Friday, July 30, 2010

The War for the Union Pictorial Envelope - Great Barrington, Mass.

The War for the Union - Pictorial Envelope - Great Barrington, Mass

Each community in Western Massachusetts was expected to send its quota of men to fight in the war between the States.

Early on, when patriotism and war fever were high, volunteers and money were easily found and the war effort flourished. But, as the Civil War waged on and the true cost of  union began to be felt, volunteers became fewer and far-between and towns struggled to keep up with their quotas.

Bounties grew higher and higher to attract recruits and it is said that men would sometimes move into the towns that paid more lucrative bounties for enlistment. Towns strained the limits of their budgets and their male populations to provide for the defense of the Republic, ultimately requiring state aid to meet expenses.

Many ladies aid societies sprang up, raising funds to provide necessities and support for the fighting men of Western Massachusetts and the families they left behind.

For an excellent accounting of Berkshire County's cost in blood and treasure in the Civil War, penned in 1871, just five years after the defense of  liberty prevailed, visit the webpage: Berkshire County, Mass. in the Civil War featuring, A History Of Massachusetts in the Civil War, written by William Schouler at:

As always thanks for stopping by and take care.

Image source:  Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society, [Digital ID, nhnycw/aj aj04029]

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