For any family that had descendants in America at the time of the Civil War the impact of the conflict had a direct result their family history. Whether white or black, every person in the country had an opinion on the war and most people had family members fighting in the war.
The book, A House Divided by Eric Foner, a DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University and Olivia Mahoney of the Chicago Historical Society points out the impact of the Civil War. The legacy as presented by Mr. Foner states, “The conflict also permanently affected the future course of national development. In the physical destruction it brought to the South, the economic changes it produced throughout the nation, the new technologies it diffused, and the new ideas it spawned, the war altered the lives of several generations of Americans.”
With a population of almost 30 million people and more than 3 million troops engaged in the conflict, ten percent of the population was directly involved in the fighting. It was almost impossible that a brother, son, father, or uncle wasn’t touching every American family through their loss or injury.
Robert E. Lee, letter to Governor Letcher "Recollections And Letters Of General Robert E. Lee", by Captain Robert E. Lee, as published by Project Gutenberg
"...The duty of its citizens, then, appears to me too plain to admit of doubt. All should unite in honest efforts to obliterate the effects of the war and to restore the blessing of peace. They should remain, if possible, in the country; promote harmony and good feeling, qualify themselves to vote and elect to the State and general legislatures wise and patriotic men, who will devote their abilities to the interests of the country and the healing of all dissensions. I have invariably recommended this course since the cessation of hostilities, and have endeavored to practise it myself...."
The conflict touched the nine million people located in the south more directly than their northern neighbors. The war was fought on the plantations and lands of the southern people. The scars of the destruction were etched upon the land and hearts of the south and to limited instances in the rest of the nation.
The purpose of the...