Summary Of The Necessity Of Battle By Shelby Foote

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Necessity of Battle: Shelby Foote’s Perspective Political, economic, and social factors all fueled the start of the Civil War, and these causes continued to divide the nation throughout the war. These elements of influence overpowered the ability to come to an agreement through debate over the differing opinions; therefore, the Civil War started due to war necessity since fighting could end the disagreements. The North and South failed to come to a compromise, so they both fought a war in a deadly fashion. The Civil War resulted in more American casualties than any other previous war. After each military campaign, Shelby Foote calculates the number of deaths of the North and South and totals them. Shelby Foote focuses on the actual battles…show more content…
Men willingly fought against each other because of the forces pushing them to war. Foote explains the tragedy of the Civil War as “ruefully tallying the better than half a million men” (Mitchell 40) who died after each battle. James Cox also noted Foote’s fixation with tolling the casualties by explaining how Foote gives the exact casualty count (Cox 355). After the Confederates climbed Big Hill towards Richmond, “Smith’s [casualties] were 78 killed, 372 wounded, 1 missing”(653). This battle resulted thousands of casualties from both confederates and federalist. Foote transcribes the exact number of deaths, injuries, and captures to point out that real people died, and everyone who died or went missing or got injured were important to the war effort. The men fought so they could continue their lifestyles, despite their knowledge of the foreseen death they still chose to fight. The bloody battles left men injured or sick because in the area that the troops settled, disease spread rapidly. Even adept soldiers struggled to overcome the harsh aspects of war, including Lee himself who injured himself on a horse in battle (664). War always led to fatalities, and even with the soldiers and politicians awareness of the dangers they still chose to go to combat. They casualities from the battles reflect the mortality of the men fighting. Shelby Foote knows uses the battles to tell stories of the casualties. Cox agrees with the point that Foote writes about violence, and at the same time Foote acknowledges the “human violence”(Cox 355). Foote continually adds up the casualties, and describes the injuries to reveal the harshness of the war. Despite dangers, politicians continue to pursue victory, and soldiers continue to fight battles because there are strong forces that push them to fight for a greater cause than just
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