Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Price of War

For the last couple of years I have had an application on my iPad called The Civil War Today - which chronicles the events of the Civil War and is a project of the History Channel.   On each day one can see a short summary of the events of the day - told from several perspectives - from 15 individuals including Lincoln; from news stories of the day that are reproduced and from a short summary of the day's events; it also has a series of other things including pictures and games to give you an idea of what it was like in (in this case) 1862.

Yesterday, was the anniversary of one of the bloodiest days in American history - the Battle of Antietam.  One of the highlights of the App is a running total of casualties - and as you moved from September 16 to September 17 - the number of casualties increased by 32,000 - in one day.  The Union troops, at this point in the war had suffered 80,000 casualties and the Confederates 105,000. Getting an idea of the immensity of the Civil War figure that the casualties at this point in the war equaled .5 of the total population (which was about 31 million at the time) of the country.   If you were injured in a battle the medical care was not much help.

Several years ago my son and I visited Antietam on a school trip.  It was inspiring as our guide described the events of the day.    The Civil War APP is well worth the cost.

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