Outline For Cause and Comrades - Eva Wambura Professor...

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Eva WamburaProfessor NormanCivil War and Reconstruction6 February 2020Outline For Cause and ComradesChapter 1: This War Is A CrusadeIn Vietnam “the soldier fought for his own survival, not cause. The prevailing attitude was: do your time...keep your head down, stay out of trouble, get out alive.”Most Union and Confederate soldiers were neither long-term regulars nor draftees, but wartime volunteers from civilian life whose values remained rooted in the homes and communities from which they sprang to arms and to which they longed to return.They did not fight for money; pay was poor and unreliable; John W. DeForest, “Self-preservation is the first law of nature,” he wrote summing up his combat experience. “The man who does not dread to die or to be mutilated is a lunatic. The man who, dreading these things, still faces them for the sake of duty and honor is a hero.”Duty and honor were powerful motivating factors. Religious fanaticism and ethnic hatred played almost no role. Discipline was notoriously lax in Civil War volunteer regiments. Training was minimal by modern standards. The coercive power of the state was flaccid. Subordination and unquestioning obedience to orders were alien to the most democratic and individualistic of nineteenth-century societies. Abraham Lincoln enumerates several motives that might deduce a man to enlist: “patriotism, political bias [i.e., political or ideological conviction], ambition, personal courage, love of adventure, want of employment. Many soldiers did indeed fight bravely for country, duty, honor, and the right. All soldiers on bothsides believed that they had done so.But many found ways to avoid fighting when bullets began coming too close. In many regiments half of the men did most of the real fightingKnown as skulkers, sneaks, beats, stragglers, or coffee-coolersMany of the derogatory comments about sneaks and stragglers came from officers and men of upper- and middle-class background. Enlisted early in the war from motives --- in their own eyes at least --- of duty, honor, andpatriotismThe harvest of draftees, substitutes, and bounty men who came into the Union army after mid-1863 had a particularly poor reputation among the volunteers of 1861 and 1862. “The big bounty men came out just to get the bounty, & play out as soon as they are able.”Studies of American soldiers in World War II and Korea found combat performance to correlate
positively with social class and education. Civil War armies were the most literate in history to the time. More than 90 percent of white Union soldiers and more than 80 percent of Confederate soldiers were literate, and most of them wrote frequent letters to families and friends. Conceptual framework from John A. Lynn who posited three categories of motivation:Initial motivation- consists of the reasons why men enlistedSustaining motivation- the factors that kept them in the army and kept the army in existence over timeCombat motivation-focuses on what nerved the soldiers to face extreme danger

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