In 1943, Bell Wiley's groundbreaking book Johnny Reb launched a new area of study: the history of the common soldier in the U.S. Civil War. This anthology brings together landmark scholarship on the subject, from a 19th century account of life as a soldier to contemporary work on women who, disguised as men, joined the army.
One of the only available compilations on the subject, The Civil War Soldier answers a wide range of provocative questions: What were the differences between Union and Confederate soldiers? What were soldiers' motivations for joining the army—their "will to combat"? How can we evaluate the psychological impact of military service on individual morale? Is there a basis for comparison between the experiences of Civil War soldiers and those who fought in World War II or Vietnam? How did the experiences of black soldiers in the Union army differ from those of their white comrades? And why were southern soldiers especially drawn to evangelical preaching?
Offering a host of diverse perspectives on these issues, The Civil War Soldier is the perfect introduction to the topic, for the student and the Civil War enthusiast alike.
Contributors: Michael Barton, Eric T. Dean, David Donald, Drew Gilpin Faust, Joseph Allen Frank, James W. Geary, Joseph T. Glaatthaar, Paddy Griffith, Earl J. Hess, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Perry D. Jamieson, Elizabeth D. Leonard, Gerald F. Linderman, Larry Logue, Pete Maslowski, Carlton McCarthy, James M. McPherson, Grady McWhiney, Reid Mitchell, George A. Reaves, Jr., James I. Robertson, Fred A. Shannon, Maris A. Vinovskis, and Bell Irvin Wiley.
1 What Manner of Men
2 Have Social Historians Lost the Civil War?
3 Who Joined the Confederate Army?
4 Yankee Recruits, Conscripts, and Illegal Evaders
5 To “Don the Breeches, and Slay Them with a Will!”
6 On the March
7 The Life of the Common Soldier in the Union Army, 1861–1865
8 From Finery to Tatters
9 Fun, Frolics, and Firewater
10 The Negro as a Soldier
11 Heroes and Cowards
12 The Confederate as a Fighting Man
14 The Infantry Firefight
15 Leaving Their Mark on the Battlefield
16 The Nature of Battle
17 Trials of Soul
18 A Study of Morale in Civil War Soldiers
19 Christian Soldiers
20 From Volunteer to Soldier
21 Emotional Responses to Combat
22 “Dangled over Hell”
23 The Values of Civil War Soldiers
24 Embattled Courage
25 On the Altar of My Country
26 Holding On
"Understanding what convinced Civil War soldiers to lay down their lives for the cause, North AND South, is perhaps the hardest part of teaching about making sense of the war. This excellent collection of selections from leading scholars on who the soldiers were, how they lived, and why they fought is a fine introduction to years of research that seeks to answer that question." ~Janet Coryell,Western Michigan University
"Presenting a variety of viewpoints, the book will be of interest to all Civil War devotees." ~Booklist
"This is a fine collection which lends itself to classroom use and to the edification of non-specialists." ~Indiana Magazine of History
"This type of work would be especially valuable for assignment in the classroom." ~North & South