For Cause And Comrades Analysis

1022 Words5 Pages
By in large the consensus view of the American Civil war is. Many view the Union side as the group of civic virtue attempting to free the slaves from their masters. On the other hand, the Confederates are viewed as unified southerners fighting for state’s rights and to preserve what they felt was left of Jeffersonian America. In James McPherson’s For Cause and Comrades, he reveals outstanding research that is contrary to many beliefs and re-examines the reasons in which soldiers fought. McPherson put forward a few concepts that he felt inspired soldiers to enlist and participate in combat. Among these concepts were manhood, camaraderie amongst the soldiers, and the noble cause of fighting for country. Interestingly enough, McPherson suggests…show more content…
For some men, it was about making a name and for others it was about keeping their name untarnished. Regardless of which side they fought on most of these soldiers shared a common idea. If they wanted their name to be amongst honorable company they must participate in the war effort. McPherson uses a wide variety of letters written by soldier of the age to defend many of his claims. Furthermore McPherson divides the motivation of Civil War soldiers into three different categories. By dividing the motivations of Civil War soldiers into three categories , initial motivation (or enlistment), “sustaining” motivation, and combat motivation, McPherson argues that there is a close relationship between the ideals that motivated them to enlist, to stay in the army, and to fight. He suggests that for Civil War soldiers, the group cohesion and peer pressure that were powerful factors in combat motivation were not unrelated to the complex mixture of patriotism, ideology, concepts of duty, honor, manhood, and community or peer pressure that prompted them to enlist in the first
Open Document