Why did the AVERAGE soldier fight in the ACW

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unionblue

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That would be Chandra Manning's small amount of letters used as evidence to show the motivation of every soldier in the Confederate army.

I have read letters and diaries over the past few weeks and some writers never state there motivations. Both sides seemed to just want the war over.

I wonder how many letters she didn't use that just didn't state their reasons or motivations?

Sincerely,
dvrmte
dvrmte,

I see your objection, along with others, that the sample Manning uses is too small, but I have yet to see any real refutement of her methods by any statistical means by those who find fault with her 'small' sample.

If I may, I would like to introduce another book which contains a similar study.

I take the following from the book, General Lee's Army; From Victory To Collapse, by Joseph T. Glatthaar.

From Chapter 3, The Volunteers of '61, (speaking of the volunteers who enlisted in the Army of Northern Virginia) pg.19-20:

"...Even more revealing was their attachment to slavery. Among the enlistees in 1861, slightly more than one in ten owned slaves personally. This compared favorably to the Confederacy as a whole, in which one in every twenty white persons owned slaves. Yet more than one in every four volunteers that first year lived with parents who were slaveholders. Combining those soldiers who owned slaves with those soldiers who lived with slaveholding family members, the proportion rose to 36 percent. Tha contrasted starkly with the 24.9 percent, or one in every four households, that owned slaves in the South, based on the 1860 census. Thus, volunteers in 1861 were 42 percent more likely to own slaves themselves or to live with family members who owned slaves than the general population.

The attachment to slavery, though, was even more powerful. One in every ten volunteers in 1861 did not own slaves themselves but lived in households headed by nonfamily members who did. This figure, combined with the 36 percent who owned or whose family members owned slaves, indicated that almost one of every two 1861 recruits lived with slaveholders. Nor did the direct exposure stop there. Untold numbers of enlistees rented land from, sold crops to, or worked for slaveholders. In the final tabulation, the vast majority of the volunteers of 1861 had a direct connection to slavery. For the slaveholder and nonslaveholders alike, slavery lay at the heart of the Confederate nation. The fact that their paper notes frequently depicted scenes of slaves demonstrated the institution's central role and symbolic value to the Confederacy.

More than half the officers in 1861 owned slaves, and none of them lived with family members who were slaveholders. Their substantial median combined wealth ($5,6--) and average combined wealth ($8,979) mirrored that high proportion of slave ownership. By comparison, only one in twelve enlisted men owned slaves, but when those who lived with family slave owners were included, the ratio exceeded one in three. That was 40 percent above the tally for all households in the Old South. With the inclusion of those who resided in nonfamily slaveholding households, the direct exposure to bondage among enlisted personnel was four of every nine. Enlisted men owned less wealth, with combined levels of $1,125 for the median and $7,079 for the average, but those numbers indicated a fairly comfortable standard of living. Proportionately, far more officers were likely to be professionals in civil life, and their age difference, about four years older than enlisted men, reflected their greater accumulated wealth..."

The author then presented the following to support his views on the above in the section of his book entitled, Appendix I: The Sample, pg. 473-474:

"The sample was designed by Dr. Kent Tedin, the formar chairman of the Department of Political Science at the University of Houston. The sample consists of 600 soldiers who served in Lee's army. Because there was no single list of names, we chose a stratified cluster sample. Each infantry, cavalry, and artillery unit that ever served in Lee's army received a number. I then determined through army strength throughout the war that 81.8 percent of all troops were in the infantry, 11.3 percent were in the cavalry, and 6.9 percent were in the artillery. We then randomly selected fifty artillery batteries and fifty cavalry regiments and seventy-five infantry regiments. We then randomly selected three names from each chosen battery and cavalry regiment and four from each infantry regiment. The sample consists of 150 artillerists, 150 cavalrymen, and 300 infantrymen. The artillery and cavalry samples are large enough to make them statistically significant. The infantry sample is much larger because of the proportion of infantrymen in Lee's army.

I then gathered all the information I could locate on soldiers from Complied Service Records, Census Records, Pension Files, obituaries, county histories, family histories, and other sources. Dr. Michael S. Parks, a professor of Decision and Information Sciences in the Bauer School of Business at the University of Houston, set up an Access Document to hold the data and calculated hundreds of charts based on the data. I then calculated dozens more. All results were determined by branch of service, and the percentage was multiplied by the percentage of representation within Lee's army to provide accurate totals for the army.

