The Letter Of A Confederate Surgeon

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Through examining the letters of a Confederate surgeon, the main motivation for Southerners to both fight and continue fighting in the American Civil War was hope. From the inception of the war, the South had major disadvantages compared to the North in almost every aspect of war; however, Confederates had remarkable confidence in the face of such weaknesses. The Union did have similar sureness in themselves, but the Confederacy displayed noteworthy hope throughout the entire war that was not expected under their circumstances. The Confederacy was outnumbered in men, weapons, food production, transportation, and so on, yet they had hope until the end. Each Southerner had faith that compelled them to fight in the war, but each Southerner had faith in different places. Confederates held onto different sources of hope – hope that the Union would quit, hope that the Confederacy would prevail, hope that they would return to their homes – but hope nonetheless was what drove Southerners in the war. One man who demonstrated such hope was Spencer Glasgow Welch, a surgeon in the Confederacy army under the Thirteenth South Carolina Volunteers in McGowan’s Brigade . As a surgeon in the army instead of a solider, Welch had certain privileges that the combatants did not have, including going home for the holidays and not fighting Unionists on the frontlines. However, Welch was disposed to the excruciating hardships of treating footmen during a time when there were limited medical

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