For God and Country
Though the Union and Confederate soldiers both fought for the victory of their nations, each side had its own reasoning and purpose for doing so. Soldiers relied on their families from home and in battle for encouragement. They wanted to fight not only for their nation, but for their family at home. They didn't want to let them down, alongside of their nation. Their family in regiments was just as beloved. They all felt the same pain and pride, therefore becoming closer to one another. They'd watch each other win and watch each other die. Backing out of it was the last thing they wanted to do and be considered a coward. Soldiers had rather die of honor than live a coward. They were all in it together and that bond with each other kept them from giving up. The leaves that were given gave those enlisted a break from the soldier life for a short period, which was a great privilege. The problem was that the leaves were abused and soldiers wouldn't come back when their time was up, therefore being a deserter. The government wasn't in control enough to do anything about the deserters. Religion also played a major part in motivation and encouragement in fighting. Their religion being the Protestant religion, they were inspired by religious metaphors and Scripture and received religious justification for each side from books such as "The Mississippi Messenger" and "The Soldier's Papers". Each of these books stated that God was on their side of the battle. Once war began, both North and South said to be fighting for their God and each saw themselves as Christian armies. Songs were composed with inspirational metaphors about God and the war. Even those who were not religious before the war, they eventually found comfort in religion when times were horrific and nearly unbearably in battle. Soldiers fighting for each side were also motivated by the American Revolution that had taken place almost 100 years before the Civil War. Most...
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