For Cause and Comrades Essay Review

For Cause and Comrades Essay
For Cause and Comrades Essay

For Cause and Comrades Essay

“What role did religion play in the creating and continuing the passions of the Civil War?”.

For Cause and Comrades by James M. McPherson consists of mostly of soldiers’ diaries and letters home as to why the men were fighting the Civil War. The initial motivation the union and confederacy sustain throughout the story proves that personal honor is valued more than their lives.

The majority of Union soldiers, he concludes, earnestly fought for the Union cause, deprecating the sins of treason and rebellion and fearing the consequences if they allowed the “Slave Power” to destroy the government bequeathed to them by the Founders. Few enlisted primarily to defeat slavery, though in a separate chapter McPherson discusses how a majority of Union soldiers came to espouse emancipation, especially as an effective war measure and punishment for secession. Confederates similarly invoked the American Revolution, seeing themselves as fighting for independence and against subjugation. In addition to fighting for hearth and home, “most Southern volunteers believed they were fighting for liberty as well as slavery” (often citing both in the same breath), and many actively feared the effects of “Black Republicanism” loosed on their Herrenvolk democracy (20-22).

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