The Civil War was gruesome and tough and many people died. The Civil War was a big part of society, without the Civil War there could still be slavery or the states could still be not united. With the loss of a lot of young men made it difficult for everyone. Ransom A. Slack enlisted in the Army when he was 20 years old, he was a soldier in the Civil War. Almost everyone had at least one family member go to war. Boys as young as thirteen joined the war to be a drummer or even fought alongside hundreds of other men. Ransom Slack’s father was a farmer and his mother stayed at home and cleaned and took care of the kids.
His older brother was a laborer. When he was 18 it didn’t say that he had an occupation, but he probably helped his father out with the farm. His father’s name was Prosper B. Slack and his mother’s name was Fidelia Slack. He had two brothers, Jefferson and Franklin P. Slack and he had four sisters, Charlotte, Edney, Amy and Rosette Slack. In the North most people were farmers. Farmers were starting to invest in steel plows and other mechanical machines so they had less work to plant and harvest crops. Adolescents would sometimes fish or hunt.
In 1860 there were around 1,800 people. If Ransom Slack help political views he may have thought that slavery was wrong. Because he was fighting for the Union, he may have not liked the South’s way of life, or he may have just joined because he wanted to fight for the North because he lived in the North. Friendship and peer pressure, excitement and adventure as well as liberty may have also been possible reasons why he joined the Union (1860 Census). To join the Army you had to enlist and get mustered in. Ransom Slack enlisted on September 20, 1861 in Norwich, VT.
He mustered in on October 15, 1861. In the civil war he received a wool uniform, a belt set that had a cartridge box, cap box, bayonet and scabbard, a haversack for rations, a canteen, and a blanket roll or knapsack which contained a wool blanket and a shelter half. And inside it could hold personal items. He would get paid around $13. 00 a month now days that’s worth $200. 00 to $300. 00. His regiment’s first battle was on April 6, 1862, At Warwick creek, VA. Training and camps were tough, they were taught how to use guns and other weapons.
He was in the 6th VT INF. Ransom had to leave his parents and siblings. Going to the Army was a big change for everyone in the community (6th Vermont Infantry Introduction, par. 1). Ransom Slack’s first battle was in Williamsburg, VA on May 5th, 1862 and his last battle was in Cedar Creek, VA on October 19th, 1864. In his first battle, they won and on June 29th, 1862 the battle of Savage’s station they lost very badly. There were 1,681 soldiers and 189 were killed or died of wounds, 189 died from disease and 20 were imprisoned and 2 were killed by accident.
To fight in each battle it must have felt like it was never going to end and it must have been very tiring. Ransom Slack was wounded at Charles Town on August 21st, 1864. The hospitals weren’t clean, the tools were used from one patient straight to the other and if tools were washed they were just put in bloody tap water. Ransom Slack was wounded and evacuated to a hospital in Baltimore. He was then moved to a hospital in Philadelphia in September before going to Brattleboro where he was mustered out of the army on October 28th 1864.
At this time there wasn’t medicine and no one really knew much. There was only a couple of tools and most of the time all they could do was amputate the part that where you had been shot. it caused diseases and infections very easily (6th Vermont Infantry Introduction, par. 1). Ransom Slack mustered out on October 28th, 1864. He was in the Union Army for about three years and thirteen days. His family must have been thankful that he was alive because he fought in a lot of battles and around 620,000 Union soldiers were killed, died from disease or starved.
When he came home from the war his wife was still alive and one of his daughters was still living with them. He died on August 19th, 1911 and was buried at Hillside Cemetery in Norwich, VT. The death of so many young men affected everyday life after the Civil War because so many jobs were done by men and women just stayed home, cooked and took care of the kids so they had never done any of the jobs that men had done. With the loss of farmers to harvest and plant there was a loss of food and younger children and women had to take on more responsibilities (U. S Census Bureau, 1910).