Or Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War

In For Cause and Comrades, James McPherson examines the various reasons for which men, Union and Confederate, fought during the Civil War. Drawing on the letters and diaries of thousands of soldiers, he analyzes their motivations for enlisting in the army, staying in the army, and facing danger during combat. He argues that a?for Civil War soldiers the group cohesion and peer pressure that were powerful factors in combat motivation were not unrelated to the complex mixture of patriotism, ideology, concepts of duty, honor, manhood, and community or peer pressure that prompted them to enlist in the first placea? (13).

In a 4 A? to 5-page, double-spaced essay, examine the reasons why men on both sides of the conflict fought during the Civil War. In your analysis, be sure to consider enlistment motivation (why they joined the army), sustaining motivation (why they stayed in the army for so long), and combat motivation (why/how they nerved themselves to face danger in battle). Did motivating factors change over time, or did they remain constant?

NOTE: Remember, you cannot possibly discuss everything in a short essay, so your job will be to make a case for what you think the strongest motivating factors were for these three themes. Be sure to provide specific examples and quotes from From Cause and Comrades to support your argument.

Guidelines for Writing and Submission

1. Before beginning, you MUST review the advice given in the Writing Guidelines. Also, please use an appropriate font style and size (Garamond or Times New Roman, 12pt), with 1 to 1 A? inch margins).

2. Make sure you have a clear thesis and argument. The goal of this paper is to write an analytical essay, not description. Use specific examples and quotes from For Cause and Comrades to support your argument. There is no need to utilize for outside sources.

3. In presenting evidence to support your argument, incorporate quotes into your own sentences; do not use block quotes or have quotes stand alone as separate sentences. Be sure to use appropriate citations in parenthetical page references at the end of a sentence (McPherson, 56).

4. Your essayas analysis and structure should to be presented in a clear, concise manner. Spend time editing to ensure that your reader can understand your argument and supporting points. Remember that each paragraph should have a topic sentence.

5. Proofread! There is no excuse for typographical errors and misspellings, let alone major structural issues, in a college-level essay. In particular, review the list of common mistakes contained in the Writing Guidelines before submission. [Ex.: Remember, this work is an historical monograph, NOT a novel.]

6. You may discuss outlines and drafts with me during office hours or through email. I will provide general comments on drafts emailed any time up to 4:00pm on Monday April 29. Please include your last name in electronic files (ex. Smithmcphersonessay.doc).