Soldier Life in the Civil War
content provided by the national park service www.nps.gov
author: John Heiser - Gettysburg National Military Park - May 1, 1998
The life of a soldier in the 1860's was difficult and for the thousands of young Americans who left home to fight for their cause, it was an experience none of them would ever forget. Military service meant many months away from home and loved ones, long hours of drill, often inadequate food or shelter, disease, and many days spent marching on hot, dusty roads or in a driving rainstorm burdened with everything a man needed to be a soldier as well as baggage enough to make his life as comfortable as possible. There were long stretches of boredom in camp interspersed with moments of sheer terror experienced on the battlefield. For these civilians turned soldiers, it was very difficult to get used to the rigors and demands of army life.
Use the links below to explore the life of soldiers in the American Civil War.