life of a soldier


Soldier Studies is honored to present a series of articles written by some of the leading historians and authors on the American Civil War. Scholars for several decades now have begun to focus on the average Civil War Soldier, including such topics as: motivations for fighting, political awareness, courage on the battlefield, and much more. This series intends to expand on those and other themes. If you are an author or historian and would like to contribute please see the bottom of this page.
 - Chris Wehner, Curator & Founder, SoldierStudies.org.

Latest Article

Spring 2011 "You should know that I died for liberty and truth," Why Wisconsin volunteers fought in the Civil War.
BY Tom Rowland


Tom Rowland is Senior Lecturer of History at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. He has written: In the Shadow of Grant and Sherman: George B. McClellan & Civil War History (1999); and recently co-authored the book: Decade of Despair: Winnebago County and the Great Depression, 1929-1939 (2009). He is presently completing an interpretive biography of President Franklin Pierce in a presidential series published by NOVA.


Article 1
Fall 2008
The Blue and the Gray in Black and White: Assessing the Scholarship on Civil War Soldiers
BY Aaron Sheehan-Dean


Aaron Sheehan-Dean is an associate professor of history at the University of North Florida. He is the author of Why Confederates Fought: Family and Nation in Civil War Virginia and the Concise Historical Atlas of the U.S. Civil War and the editor of The View From the Ground: Experiences of Civil War Soldiers and Struggle for a Vast Future: The American Civil War.

Article 2
Fall 2008
How Men Feel in Battle
BY S.H.M. Byers

S.H.M. Byers was a member of the 5th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment and wrote several articles about his experiences after the war. Byers' insights and descriptions of combat are visceral and poignant, and honest and straightforward. This selection is perhaps one of the best contributions from a soldier of the great conflict concerning what soldiers felt, didn't feel, and how they survived the mental and physical horrors of battle.

Article 3
Winter 2009
“With a Trembling Hand and an Aching Heart"
Letters of Notification of Death and Condolence

BY Mark Dunkelman


Mark H. Dunkelman is the author of Brothers One and All: Esprit de Corps in a Civil War Regiment and other books on the 154th New York. An artist, writer, and musician as well, he lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Article 4
Spring 2009
Ten Questions with Lance J. Herdegen
BY Chris Wehner

Lance Herdegen is the former director of the Institute of Civil War Studies at Carroll University, Lance Herdegen was an award winning journalist. He is currently a historical consultant for the Civil War Museum of the Upper Middle West. He is the author of numerous articles and books, among them, Four Years with the Iron Brigade: The Civil War Journal of William Ray and most recently Those Damned Black Hats: The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign. He took time from his busy schedule to e-chat about his latest book, Those Damned Blackhats! The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign, published by Savas Beatie, LLC. - Chris Wehner is author of 11th Wisconsin in the Civil War: A Regimental History, published by McFarland & Co. and he teaches classes online at the (i) History Network.
Article 5
Spring 2009
Studying Civil War Soldiers:  The State of the Art and Science
BY Michael Barton


Barton is currently Professor of American Studies and Social Science at Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg. He is the author of Goodmen: The Character of Civil War Soldiers and co-editor, with Prof. Larry M. Logue, of The Civil War Soldier and The Civil War Veteran.
Article 6
Summer 2009
Can Soldiers Tell Us Anything about Lincoln?
BY Chandra M. Manning


Manning is a Georgetown University Assistant Professor of History, Chandra Manning received the 2008 Lincoln Prize Honorable Mention and a $10,000 prize for her book What this Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War.




UPCOMING CONTRIBUTORS:
2011
Eric J. Wittenberg - He is an authority on Civil War cavalry operations. A native of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Mr. Wittenberg was educated at Dickinson College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is the author of fourteen published books on the Civil War, and his fifteenth book is due to be published in June 2009. His first book, _Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions_, won the Batchelder-Coddington Literary Award as the best new book interpreting the Battle of Gettysburg of 1998. He is also the author of more than two dozen articles published in national Civil War magazines. He is a frequent speaker and tour guide. Mr. Wittenberg is a partner in a law firm, and serves as the vice president of the Buffington Island Battlefield Preservation Foundation. He, his wife Susan, and their two golden retrievers live in Columbus, Ohio.

Lance Herdegen - As the former director of the Institute of Civil War Studies at Carroll University, Lance Herdegen was an award winning journalist. He is currently a historical consultant for the Civil War Museum of the Upper Middle West. He is the author of numerous articles and books, among them, Four Years with the Iron Brigade: The Civil War Journal of William Ray and most recently Those Damned Black Hats: The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign.





ATTENTION! If you are an accomplished historian and/or author on the American Civil War, please contact us if interested in becoming a contributor to this series.

www.soldierstudies.org