Daily Life During the Civil War

Topics: Army, Military, American Civil War Pages: 2 (640 words) Published: September 30, 2012
Daily Life During The Civil War

To be an effective soldier in the Civil War, a man needed to know much more than how to drill on the parade ground and how to fire his musket. It was mostly the hard school of experience that turned a green recruit fresh from his country home into a lean, weatherbeaten soldier who was able to march all night and fight all day on scant rations. Many volunteers did not survive long enough to make the transition. Adaptation to army discipline and regimentation was one of the first trials of the new soldier. The idea of showing respect to and obeying the orders of a higher-ranking soldier irrespective of that person's prewar social standing, family, or wealth required a major psychological adjustment for many men. Providing for physical needs posed severe difficulties in Civil War armies. Soldiers had to learn how to properly cook the rations that were issued to them and how to forage for supplemental food. They learned what they could do to help prevent scurvy, typhus and other camp diseases. Bad water and poor sanitation caused the death of many soldiers. Survivors learned the value of proper sewage disposal and the necessity of clean drinking water. They learned how to build shelters to protect themselves from the elements and how to make repeated all-day marches and they also learned the necessity of maintaining their clothes, shoes and weapon. Infantryman's Equipment

Volunteers went off to fight at the beginning of the war with a great deal of baggage-both army-issued equipment and personal items. In the early days of the war, a soldier carried ten pounds of gun: eighty rounds per man of ball cartridge, one pound of powder and five pounds of lead. Heavy equipment included; knapsack, haversack, three-pint canteen, all full with 3 days rations, rubber blanket, woolen blanket, shelter tent, full winter clothing, tin cup, tin plate, knife, fork, spoon, stationery, photographs, journal, Bible, tobacco, pipes, comb and...
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