What They Fought for

Topics: American Civil War, Confederate States of America, Abraham Lincoln Pages: 4 (1332 words) Published: March 2, 2013
What they Fought for
What they fought for is an analysis of a collection of nearly a thousand personal letters and journals entries written by the soldiers who fought America’s famous Civil War. This book seeks to define the ideology of what the soldiers understood they were fighting for, and their comprehension of the outcome of their service .Although counter arguments agree that most soldiers could not give a solid explanation of why they fought for, nor the real Constitutional issues that were at stake; the thoughts the soldiers recorded show that they fought for more than just masculine identity; they highly valued being at home safe with their loved ones, at any cost. This book gives an inside perception of the Civil War, and a broad understanding of the sentiments of the people of that era. Mc.Pherson successfully defines the individual motivation of each of the men who volunteered and risked their lives for what they believed was right, and the glorious cause to fight for. The book begins with a chapter titled “The Holy Cause of Liberty and Independence”; the author identifies the popular ideologies evidenced in the letters sent by the soldiers at the beginning of the Civil War, and emphasizes their understanding of what they fought for. On one side were the Confederates, a group fueled by ideas of Liberty and self-government, linked to seek revenge of northern oppressors and promote independence of the cotton kingdom of the South. Confederate soldiers were motivated by strong emotional devotion to their land, as shown by a letter from a Louisiana corporal in the Army of Northern Virginia, “for I am willing that my bones shall bleach the sacred soil of Virginia in driving the envading host of tyrants from our soil”( Mc. Pherson 11). The South also found emotional support in comparing their war with the Revolutionary War, associating northerners as oppressors like the British had been to the colonies. Confederates must prove they were worthy of the...
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