The War for the Common Soldier
How Men Thought, Fought, and Survived in Civil War Armies
By Peter S. Carmichael
408 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 31 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4309-0
Published: December 2018
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-4310-6
Published: November 2018
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6403-3
Published: February 2021
Littlefield History of the Civil War Era
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Awards & distinctions
2018 NYMAS Civil War Book Award, New York Military Affairs Symposium
Digging deeply into his soldiers' writing, Carmichael resists the idea that there was "a common soldier" but looks into their own words to find common threads in soldiers' experiences and ways of understanding what was happening around them. In the end, he argues that a pragmatic philosophy of soldiering emerged, guiding members of the rank and file as they struggled to live with the contradictory elements of their violent and volatile world. Soldiering in the Civil War, as Carmichael argues, was never a state of being but a process of becoming.
About the Author
Peter S. Carmichael is the Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies, director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, and author of previous books, including The Last Generation.
For more information about Peter S. Carmichael, visit the Author Page.