“History is the future.” This statement may seem somewhat strange, but history would not exist if the people making the history did not look towards the future. For instance, the Civil War would have never occurred if the southern slaveholders thought that, in the future, slavery would not be abolished. In this primary document, J. M. Martin writes a great quantity about what the future holds for him and his family after the war ends. Martin writes about such things as his family’s lives, education, and religion.
Martin writes this letter to his family trying to imagine that the wars around Jackson and Vicksburg have not interfered much with their lives since he has been gone. He writes, “I often wonder what you are all doing, but try to imagine favorable. Sometimes I imagine you children are romping about picking flowers, hunting hens nest, etc.” Martin remembers the things his family enjoyed before the war began. He tries to look into the future and picture that the war has not changed these things.
He specifically mentions his daughters’ (Mattie, Laura, Kittie, and Bettie), his wife (who he refers to as Ma), and his cousin John. In the postscript, Martin writes, “Tell your Ma there is no use in being troubled. We will all live till we die and there is no use dying as long as we live.” What he means by this is he does not want his wife to worry about him and the war to the extent that the rest of their family suffers from it. Instead, he wants her to look towards their future as a family after the war ends. During the Civil War era, education was not a very important issue, especially in the South. Southern education was neglected for the most part, because many of the schools had been burned by the Yankees and the children were left to look after the things around the house while their dads and older brothers were at war.
The American Civil War was a very traumatic time for this country. The idea of Americans purposefully killing other Americans in battle just sends chills up most of our spines. This was true for the ordinary combat soldiers, the officers executing battle plans, or for those fortunate officers who were of administrative importance to the war. Everyone involved was fighting for a cause, the South ...
Martin raises this subject in his letter with respect to his daughter, Bettie. He writes, “Bettie don’t neglect your books. While you can’t go to school you should learn at home, and as your advantages decrease your efforts should increase.” In the 1860’s, education, especially for females, was not a big question, but Martin encourages his daughter, Bettie, to keep reading and look towards her future as a scholar. He also tells her that the greater the obstacles in her way, the greater her merit will be in succeeding. Throughout the nineteenth century, southern religion grew rapidly and Martin makes specific reference to the Bible, “Set not your affections on things of the earth.” He also tells Bettie, “I suppose it is not necessary to urge you to read the little Bible that you insisted on keeping, but I would remind you that simply reading it is not all of duty, but its teaching must be obeyed.” Martin tries to let his children know that the things of the earth will not last forever but that life with God will, if they obey his teachings.
He also mentions that he heard a Methodist Priest at camp in Georgia and that although the priest had passed his “brightest day” he was an excellent preacher. It seems that religion is an important part of Martin’s life. In conclusion, Martin encourages his family not to worry about the things of the war but to look into what the future holds for each one of them. He writes, “I retire to my bed to dream of the future, when the war shall be over and we shall again have a home of our own, and you all be again going to school and enjoying life, as well as preparing for its responsibilities in the future.” This quote provides meaning to the statement “history is the future.” If I were to use this letter to do an extended research paper or project, I would need to look further into the life and family of J. M.
?In this assignment I aim to discuss life story work: which can provide the care worker, and care receiver a better understanding of each other’s needs, and provide the care worker with information that can help support the care receiver in the best way. The carer needs to possess certain skills sensitivity, confidentiality, empathy, trustworthiness, and have commitment to seeing the story to the ...
Martin. Throughout his letter, Martin mentions many things that cannot be completely understood without further research. Many questions involving religion, battles, education, and Martin’s family would need to be answered in order to fully understand the meaning behind this letter. Understanding the letter not only involves the Martins’ but also involves understanding the people of the south and what southern life was like during the Civil War.
To tie in the theme, “history is the future,” further research would need to be done on what happened to the Martins and the south in general when the war was over. It is all history to us but it was the future for them. To fully know exactly what J. M. Martin is writing about, we must know exactly where his family lived and how the war affected them. Martin’s letter brings up many questions such as: What was his occupation before the war? what battles he fought? what battles were around his home in Mississippi? how did these battles affect him and his family? how reliable was the postal system? how religious were the Martins and southerners? and what roles did each family member play while J.
M. was off at war? were they slave owners? These and many other questions can be answered by looking at journals of friends and family and other letters written to and from Martin. In addition to finding out what happened to the family during the war, research involving their future and the future of the south would need to be done. The word future in this context refers to the post-Civil War era. What happened to these people as the outcome of the war came about? Did Martin die during the war or did he come home after the war was over? How did the outcome affect him and his family? How was the economy as a whole in the south after the war? How did southerners in general take the outcome of the war? These and many other questions can be answered through journals, letters, and government papers. Understanding what happened to these people as the outcome of the war came about is of the same importance as understanding what went on in their lives during the war.
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In conclusion, if further research were to be done to fully understand the letter, questions about their present lives and future lives must be answered. This would involve understanding the south as a whole as well as the Martin family before, during, and after the war.