View single post by kmacaulay
 Posted: Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 02:59 am
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Joined: Sun Sep 22nd, 2013
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Desertion then and now
Why desert? I will attempt to determine and explore the differences of deserters then and now? In Twains story he does his best to give the deserters of the civil war a voice. Now there is still war and there are still deserters, but since this one attempt there hasn’t been much of an attempt to give the deserters of today a voice.
The deserters of the civil war deserted more often just young men who thought war would be a great adventure they had no experience and were just put out into battle with little to no training. The men of the civil war seemed to desert more for the causes of poor food and condition ("Desertion in the civil war armies"). They also where having to fight their own brothers in some cases. During the civil war the men in the forces were unsure of what to do because the men there where fighting where men of the same decent. The only difference they may have is the fact as to whether or not they believed in the business of slavery. Another simple difference they may have is just the line that divides them the Mason-Dixon Line. The soldiers that were stationed closer to home where even more likely to desert due to getting bad news from home and even just the fear of death. One soldier stated “One half of the desertions from the Southern army is caused by the letters they receive” (Gorski). Now something most people don’t realize is that the north actually had more deserters than the south in the war. The north started out with 197,247 men in the beginning of the war and the south only started out with 103,400 (Gorski). In the confederation during the year 1862 conscription (The draft) was established. Many men were forced to join the campaign during this time, but also many looked for loopholes such as some loopholes allowed wealthy slave owners to be “overlooked” by the draft ("Desertion in the civil war armies"). In the Union conscription was started in the year 1863 ("Desertion in the civil war armies"), this of course led to more deserters because some people just joined the war to satisfy the requirements of the draft. Many others just simply deserted because they were tired of killing people they knew (Gorski).
Men who desert from the wars of today tend to have different reasons for deserting. Today men in wars face a whole new set of challenges wars of today are much more deadly than wars of the past with the advancement in military weapons. The amount of deserters has increased 80% since the beginning of the Iraq wars in 2003("Army desertion up 80% since start of Iraq war"). Many men of today have told themselves that it is morally wrong to kill a person which is why people of today don’t only desert more but claim they cannot kill another human being under the fact that it is against their religion. Many men coming back from one or two terms in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars decided they don’t want to go back because they feel as if the war is going nowhere so they choose to take up sanction in Canada, avoiding being prosecuted for deserting the army (Childress). Then the soldiers that are a part of the war feel as if when they gain any advantage and do something beat some group of rebels or something then they turn the gained land over to the government and it ends up back in the hands of the people they just took it from. They then feel as if they are only helping the rebels they are trying to fight (Childress).
The differences in the reasons for deserting from the army today and back in the civil war are quite extensive. The men in the army today tend to always be well prepared for battle and are almost always kept well fed as they can be. As of right now the draft is not in effect meaning everyone who is in the military no matter what branch volunteered to be there in the beginning. They may feel like they don’t want to be there anymore and think this particular war should be over with due to the fact we are still fighting an enemy that doesn’t even have a particular nation since we are still trying to fight terrorism. The men of the past deserted more because they knew the men they were fighting and they weren’t just another face in a crowd a lot of the time they knew these people because they had grown up with them, giving them more of a reason not to wanting to be in this fight at all. Now for the most part this has all been my own thoughts proven only by the facts that I have found. Given this I would like to hear some of your thoughts?

-Kyle Macaulay

Childress, Sarah. "The number of soldiers deserting the U.S. Army is rising. A defense lawyer discusses what the'yre saying about leaving their posts-and whether the'yre likely to find sanctuary in Canada.." People are very Disheartened. (2007): n. page. Web. 22 Sep. 2013. <>.
"Desertion in the civil war armies." Desertion. N.p., 01 Sep 2008. Web. 22 Sep 2013. <>.
"Desertion in the civil war armies." Union Army, Confederate Army. N.p., 10 Febuary 2002. Web. 22 Sep 2013. <("Desertion in the civil war armies")>.
Gorski, Dave. "Desertion Figures." The CWi discussion board. N.p., 13 Sep 2005. Web. 22 Sep. 2013. <>.
"Washington." Army desertion up 80% since start of iraq war. (2007): n. page. Web. 22 Sep. 2013. <

Last edited on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 02:46 pm by kmacaulay

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