Although the sample is not designed to represent the precise percentage of units from each state, that sample does include units from each Confederate state, plus Maryland, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The breakdown by home state is:

Ala.: 24
Ga.: 83
Md.: 12
N.C.: 97
Tenn.: 16
Va.: 187
Ark.: 4
Ky.: 5
Miss.: 20
S.C.: 77
Tex.: 4
W.Va.: 42
Fla.: 4
La.: 16

The data were grouped into fifty-four categories ranging from prewar to wartime to postwar. They are: census records found; last name; first name; middle name; branch; unit name; state of unit; company; officer or enlisted man; ranks; other units; year of birth; state of birth; state at time of enlistment; how he entered service; date of entry; martial status; numbers of children; prewar occupation; class status; personal wealth; family wealth; nonfamily wealth; personal slaves owned; family slaves owned; nonfamily slaves owned; occupation of head of household; name of nonfamily head of household; county of soldier; slave-to-white ratio in county; date soldier left service; how soldier left service; battle in which soldier was killed in action; number of times wounded in action; locations of wounds; battle(s) in which wounds occurred; number of absences without leave (AWOL); date of AWOL(s); length of AWOL(s); number of desertions; date of desertion(s); length of desertion(s); numbers of illnesses; types of illnesses; number of time prisoner of war (POW); length of time POW; number of general courts-martial; postwar occupation; postwar residences; location of death; state of death; date of death; manner of death; and general remarks. For some of the data recorded I did not have a separate category. For example, I recorded real property (land) and personal property (all other wealth) from U.S. Census and state tax records, but in the database, I combined them into wealth. Nonetheless, because I recorded them separately, I could calculate how many farmers did not own land, which enabled me to determine how many were tenant farmers..."

The author then presents three charts concerning who owned slaves (personal & family) and who owned slaves (including nonfamily), with lines concerning nonfamily wealth (including and excluding such wealth) along with other charts concerning his sample. Due to formatting problems, I did not present them here, but will attempt to do so if requested.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Battalion

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That would be Chandra Manning's small amount of letters used as evidence to show the motivation of every soldier in the Confederate army.

I have read letters and diaries over the past few weeks and some writers never state there motivations. Both sides seemed to just want the war over.
This is true. Over the years (decades) I've read hundreds of letters written by Confederate soldiers. The majority say nothing about the causes of the war. Of the ones that do I don't recall slavery being mentioned.

I wonder how many letters she didn't use that just didn't state their reasons or motivations?

Sincerely,
dvrmte
A great many...and we could just as easily interpret these as meaning the writer had an ambivalent ('don't care') view of slavery.
 

larry_cockerham

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This is true. Over the years (decades) I've read hundreds of letters written by Confederate soldiers. The majority say nothing about the causes of the war. Of the ones that do I don't recall slavery being mentioned.


A great many...and we could just as easily interpret these as meaning the writer had an ambivalent ('don't care') view of slavery.
Be careful. The use of logic could greatly disturb the status quo.
 
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Scribe

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That would be Chandra Manning's small amount of letters used as evidence to show the motivation of every soldier in the Confederate army.

I have read letters and diaries over the past few weeks and some writers never state there motivations. Both sides seemed to just want the war over.

I wonder how many letters she didn't use that just didn't state their reasons or motivations?

Sincerely,
dvrmte
And here we go 'round the mulberry bush.

If you are saying that Johnny did not necessarily enlist because of slavery, that exactly what Manning said.

If, however, you are saying that Johnny did not recognize that slavery was the cause of the war... well, then we must agree to disagree.
 
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cash

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This is true. Over the years (decades) I've read hundreds of letters written by Confederate soldiers. The majority say nothing about the causes of the war. Of the ones that do I don't recall slavery being mentioned.
Your count is obviously off. It's pretty easy to find letters dealing with slavery.

For instance, a Virginia soldier wrote home during the Gettysburg Campaign that he intended for "The wrath of southern vengeance will be wreaked upon the pennsilvanians [sic] & all property belonging to the abolition horde which we cross." [William H. Routt, quoted in Noah Andre Trudeau, _Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage,_ p. 91]

And there was a soldier-correspondent for the Savannah "Republican" who sent in stories under the name "Tout le Monde," who said the attitude of townspeople in Chambersburg was "the offspring of an education from the miserable abolition shets and anti-slavery speeches which had been ding-donged into them from time immemorial." [Savannah "Republican," 14 July 1863, quoted in Trudeau, op. cit., p. 121]


bama46 said:
A great many...and we could just as easily interpret these as meaning the writer had an ambivalent ('don't care') view of slavery.
In fact, we can't, since they knew what the confederacy was all about.

