Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
personal narratives, military life, soldiers, officers, enlisted, Civil War
While most Civil War history deals with a glorified and romanticized version of a soldier’s experience of war, the time a soldier spent combating the idleness of camp proved to be a more consuming battle. Though lacking in grandeur, how a soldier ‘killed time’ provides an important yet often overlooked insight into the camaraderie and culture of Civil War soldiers. Historians that have looked into camp amusements and vices tend not to go beyond the soldiers psychological need to mentally manage the war. This thesis takes their theory a step further. Examining soldiers’ records of their experiences in camp activities in date order and by season reveals distinct patterns of criticism, disassociation, indifference, and participation. Furthermore, analyzing their observations based on rank shows the antagonistic relationship between officers and soldiers based on discipline and behavior.
Norton, Madeline, "Killing Time: An Analysis of Civil War Soldiers' Discussion of Free Time in Camp" (2014). Honors Theses. 569.