So what was life like for Civil War soldiers? Well it was not fun nor was it glorious. The reality was that it was a hard difficult life to endure. Both sides pretty much lived in the same conditions during the war.
If you had a pulse and a trigger finger you were qualified to be a soldier.
The life of a soldier for both the North and South was a rough one and they lived under strict discipline they were seen simply as bodies by their governments that pulled triggers, and that’s pretty much how they lived.
These soldiers were not just bodies however they were real people who had real lives. For these men fighting in a war at the front meant many long months away from home. The only contact most soldiers ever had with their loved ones back home came in the form of a letter.
These letters were very prized possessions that were read and re-read many times. Receiving mail was one of the most joyous times in a soldier’s life because in a way it allowed them to go home even if only for a moment.
One important thing that gave soldiers comfort in their times of need was religion.
They could always count on a chaplain to listen to their problems and offer comfort when they needed it. Soldier life was sheer boredom and was probably one of the worst aspects of camp life. To help dull this constant boredom soldiers often played Civil War games such as cards, checkers, baseball or anything else they could think of.
Boredom was a soldier’s ever-present companion. Soldiers had to endure very long hours of drill on a daily basis, bad food, diseases that spread through camp, and living in Civil War tents which made pretty inadequate shelters.
They also had to do menial tasks such as gathering wood for campfires and cooking fires had to serve on guard duty for many long hours, had to be on water detail and many other chores that were required to survive in camp.
And when they weren’t just trying to survive in camp they were trying to survive on the battlefield. When boredom wasn’t around absolute terror was right there to take its place.
Civil War soldiers did not have a fun life but they had something, if they survived that they would surely remember for the rest of their lives.