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Confederate Soldier Facts: Lesson for Kids

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

The sound of cannon fire fills the air, and the scent of gunpowder hangs in the breeze. The life of a Confederate soldier during the Civil War was filled with experiences like this, and many more. In this lesson, you will learn all about the lives of Confederate soldiers. Updated: 02/29/2020

Confederate Soldiers

The horn sounds. You grab your gun as you join the mass of gray uniforms marching toward the battlefield. Suddenly, you see the cannons firing in the distance as you charge toward the Union soldiers. And just like that, you wake up from your dream.

Although this was only a dream for you, for many Americans, it was reality. The Civil War was fought in the United States between the Northern states (the Union) and the Southern states (the Confederacy). During four years, many soldiers died fighting over slavery, money, and the right for states to make their own laws.

Confederate soldiers were soldiers that fought for the Southern states. They supported the right of the Southern states to secede from, or leave, the United States and form their own country. Confederate soldiers were nicknamed ''rebels'' because the Southern states rebelled from the United States.

Most confederate soldiers were young white men from one of the states in the Confederacy. Native Americans, African Americans, other people from the Northern states, and some Chinese Americans also became Confederate soldiers. At first, only those people who volunteered were soldiers; however, by the end of the war, the Confederacy drafted, or required, people to become soldiers.

Would you have volunteered?

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  • 0:04 Confederate Soldiers
  • 1:14 Wartime Fashion
  • 2:06 Hardships Faced
  • 2:58 Lesson Summary
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Wartime Fashion

Confederate soldiers are best known for their gray uniforms. A soldier's uniform was made of a gray wool coat, hat, pants, and a white shirt. Wool is a very hot material, so running around outside in the heat was like wearing your winter coat on a 100-degree day. Many Confederate soldiers only got their uniforms after another soldier died. And you thought those hand-me-downs from your older siblings were bad!

Confederate soldiers carried a lot with them. Each soldier had a gun along with an ammunition box on his belt. On his back, he would carry a sack with a blanket, canteen, cup, and small pan. Sounds like the only thing they didn't pack was the kitchen sink!

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