Socialization Process of Civil War Soldiers
Becoming a hardened combat veteran was not the ideal image that new recruits had in mind when they joined the military. It was a long, slow and painful process that the Civil War soldiers went through from the time they enlisted to the time they were hardened combat veterans.
The journey that a new recruit takes is a long and transforming era of their life that can never be redone once that transformation has taken place. New recruits that joined for the Civil War had experienced a transformation in separation from the life of a civilian to the life of a soldier. Transformation started when recruits either volunteered for service or were forced into service. Northern recruits were raised around the industrial technology and saw the South's slave system as more of a disease than a cure to the overall economy. Recruitment was different in the Northern states than in the South.
Northern soldiers were merely volunteers that wanted to fight for their families, political beliefs and rights. "...those who do not fight for their rights should relinquish them..." Southern enlistment was different than Northern enlistment. Those in the South that did not volunteer to fight for their political beliefs were forced into the military. A Southern enrolling officer had the hard duty to go from town to town to gather new recruits. " To ride up to a mans door...in front of his family and tell him that he must be ready in 10 minutes to go with you, and see the very look of sadness and despair..." Those in the South that did volunteer often represented their investment. " Ambitious men who had gone South to seek their fortunes had a great deal to lose from the threatened destruction of slavery." Whatever...