Child Soldiers: The Little Army Essay

1802 words - 8 pages

Children should not be involved either directly or indirectly in warfare. Child soldier have participated in warfare throughout history. Every continent in the world (excluding Antarctica) used child soldiers in their army at least one time throughout its history. A 14 years old child in a war zone armed with automatic rifles, high-powered explosives, and drugs laced with gunpowder and other dangerous substances sounds too grotesque and immoral to be actually happening; however, this is something that has happened numerous times during history, and continues. Even today, there are many nations or groups involved in the use of child soldiers today. Governments and organizations around the world have tried multiple times to start movements to stop the use. The United Nations (UN) has even passed international laws to try to deter nations or groups from recruiting children. Many programs specialize in not only helping the children, but also reintegrating them into normal society.
First, child soldiers appear repetitively throughout history. Children even fought in famous wars such as The United States Civil War and World War 1. Experts estimate that as much as 20 percent of the soldiers during The United States Civil War were under the age of 18. The children would lie about their age in order to enlist. While most of the children became drummer boys, nurses, or scouts. When the casualties of war began to climb during a battle some of the children would have to join in a much larger role.
During the American Civil War, children sometimes received medals for their services, courage, and loyalty. One such child is John Cook. John Cook was a Union bugle player who was only 15 years-old when he served. During the Battle of Antietam John Cook -volunteered to operate open cannon. This bravery leads him to receive a Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle. Another child who won a Medal of Honor was Orion Howe. When Orion was only 14 years-old he, along with others, volunteered to get some needed ammunition for his fellow troops.
Children doing their work were frequently injured. Since they were in front of the army, they were usually the first picked off by enemy shooters. The youngest one was William Black. When he was only 12 years-old an exploding shell blew off his left arm. Albert Munsun was a drummer boy who fought in the Battle of Roanoke. During the battle, his father was injured; however, that did not stop Albert from continuing to play the drum. Using a pistol as a drumstick, he marched towards the enemy. He was soon shot and killed.
During World War 1, a large amount volunteers swarmed recruiters, wanting to fight for their country. The large amount of volunteers made it hard for recruiters to check age and background information. They thought that if a person wants to join the war and was physically able, “Why stop them?” The storm of volunteers is due in part to the public told that the war would end within two...

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