Regards,
Cash
 

dvrmte

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I found one that mentions some politics:

http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/browse-simple?id=Boo3f30.sgm&tag=public&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed

Camp near Chambersburg
Franklin County, Pennsylvania

(June the 30th, 1863 1


My Dear Cousin) 2




I write you a few
lines this morning which
will inform you that my
self & brother are both well
and getting on fine. And
I much hope this may reach
you in due time and find
you all enjoying the best
of health and all other
blessings. I have no news
of importance to write.
We have been near Chambersburg
for several days. And I
reckonwe will stay several
days longer. We have quite
a nice time since we have
been in Pennsylvania. In the way
of something to eat we can
get plenty of milk & butter and
apple butter that is very good.
[Page 2]

The citizens in this country
all seem to be afraid of us
they treat us very kind though.
I believe it is done through fear.
The most of our Virginia boys
treat them verykind though
there is some of our extreme
southern troops has treated
the people badly. I am sorry they
do so. It is against General Lee's
orders to interrupt private property.
This is a very flourishing
looking Country the crops all
look fine.
It has never felt the effect
of the war, though I guess
if we stay here long it will
feel the effect of it. Our quartermasters
& commissaries has gotten
a great many necessities for our
army since we have been in
this state.


[Page 3]


There is but very few people
that charge us any thing for
milk or butter. I believe that
had as lief give us such things
as to take our money, and they
are afraid to refuse us while
they have such things.



The people in this Country are
very much split up about the
war. They don't unite like our
people do. I don't think this
war can last much longer
if it does I believe the North
will have war with itself.
The Democrats say they will
not take sides with the
abolitionists. They say we are
fighting for our rights and
the abolitionist are fighting
for money, and I believe
the Democrats will raise against
them if the war last much longer.
[Page 4]

I am staying at a private
house guarding the man &
property. He boards me
free while I stay with
him. I am fairing finely.
I believe I have written
enough for the present
unless it was better than
what it is. So I will
close, you must write to
me soon and gave me all
news the last letter
I got was dated the 13th instant 3
if you don't hear from us again
soon you may not be uneasy
for it is very doubtful about
our mail passing again soon.
Nothing more but give my
love to all the family and
share a large portion for yourself.



I remain as ever your
friend and Cousin,

Jimmie Booker
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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I found one that mentions some politics:


The people in this Country are
very much split up about the
war. They don't unite like our
people do. I don't think this
war can last much longer
if it does I believe the North
will have war with itself.
The Democrats say they will
not take sides with the
abolitionists
. They say we are
fighting for our rights and
the abolitionist are fighting
for money, and I believe
the Democrats will raise against
them if the war last much longer.
Note the bolded and underlined words in the above from the letter you posted.

Regards,
Cash
 
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Battalion

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Note the bolded and underlined words in the above from the letter you posted.

Regards,
Cash
I highlighted another part you seem to have missed:

"The people in this Country are
very much split up about the
war. They don't unite like our
people do. I don't think this
war can last much longer
if it does I believe the North
will have war with itself.
The Democrats say they will
not take sides with the
abolitionists. They say we are
fighting for our rights and
the abolitionist are fighting
for money,..."

Right-O....
 

dvrmte

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Location
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I highlighted another part you seem to have missed:

"The people in this Country are
very much split up about the
war. They don't unite like our
people do. I don't think this
war can last much longer
if it does I believe the North
will have war with itself.
The Democrats say they will
not take sides with the
abolitionists. They say we are
fighting for our rights and
the abolitionist are fighting
for money,..."

Right-O....


Thanks. The soldier was speaking of the lack of unity among the Pennsylvania civilians.

I went through at least forty letters to find this one that mentioned anything involving politics. I know if I keep trying I'll eventually find one that mentions fighting against abolition.

The letters must be searched extensively to find any mention of why they are fighting.
Most all just describe the area they are in and of how much they miss home.

Sincerely,
dvrmte
 

dvrmte

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From a soldier in an Ohio regiment:



On board Silver Lake Sept 24th 1861
Dear Addie:


Your short but interesting
note of the 10th Hal gave me this
morning. and I haste to reply.

I wrote you last week that I
I was on the Silver Lake as a guard
with Leiut. Wood. we are still on board
of her and bound to Gallipolis O.
where I will mail this. The boat
trembles so much from the working
of her engines that it is almost
impossible to write legably, however
as the landlord said, "its our best accom-
modations" and I will do as well as I can


