Civil War: Blood on the Battlefields, an American History Channel series first aired in June of 2015 is replayed. There have been many studies done on the Civil War and many people, still today, that spend a lot of time researching that horrible war among our own citizens.
One of the starkest things that stand out in considering the Civil War and the battles fought in that war, is the horrible bloody carnage that most every soldier witnessed or suffered. In every war, even the modern ones, soldiers come to a stark awareness of horrendous injuries to their fellow friends and soldiers. Hospitals were scenes of unfiltered carnage that was laid out for all to see and witness where limbs were amputated, many times without any sedation or pain-killing medicines. As time has progressed war continues to be horrible and uncivil but thankfully field medicine and changes in the way people are treated save much more but still grievous injuries happen.
My thought though, for this post/topic would we be as strong as our past relatives and ancestors who witnessed first hand these atrocities and horrors of battle. I've never been in the military and while I have mixed emotions about that fact, I don't know how I would feel about seeing someone laying out holding their intestines in their hands as their life slips away. I don't know which was the most uncivil war, the most horrendous injurious war as all wars have their measures of carnage and horrors but today I wonder just how many Americans and citizens ever care to appreciate the sacrifices and experiences that those who did volunteer and were drafted and went into battles to secure, keep, and maintain our freedoms.
I also think about those that, today, blindly at times, protest against a whole group of people, a whole race of people, blaming all for past deeds and errors yet in doing so fail to appreciate and recognize that many of that same race died and sacrificed and endured horrors totally unappreciated, in order to make sure that all people are and were able to be free. To me, when we fail to teach our history, even the unkind and ugly history, we create a situation where people lose sight of sacrifices that people made and we potentially doom ourselves to repeat many of histories mistakes and errors.
One more aspect of the Civil War brought out so vividly in the Civil War series, is I cannot envision or comprehend the feelings that soldiers must have felt as they stood face to face with their enemies firing point blank into each other's faces and then running headlong into each other with bayonets fixed because they were so close they had no time to reload. Here you had people, brothers, family members, and people that could be lifelong friends facing off against each other, killing each other, over alliances that often were determined by where you called home rather than a specific belief or subject. I just don't think people can appreciate or understand what people that actually fought in those battles faced and endured over those horrible years. We are truly spoiled today with our luxuries to the point that we don't think a bit about pulling down statues erected to those who did things that I doubt we could ever do today. It's not a statement that what they fought for was right, or wrong but it's understanding what a generation endured and experienced and appreciating the magnitude of that rather than the political implications of the war.