Daily Life During The Civil War

DAILY LIFE DURING CIVIL WAR TIMES

The American Civil War was, and remains, the most costly war in the history of our nation in the areas of human life, suffering, and resources. Much has been written about the terrible experiences of the soldiers who took part in that conflict and about the atrocities suffered by the men, women, and children who had been kidnapped from their own land and brought to these shores to endure lives of slavery. However, there were millions of people who were neither soldier nor slave who were forced to continue with their day-to-day living while the horrors that nearly ripped apart a young country raged about them.
The experiences of these "ordinary ...

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textbooks, but the home is the source of a nation's soul.

. Daily Life Within the Home

Today it is all too easy to dismiss the sheer physical drudgery that women and their daughters were forced to cope with one hundred and forty years ago. While the industrial revolution had spread outward from England since its beginnings approximately a century before (The Illustrated Columbia Encyclopedia, 1969), its "labor-saving" effects had made little inroad to the average American home in either the North or the South by this point.
Food was cooked on cast iron or steel stoves, and there were no switches or dials available to start up the fires. Each morning, ashes from the previous day's use had to be emptied from the stoves before fresh fuel in the form of wood or coal was added and paper or kindling was used to light a new fire. Once the flame was glowing within the metal belly of the stove, dampers and flues had to be adjusted to provide enough oxygen to keep the fire healthy ...

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as ten times per day. It has been estimated that washing, boiling, and rinsing a single load of laundry took approximately fifty gallons of water (The Civil War Was You and Me 2002).
The homes without indoor plumbing seldom bothered with installing sinks with drains, which meant, of course, that all dirty dishwater, laundry water, and chamberpot contents had to be emptied by hand, as well.
In both the North and the South of the time, clothing was usually sewn and repaired within the home, particularly in the South. Advances in sewing were among the first fruits of the industrial revolution to reach the average American household (the Illustrated Columbia Encyclopedia 1969), but ...

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Added: 11/28/2015 03:39:02 AM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 3223
Pages: 12

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