A Nation Divided
The American Civil War was a time of unrest, prejudice, and fear. Families were divided, and children had relatives fighting on both sides of the war. Moreover, all children, whether black or white, Southern or Yankees, were influenced - both by family members and others. Many children in the South were taught that the Yankees were denizens of the Underworld, with horns and smoke coming out of their nostrils. Both Yankees and Southerners, in fact, despised and detested each other simply because of who they were.
Examples of Prejudice
Many people in both the North and South were turned against their neighbors, and family feuds were rampant. One of these feuds was between two families -the Hatfields and the McCoys. Through all the hardships, the children of both families had to deal with fear, warlike conditions, and hope. This was the same for other children during Civil War times. Young boys were forced to fight for either the side of the Confederate or that ofthe Union.
Boys died as leaves die on a tree in winter, hurting their families for eternity. Sisters were heartbroken, mothers went crazy, fathers were dead. Families were torn apart by the war's sharp claws. It would take years to heal the scars that the Civil War left behind.
The feud took place on the border between Virginia and West Virginia, and raged for about sixty years. Hatfield parents wouldn't let their children associate with McCoys, and McCoy children weren't allowed to speak to Hatfield children. There were murders, thievery, and even a romance between the Hatfields and McCoys
..."but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came."
"Your dispatch is received, and if genuine, which its extraordinary character leads me to doubt, I have to say in reply, that I regard the levy of troops made by the administration for the purpose of subjugating the states of the South, as a violation of the Constitution, and as a gross usurpation of power. I can be no party to this wicked violation of the laws of the country and to this war upon the liberties of a free people. You can get no troops from North Carolina."
Governor John Willis Ellis
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In My Father's House- Ann Rinaldi