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Drummer Boys of the American Civil War: Union Influences that Made Children Go to War

Wilkinson, John

Why a child would join the army and go to war as a drummer is something of a puzzle. However, innumerable teens and pre-teens did leave their innocence behind to risk their lives for both the Union and the Confederate Armies. We have many books solely dedicated to these young men: they are also often discussed in general books concerning the American Civil War. Yet the factors that combined to influence the boys’ decisions to join have not been fully examined. In fact, at the time of this writing over 60,000 books on the war have been published (more than the amount of days that have passed since shots were fired upon Fort Sumpter on April 12, 1861) and this issue is largely untouched. The question of why a boy went to war needs to answered. It will deepen our understanding of people’s psyche concerning war in the 1860s and the outside forces that shaped their mindset.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
History
Thesis Advisors
Howell, Martha C.
Degree
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 30, 2014
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