For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War - Chapter 7, On the Altar of My Country Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 7, On the Altar of My Country Summary and Analysis

Many historians and psychologists believe that ideological and patriotic loyalties produce little motivation among soldiers. But the Civil War letters belie these views. The outcome of the country was at stake, and the soldiers knew the outcome of the war would change life for everyone. Newspapers were read constantly. And European officers fighting in the war were usually shocked by citizens' desire to know about their cause. Many regiments and brigades even established debating societies. They would often debate on the impact of the war on the future of the country, or how the opposing side should be dealt with after the war. Many officers were unhappy with this outbreak of debates.

Confederate soldiers often spoke of "The Cause," which was the idea of establishing the Confederacy as a...

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