Essay on For Cause And Comrades : Why Men Fought During The Civil War

1280 Words Apr 13th, 2016 6 Pages
In the book For Cause & Comrades: Why Men Fought In The Civil War by James McPherson there were many important motivations, along with differences and similarities in motivation between Union and Confederate soldiers. McPherson wrote this book in order to figure out “What made these men do it? What motivated them to advance into that wall of fire? What caused them to go forward despite the high odds against coming out safely?” (McPherson, 3). He read through “at least 25,000 personal letters from soldiers and 249 diaries” (McPherson, 12). McPherson got to read the true feelings about the war from the soldier’s points of views as well as see the major complications going on between families, friends and comrades. While reading these McPherson’s goal was to figure out the motives of the Union and Confederate sides of the war and why they truly fought in this war. The qualities of duty and honor were very powerful motivating forces for both sides of the war (McPherson, 5). He says that these ideas are both “powerful motivating sources” (McPherson, 5). Duty and honor are key aspects of a soldier’s mindset (even today) because they must be loyal to their country and do their duty. Throughout the book it seems as if the Confederates are fighting more for honor and the Union is fighting more for duty. Confederates are fighting for what they already have, which is slavery. As well as defends their morals and land. The Union feels as if it is their duty to unify the states again.…

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