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 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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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!
Most of a Confederate soldier's time was spent marching from one place to another and fighting or practicing to fight. In their free time, soldiers wrote letters to their loved ones, played games like checkers, whittled wood, made music, and prayed.
Being a Confederate soldier was not easy, and Confederate soldiers faced many hardships. For starters, Confederate soldiers only got paid $11 a month, and by the end of the war, many soldiers were not getting paid at all. Talk about a rip-off!
Food was also a problem. Soldiers survived off of dry biscuits called hardtack, coffee, salt pork, cornmeal, and fruits and vegetables they collected as they marched. By the end of the war, many soldiers were starving.
If you could survive the lack of money and food, you still might end up captured or dead. During the Civil War, soldiers who survived a battle could be captured by the Union and put in prison camps. Additionally, living outside with a lot of people meant getting sick was always a possibility. Throughout the war, around 95,000 Confederate soldiers died in battles, while around 200,000 died from disease or while in prison camps.
Confederate soldiers were soldiers who fought for the southern states during the Civil War. The Civil War was fought between the Northern states (Union) and the Southern states (Confederacy). Confederate soldiers supported the right of the Confederacy to secede from (leave) the United States. Confederate soldiers are best known for their gray uniforms and faced many hardships during the war.
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Confederate Soldier Facts: Lesson for Kids
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