A critical review of the battle at Gettysburg reveals that war is not majorly a matter of arms or money. During the battle at Gettysburg, by counting the advantages that the North had over its other rival, in terms of money, manpower, industry potential, rail roads and naval strength, it becomes apparent that emerging victorious in the war was not in doubt. Overpowered by the advantages that their North rivals had, the South had to employ a different strategy. They laid their hopes on the bravery and determination of the troops, as well as the talents that of their army generals and commanders. This implied that the North overpowered the South on all fronts save for the military skills (Walker 147). Nevertheless, in the long-run, the added advantage of the North rendered the South’s military skills rather useless. Most of the generals lost their lives in battles taking the lives of their junior soldiers. Nonetheless, some individuals, such as Stonewall and General Lee, were rather outstanding and showed vital spark of energy and military magic.
The limited success the South had over the North could be attributed to the acuteness of the North’s political vulnerability. This situation coupled with the military skills of the South proved crucial in the battle. The North also took advantage of its unique geographical landscape. After being forced out Gettysburg, they pushed themselves into lines along the hills. This meant that reinforcements could come quickly from one side of the Northern defensive lines to another. The South, however, did not collapse (Walkers 147). Despite the continuous batters and invasions, they south fought on for almost two years. The battle at Gettysburg provides a unique case of a battle between a more politically resourceful side and a less politically resourceful side that only relies on its competent military skills.
According to Finseth, the civil war in Russia after 1917 is purported to have been a fight between defenders and opponent of the revolution. A critical view of the war reveals that they fought over the communist rule of Russia rather than resources. As a result there occurred immense death of soldiers and other casualties of the war. The issues raised by the Civil War mortality have not lacked scholarly attention, for instance, it is widely documented that the combatant death toll was much higher than the popular estimated 620,000. This estimate is traditionally agreed upon by generations of historians that associate the number with the biological crisis that were as a result of the war that saw to the killing of an untold number of civilians.
Furthermore, while the Civil War challenged the U.S, it also reinforced the attitude of the American people on how they regard death. The American society at the time of the war viewed death as routine, which also influenced their rituals of mourning. Finseth further alleges that from a philosophical point of view, the war moved the U.S society to develop bureaucratic ties with death. This is commonly manifested in the rise of the professional funeral industry.
According to Finseth, anonymity of the dead during the civil war had an ironic effect to the citizens of the involved nations, especially the U.S. To begin with, their anonymity made the dead become a symbol of cultural appropriation. Additionally, it also made the casualties subtle objects of awareness and as historical constructs.
- Finseth, Ian. “The Civil War Dead: Realism and the Problem of Anonymity.” American Literary History 25.3 (2013): 532-562. Print.
- Walker, MArtin. “Gettysburg; The Last Invasion.” The Wilson Quarterly (2009): 147-154. Print.