Alcohol Use

Alcohol was a staple in a solder’s daily life. One Confederate soldier observed that “some of the Yankees were so drunk when they charged that they could hardly stand on their legs.”[1] One soldier private of the 23rd Massachusetts said “the members of Company F have won from me a lasting love. It is true many of them are very profane and the demand whiskey is not refused by many of them but with all their faults I love them because they are brave, generous, intelligent, and noble hearted.”[2] In addition, this liquid courage would influence the way they fought. There are numerous accounts of Southern Soldiers noting how the alcohol made the Union soldiers fearless in the battle field. This was also influenced by the fact that turning around for these men was not an option. There were sharp shooters ready to shoot their fellow soldiers who did not go into battle. [3]

[1] McPherson. For Cause and Comrades. Page 53

[2] McPherson. For Cause and Comrades. Page 88

[3] McPherson. For Cause and Comrades.