This is a most beautiful day here,
the trees and shrubs along the shore
look as fresh and green as in June while
a gentle breeze murmurs by and ripples
the clear and beautiful waters of the
Kanawha. The Kanawha Valley! I wish
you could see it in its wild and
picturesque beauty. I think it the most
beautiful valley I ever saw, It seems
almost sacrilege that pitiless war
should seek to deform such beauty,
but with a ruthless hand she seeks
to destroy. We have just passed
the black scorched timbers which
alone remain of the once splendid
steamer "Julia Maffit". When Wise first
commenced his depredations in the
Ka Vally he impressed the Julia Moffit
into the Rebel service; and when Gen.
Cox was in pursuit of "Wise's flying
Brigade, Capt. Cotter who commanded
an artillery company saw a boat
[Page "2"/]
bearing the Rebel flag coming up
and at once turned one of his rifle
cannon upon her and fired the first
shot went crashing through her
and all on board made for the shore
not however till one more daring
than the others, applied the incendiary
torch and soon she was a smoking
hulk. Oh! shall I be so gald when
this cruel unholy war is ended. it
seems so like killing friends. but
in the language of the hoary traitor Wise
himself, who said at the time of the John
Brown raid, "Treason must be put
down", and I could conscientiously
shoot him and his associates Floyd and
Lee like dogs. Don't think for a moment
dear Addie because I say I am tired
of war, that I am tired of supporting
the glorious old Stars and Stripes on
the contrary I would not accept a
discharge if one was offered me until
every ______ banner be trampled in

[Page "3"/]
the dust, and every traitor hung.
Hal says when he comes home I must
come with him. I have not yet decided
whether to come or not. but I think now
if I can get leave to come I may.

Can you explain what it is that
binds me so closely to Hal? I really
think more of him than my own
brother. Surely never boasted a sister of a better
brother. I feel far more interest in his
welfare than in my own. The boys often
ask me why it is that I think so much
of Lieut. Case, Almost invariably my answer
is, and it comes spontaneously -- "Why should
not I? He is a brother to me". Is it any
wonder that I like the sister while the
brother is so good? "Brave and efficient, a
very lion." Such are the _______ passed
on Hal by members of the ______ who know
him. Pardon me if I say I like you because
you possess the good qualities of your brother
for it is true -- and -- more.
But my letter must be getting uninteresting
if, indeed, it has been other
wise so I will close.
Please excuse this poor paper for it is
all I could get, and the writing for the
boat is in a continual tremor.
Write soon and often, even if you
do not hear from me every week
but i will write as often as possible

Believe me Addie
I remain Yours ever
Charley
P.S. I think somewhat of making my
future home in Trumbull Co.
What think you? I mean to make a
man of myself. perhaps in Warren.
 
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cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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I highlighted another part you seem to have missed:

"The people in this Country are
very much split up about the
war. They don't unite like our
people do. I don't think this
war can last much longer
if it does I believe the North
will have war with itself.
The Democrats say they will
not take sides with the
abolitionists. They say we are
fighting for our rights and
the abolitionist are fighting
for money,..."

Right-O....
Irrelevant.

The point is what was he fighting for. Quite obviously, slavery played a huge role in what he was fighting for.

Regards,
Cash
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Thanks. The soldier was speaking of the lack of unity among the Pennsylvania civilians.
And telling us who he was fighting against.


I went through at least forty letters to find this one that mentioned anything involving politics. I know if I keep trying I'll eventually find one that mentions fighting against abolition.
You already did. He is very clearly fighting against "abolitionists," which means he's fighting against abolition.

Regards,
Cash
 

dvrmte

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And telling us who he was fighting against.

He is fighting the Union army. Some were abolitionist some weren't.


You already did. He is very clearly fighting against "abolitionists," which means he's fighting against abolition.

Regards,
Cash

I have no idea how you can extract that from the letter presented.
 
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Battalion

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And telling us who he was fighting against.




You already did. He is very clearly fighting against "abolitionists," which means he's fighting against abolition.

Regards,
Cash
"the abolitionist are fighting
for money,..."

What money is he talking about there Cash?

:laugh1:
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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"the abolitionist are fighting
for money,..."

What money is he talking about there Cash?
Irrelevant, because he's not one of the abolitionists, so he can't testify as to what they're fighting for.

"We" vs. "the abolitionists."

He was fighting against the abolitionists. Therefore, he was fighting against abolition.

QED

Regards,
Cash
 
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dvrmte

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dvrmte,

Any comment on my post concerning Glatthaar's book, General Lee's Army and the sample posted there?

Sincerely,
Unionblue


I apoligize but I got caught up in the discussion and reading more letters.

I would like to read Manning's and Glatthaar's books. It will take some time before I will get to do that. I'm working 72 hours swing shift this week so my time is used up for awhile. I hope to get a trip to the library next week. Maybe they will have one of the books.
I can access the internet at work when I am assigned warehouse duties. That is why I am able to post as much as I do.

I feel at the moment I can't address intelligently, your post. Give me time, please.

Sincerely,
dvrmte

PS: I know better than to respond unprepared. :smile:
 
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