James M. Mcpherson's What They Fought For: 1861-1865

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The United States Civil War is possible one of the most meaningful, bloodstained and controversial war fought in American history. Northern Americans against Southern Americans fought against one another for a variety of motives. These motives aroused from a wide range of ideologies that stirred around the states. In James M. McPherson’s What they fought for: 1861-1865, he analyzes the Union and Confederate soldier’s morale and ideological components through the letters they wrote to love ones while at war. While, John WhiteClay Chambers and G. Kurt Piehler depict Civil War soldiers through their letters detailing the agonizing battles of war in Major Problems in American Military History. In both books, readers are able to understand the motives of the war, attitudes of Americans and the hostility of battles through the letters of soldiers. …show more content…

Southern soldiers viewed the confederacy as their country and were compelled to fight for the safety of it. Confederate soldiers enlisted to protecting their native lands from what they understood as invaders. The Confederacy sentiments of the Union was they were imposing upon the southern way of life. For instance, a young soldier from Kentucky wrote “sink or swim, survive or perish” (McPherson 11). The average Confederate soldier felt that they the Union was trying to destroy the legacy of the founder fathers by enslaving them and reversing the actions of the American Revolution. McPherson discusses how he found countless of confederate soldier’s letters filled with phrases like “the holy cause of southern freedom, duty to one’s country and death before Yankee

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