The American Civil War ( 1861-65 )

1961 Words Dec 10th, 2014 8 Pages
Angelena Barclay
HIS 110

The American Civil War (1861-65) was one of the most destructive wars in American history. A total of 625,000 lives were lost (J. McPherson), and many of the men who fought were volunteers . There were many factors that led men to volunteer for military service, such as honor and dedication to their country, but some men were not prepared for the hardships that they would face while in the line of duty. Being on the battlefield was traumatizing for many soldiers, and after just one battle some were wishing the war would be over (J.M. McPherson, 24-25, 33). As feelings of patriotism were decreasing, both the Union and Confederacy turned to a draft to continue to enlist men. Few enlisted men had previously served in the military and joined based on the romanticised versions of war they had seen in novels and articles (Foner 506). As the war failed to meet soldiers expectations, some deserted their army even though they know what severe consequences they could face. The desire to join military service during the American Civil War was fueled by many different things.Very few who enlisted had previous military experience. The majority of Union soldiers were made up of farmers, shopkeepers and artisans, while the Confederate army was mostly composed of “non-slave owning small farmers, with slaveowners dominating the officer corps” (Foner 506). One of the things that motivated men to volunteer for service was the overwhelming sense of…

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