Young and Old

March 13, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Several Union civil war soldiers marching in a field bearing guns and flags.Young and Old

Young and Old

I am amazed when I think of the civil war soldiers,  most specifically their ages.  Often they were very young.  Some statistics show (although there is some controversy) that there were more than 1,000,000 Federal soldiers eighteen years of age or younger.  About 200,000 Federal soldiers were sixteen or under and about 100,000 were fifteen or under.  But the most stunning statistic is that three hundred were thirteen or younger.  Ok,  maybe that's not the most stunning fact.  It is recorded that there were 25 Federal soldiers that were ten years of age or less!  Yes, you read that correctly.

Confederate statistics are much more vague but research shows they enlisted boys of all ages,  also.  It should be noted that the 'average' age for a civil war soldier was twenty-five.

Most of the youngest soldiers were buglers or drummers which placed them directly in the line of fire,  most of the time.  It was probably more dangerous for them than the typical soldier because the instruments served as communication devices and destroying the enemies communication would be a very strategic move.

I can not imagine boys of such young ages going into battle but indeed they did.


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