Union soldiers also wore woolen caps which had leather visors to provide shade when aiming in the blazing sun. 3 Uniforms must keep the soldiers comfortable at all times in order for them to effectively face their battles. After all, these battles were fought under the unforgiving heat of the sun or the cold temperatures brought about by incessant rains or snowing. The Union had better designed uniforms in this case that helped them fend off the weather and seasonal problems brought about by changing weather patterns. Aside from the consideration of the treatment of soldiers during active duty, there were also a number of other reasons that the Union far out ranked the Confederates during the civil war. I will be discussing some of these other reasons in the succeeding paragraphs. It is believed that the North enjoyed a manpower advantage ratio of 5:2. In actual figures, this ratio translates into 2.100 Union fighting men (50 percent of the military age population) against 800.000 to 900,000 Confederate soldiers or roughly 80 percent of the 1860 military age males. 4 Although the number of forces that fought at the beginning of the war seemed to be very high, both sides experienced a decline in the volunteering forces and
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