Civil War Soldiers Us History (12th Garde) Essay

944 words - 4 pages

The civil war was a mysterious era filled with anarchy and chaos, which left a drastic impact on the lives of many soldiers that were involved, but what aspects of human nature evoked to the rise of civil war? This was the case in the book, Civil War Soldiers, which was written by Reid Mitchell, a professor at Princeton University that holds a B.A, M.A, and PhD in American History. In this book, Mitchell addresses questions that leave a feeling of uncertainty and unsatisfied knowledge about the occurrence of the civil war and also used derived writings and documents of soldiers that participated in the civil to establish different perspectives for both the northern (union) and southern (confederate) regions of the United states. In the book, Mitchell asked such questions like “Why did you fight? What did you think of your enemy, your American enemy? How did you feel about slavery and race and all the unfinished business that means in some way the war you fought is still not over?What was it like to be in battle? Were you frightened; How did you overcome your fear? How did you face death-How did you give meaning to violence and destruction? How did you accept that you yourself were a killer? What did you take home from the war? What legacy have you left on us?”. The questions served as a reason of interest and what should be focused on when reading the literary piece.
In the historical literature, Mitchell elaborates on the reasons soldiers enlisted into war by engaging personal documents, letters, and diaries that belonged to soldiers to stimulate thoughts about the civil war experience. For instance, he interpreted from the southern perspective of Rufus W. Cater, a Breckinridge Democrat, and his beliefs on the northerners being motivated by “sensualism and rapine” to not only end slavery in the south but to also “exterminate” the confederate states (Mitchell. 6). Because of this, the southern ideology became to protect both their entity as a confederate state and their valued source of economy, which was slavery, from the “Yankees”. On the hand, Mitchell also interpreted the perspectives of the union that most soldiers volunteered because they believed “southern tyranny” threatened them ( Mitchell. 14). This not only decrypts one of the reasons the unions went to war but also what the union were trying to hinder from occurring and sprouting from the united states. In other words, people from both regions volunteered in the civil war to protect freedom, based on their ideologies, rather than the exposed obvious reason, which was abolitionism. Also, it was perceived that many of the soldiers, both north and south, had interior motives for what they were actually fighting rather than the reason to why the war broke out.
Mitchell also goes further into identifying the experiences of the...

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