How the Civil War Soldiers Lived The Union and Confederate armies were haphazardly raised, badly organized, poorly trained, inadequately fed, clothed and housed, and almost wholly without comforts, sports, entertainments or proper medical care. Whether a regiment was well or badly trained, disciplined, and cared for depended largely on its officers, and to some extent on the initiative and enterprise of the men themselves.
Photography by James Salzano The three million soldiers who served in the Civil War each represent a unique story waiting to be told. Although no two men had the exact same journey into the army, experience in battle or emotional response to their involvement, similar threads weave their way through a significant number of these narratives.
What motivated the former innkeeper ordered to charge across open ground in the face of relentless gunfire? How did the factory worker who defended his trench line until the bitter end fare when he returned home with no more record of service than his name scrawled in a ledger? When we study the lives of men like these we gain insights into the courage and sacrifice demonstrated by each and every Civil War soldier.
Time and again, they were asked to perform tasks that would have been unthinkable in their past lives as farmers, teachers, lawyers, shop owners, carpenters or iron-workers. Although enlistment, medical and other official records can sometimes be spotty, they nonetheless allow us to analyze an astounding array of facts and figures to better comprehend an overwhelmingly destructive war.
These dry documents, however, are augmented by a huge amount of correspondence, diaries and memoirs. Statistics can tell us something about the men in the ranks, but, thanks to a relatively literate society and the Victorian penchant for personal writing, we are lucky to have these first-person narratives as a pathway into the lives of individual soldiers.
The three million soldiers who served in the Civil War each represent a unique story waiting to be told. Thus, as we examine the life of the common soldier, we do so through lenses of both commonality and individualism.
He was probably a farmer and a Christian. Precise statistical figures are more difficult for Southern enlistees, but most Confederate soldiers looked a great deal like their Federal counterparts — although they were even more likely to be farmers by trade.
There were, of course, cases on either extreme. Older soldiers typically filled more specialized roles or were officers; some teenagers lied about their age and saw front line combat, but many others served in other capacities, notably as musicians.
Recruitment tactics of the era typically raised companies from a single geographic area, meaning these units and regiments they were combined into reflected the demographics of those communities, often with a particular ethnicity or occupation predominating the ranks.
Other units, especially those raised in urban areas, were remarkably diverse. Robert Watson, a Floridian originally hailing from the Bahamas who served with the Confederate army and, later, the Confederate navy, made this observation about the men with whom he served: Inthe United States was still a relatively young country — an evolving experiment in democracy in which both Northern and Southern states sought to protect their own interests.
When discussing the motivations of soldiers we must distinguish soldier attitudes from the ideas their leaders espoused. The reasons an individual might enlist were complicated and shifting, ranging from the purely practical to the highly sentimental.
Soldiers identified most strongly with their comrades, their states and their communities — with, perhaps, a few country-sized ideals thrown into the mix.
Then, of course, there was the draw of war itself as a path to manhood and glory. For others, the promise of a somewhat steady paycheck was reason enough to don a uniform.
A soldier with the 36th Wisconsin, Guy C.Daily Life During The Civil War. Introduction: 19th century United States was nothing like it is srmvision.comty of people in North worked in factories and in plantations as farmers in the South. Life was comfortable for rich land and factory owners but a common .
Daily Life During the American Civil War. Daily Life in the North, Civilian Life. Daily Life in the South, Civilian Life. Daily Life of the Slaves. Daily Life of Civil War Soldiers. Daily Life in the Prison Camps.
See Also: The Civil War for Kids, Index. Civil War Interactive Games & Activities for Kids. Kids learn about what daily life was like during the Civil War.
With men at war, the women and children were on the homefront. How the Civil War Soldiers Lived The Union and Confederate armies were haphazardly raised, badly organized, poorly trained, inadequately fed, clothed and housed, and almost wholly without comforts, sports, entertainments or proper medical care.
What was daily life like for a soldier in the Civil War? What was daily life like for a Union Soldier? What was daily life like for a soldier after the Civil War? The end of the war in brought a welcome peace, especially for the men who served as soldiers.
Armies went their separate ways and. Slavery during the Civil War Contributed by Jaime Amanda Martinez Virginia had the largest population of enslaved African Americans of any state in the Confederacy, and those slaves responded to the American Civil War (–) in a variety of ways.