A Private Soldiers Life Essay example

A Private Soldiers Life Essay example

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The American Civil War was the wars of all the great wars. The casualties of the war included men, women and children, whites and African-Americans. Men and boys of the southern states either volunteered or were conscripted into the army. Many of the soldiers thought that they would be fighting for the southern Nation and its rights. Soldiers from both sides and civilians in the vicinity of battles and the war suffered from hardships.
Sam Watkins was high private in the war, and approximately twenty years later he wrote his memoirs. Recalling what he could, Sam Watkins allowed readers envision what the war was like for the common soldier. Although the Confederate army won some battles they were outnumbered, out supplied, and out maneuvered by military tactics used by the Union army. However, these seem minor in comparison to the hardships endured by the soldiers and civilians.
The hardships were starvation, food with maggots, and having to drink dirty water. The soldiers had to wear heavy wool clothing during the summer months, feet that were cut, swollen and blistered because of shortages of boots, and freezing in the winter because of exposure to the cold. The tents leaked or there was no shelter at all. Both civilians and soldiers agonized with separation from family, loss of friends and family, and loss of property. The soldiers suffered with illnesses such as dysentery, fever, wound infections and viral infections like meningitis, limited medical care, sleep deprivation, and mental and emotional stress from battle fatigue.
His work was “first published serially in his hometown newspaper, the Columbia Herald.” (Inge, Intro) In an excerpt in the Columbia Herald his memoirs were reviewed, “The Generals, and President, and...


... middle of paper ...


...than the General who resigned because some other general was placed in his command over him.” (Watkins, 173)
The American Civil War was the bloodiest in history to date. This war caused life for both soldiers and civilians to become a tragedy. The hardships for the soldiers and civilians were harsh and sometimes unnecessary. They were physical and emotional and took their toll throughout the war. The hardships were starvation and hunger, poor medical care, illness, the elements of summer and winter, the loss of friends and family, loss of property and the memories that would haunt them in their dreams until the end.



Work Cited
Watkins, S. 1999. Company Aytch, or A side show of the Big Show: edited by M. Thomas Inge. (Originally published: Nashville, Tennessee: Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, 1882). New York, New York. Penguin Putnam Inc.

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