African-Americans made up less than 1 percent of the North’s population but were 10 percent of the Union Army- 4th United States Colored Infantry, Company E, about 1864

Black men weren’t allowed to join the army until 1863. About 180,000 black men, more than 85 percent of eligible African-Americans in the Northern states, fought. While white soldiers earned $13 a month, black soldiers earned only $10 — and then were charged a $3 clothing fee that lowered their monthly pay to $7. The highest paid black soldier made less than the lowest paid white one. After protesting by refusing to accept their wages and gaining support from abolitionist Congressmen, black soldiers finally received equal pay in 1864 — paid retroactively to their enlistment date.

Messages on missiles: Here is a Sugar Plum for You!

In perhaps the most egregious examples of adding insult to injury, military personnel down through the ages have added taunts and curses to the missiles they fling at their enemies. Ancient Greek and Roman troops made an industry of it, mass producing lead bullets for use in slings with messages in relief, such as “Fruit for Dessert”, “For Pompey’s Backside”, and “Here’s a Sugar Plum for you!”. 

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CIVIL WAR FACTS: Gettysburg wasn’t the only unusually bloody battle.

More Americans were killed in two days at the Battle of Shiloh than in all previous American wars combined.

The Battle of Antietam was only one day long but left 12,401 Union soldiers killed, missing, or wounded — which is higher than typical estimates of Allied casualties on D-Day. With 23,000 casualties overall, it was the bloodiest single day of the Civil War.

At Cold Harbor, Virginia, 7,000 men fell in just 20 minutes.


The Civil War- Missing Soldiers Office-Clara Barton

  • Soldiers did not wear dog tags or have any system of personal records. Hundreds of thousand of bodies remained unidentified, leaving families with no knowledge of how their loved one died, or where they might be buried. When officials did attempt identification, it was often unreliable, resulting in live soldiers being recorded as deceased and dead soldiers being marked as only slightly wounded. By World War I, soldiers were wearing official id badges.
  • There was no official system for notifying next of kin. If a body was identified, a fellow soldier might take it upon himself to write to the family of the deceased explaining how their loved one died and offering words of condolence. In the spring of 1865, Clara Barton established the Missing Soldiers Office in Washington, D.C. Her organization eventually helped provide information for about 22,000 soldiers who would have otherwise remained unknown.
  • During the Civil War, Miss Clara Barton was active in a number of humanitarian efforts. Clara assisted families by learning the fate of their loved ones lost in the massive military records system.  Many of these soldiers were prisoners, killed in action and/or not recorded as being admitted to a hospital.  Her office answered over 63,000 letters between 1865 and 1868.  Her efforts were the first to identify soldiers missing in action; a legacy that survives to this day.  This changed the disposition of over 22,000 missing soldiers.  Although she is primarily known for her work as a nurse, she could also be found collecting and distributing medical supplies, as well as lobbying politicians and the army for better conditions for soldiers.
Migrant crisis in Europe: Who caused it?
Behind the horror stories about the treatment of migrants trying to reach Europe is the imperialist system of exploitation of their countries of origin, the policies exacerbating this exploitation and the imperialist wars that made their home countries unlivable for them and their children.
By Editor

Recently, these horror stories in the corporate media have focused on how migrant human beings are suffering during their journey through the Balkan peninsula. Most of these recent migrants are from Syria, Iraq and other countries of Southwest and Central Asia. The intention of most of these suffering people is not to stay in the Balkan countries that are themselves impoverished colonies of either Western Europe or the United States. The migrants want asylum in Germany or Britain where jobs are still available.

Some who reached Germany wound up besieged by Nazis on the Aug. 20-21 weekend in the small city of Heidenau in Saxony in the East. “Nazis” is not just name calling. The so-called National Democratic Party of Germany, which organized the anti-immigrant riot and attempted pogrom, is the actual continuation of the Nazi Party. During that weekend the NDP mobilized its storm troopers, who nearly burned down the migrants’ temporary housing.

As some working-class organizations in Germany have pointed out, the so-called democratic politicians in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government and party, as well as many Social Democratic Party politicians, have made the Nazis’ work easier. They’ve done this with their own vicious anti-migrant statements — similar to what politicians here say regarding migrants from Mexico and Central America. Think Donald Trump, who is only the worst of a reactionary pack in the United States.

Now some of these government leaders in Germany are condemning the Nazi violence. But they created the atmosphere that allowed the Nazis to mobilize.

The corporate media’s coverage omits the back story. Why? Because this story exposes the role of imperialism and the major imperialist countries.