While Emily Dickinson is generally viewed as a recluse, who shielded herself from the world and created her poetry from her own private world, this view has been increasingly challenged. It is now pretty well accepted that the Civil War years had a profound impact on her poetry.
Consider her friendship with Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the writer and abolitionist who was among the first to command black troops during the war. This friendship was documented in the recent book by Brenda Wineapple, White Heat.
Higginson wrote a series of essays for The Atlantic that were later published as Army Life in a Black Regiment.