How A Soldier Can Fight And Kill People From His Own Country

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The American Civil War was gruesome war that was fought between a country divided. Abraham Lincoln once said “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Even though we were all brought together as one nation, these two sides were polarized by their environment and beliefs. This war that tore apart a country, costed more than six hundred thousand lives. The Civil War altered history and is still relevant in the present. A big question people have today is how a soldier can fight and kill people from his own country. Why and how could anyone do this? Through analyzing primary documents and the book “For Cause & Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War” by James McPherson many factors of their decision arose. Nationalism, duty, honor, and…show more content…
In his letter home, Squire guaranteed that war was unavoidable and the condition of the country was in jeopardy (Squire, 21 May 1861). The biggest reason he believed in the war effort was to save the foundation of self-government, something that would be undermined or even totally lost if the North were to allow the South to just leave (Squire, 21 May 1861). But, Squire also claimed to "deprecate war" and believed that the North oppose the resistance by a "combined powerful effort to preserve the government" (Squire, 21 May 1861). Squire spoke on the significance of keeping up self-government by comparing the Northerners to the Founding Fathers. He even stated that the Northern cause was more noteworthy than that of the progressives since they were fighting for taxation without representation while the North was now battling for self-government (Squire, 21 May 1861). Squire and most soldiers, regardless of where they’re from or what side they’re on, believed fully in their cause and nationalism contributed to these beliefs of being on the “right” side. The Union letters were not by any means the only ones with nationalistic thoughts. The South wrote about nationalism and government as an inspiration for battling in the Civil War even more aggressively than the Union (McPherson, 99). Confederates thought that battling in the war would be the best way to protect their new Southern country and in the event that they

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