Military life during civil war

Not only did soldiers face the possibility of getting killed in battle, their daily lives were full of hardships. They had to deal with hunger, bad weather, poor clothing, and even boredom between battles. They had drills in the morning and afternoon where they practiced for battle. Each soldier had to know his place in the unit so the army would fight as a group.

Military life during civil war

Indeed, life in the army camps of the Civil War was fraught with boredom, mischief, fear, disease, and death. Army regulations called for the camps to be laid out in a fixed grid pattern, with officers' quarters at the front end of each street and enlisted men's quarters aligned to the rear.

It’s All Perspective: Military Life Now Vs. During the Civil War | DoDLive

The camp was set up roughly along the lines the unit would draw up in a line of battle and each company displayed its colors on the outside of its tents. Regulations also defined where the mess tents, medical cabins, and baggage trains should be located. Often, however, lack of time or a particularly hilly or narrow terrain made it impossible to meet army regulations.

The campgrounds themselves were often abysmal, especially in the South where wet weather produced thick mud for extended periods in the spring and summer; in the winter and fall, the mud turned to dust.

In summer, troops slept in canvas tents. At the beginning of the war, both sides used the Sibley tent, named for its inventor, Henry H. Sibley, who later became a Confederate brigadier general. A large cone of canvas, 18 feet in diameter, 12 feet tall, and supported by a center pole, the tent had a circular opening at the top for ventilation, and a cone-shaped stove for heat.

Although designed to fit a dozen men comfortably, army regulations assigned about 20 men to each tent, leading to cramped, uncomfortable quarters. When ventilation flaps were closed on cold or rainy days, the air inside the tent became fetid with the odors of men who had scarce access to clean water in which to bathe.

As the war dragged on, the Sibley was replaced with smaller tents. The Federal armies favored the wedge tent, a six-foot length of canvas draped over a horizontal ridgepole and staked to the ground at the sides with flaps that closed.

When canvas became scarce in the South, many Confederates were forced to rig open-air beds by heaping straw or leaves between two logs.

In autumn and winter, those units that were able to find wood built crude huts, laying split logs on the earth floor and fashioning bunks with mattresses of pine needles.

When not in battle, which was at least three quarters of the time, the average soldier's day began at 5 A. After the first sergeant took the roll call, the men ate breakfast then prepared for their first of as many as five drill sessions during the day. Here the men would learn how to shoot their weapons and perform various maneuvers.

Drill sessions lasted approximately two hours each and, for most men, were exceptional exercises in tedium. One soldier described his days in the army like this: Then drill, then drill again.

Then drill, drill, a little more drill. Then drill, and lastly drill.

Kids History: Life as a Soldier During the Civil War

Finding clean water was a constant goal: At the outset of the war, the soldiers on both sides were relatively well-fed: Coffee, salt, vinegar, and sugar were provided as well. Supplies became limited when armies were moving fast and supply trains could not reach them in the field.

When in the field, soldiers saw little beef and few vegetables; they subsisted for the most part on salt pork, dried beans, corn bread, and hardtack-a flour-and-water biscuit often infested with maggots and weevils after storage.

Outbreaks of scurvy were common due to a frequent lack of fresh fruits and vegetables. By far, the most important staple in the minds of the soldiers was coffee. Men pounded the beans between rocks or crushed them with the butts of their rifles to obtain grounds with which to brew the strong drink.

Although most Federals were well-supplied with coffee, the Confederates were often forced to make do with substitutes made from peanuts, potatoes, peas, and chicory. Most armies were forced at some point to live off the land.The life of a soldier during the civil war wasn't easy.

Not only did soldiers face the possibility of getting killed in battle, their daily lives were full of hardships. They had to deal with hunger, bad weather, poor clothing, and even boredom between battles.

Soldiers were woken at dawn to begin. for most of time, all it was were drills and setting up camps, 3/4 of time was spent doing those things, most troops tried to find ways for enjoyment by means of . The Civil War had a profound effect on the life of civilians living in the areas of conflict, as well as those who had to scrape out a living while family members were at war.

Indeed, life in the army camps of the Civil War was fraught with boredom, mischief, fear, disease, and death. Army regulations called for the camps to be laid out in a fixed grid pattern, with officers' quarters at the front end of each street and enlisted men's quarters aligned to the rear.

Family life in Virginia and across the South suffered devastating effects during the American Civil War (–). Few households, whether slave or free, or located in the Tidewater, Piedmont, or mountainous Southwest, could remain insulated from a war fought on their lands and in their towns.

In his book, Army Life: A Private’s Reminiscences of the Civil War, Theodore Gerrish recalls a time spent too long in camp and writes, “One of the most disastrous features of the gloomy situation was the terrible sickness of the soldiers men were unused to the climate, the exposure, and the food, so that the whole experience was in direct.

Military life during civil war
Kids History: Daily Life During the Civil War