Aka the War Between the States, you know, the Civil War. These days the motives of the footsoldiers in past wars are often conflated with the overarching theme of the conflict itself.
There are few conflicts with such obvious focus points as the Civil War and the issue of slavery. Over 3 million soldiers fought in that war. What are your educated guesses for what *really *motivated these men to take up arms? How much of a factor was slavery?
I’m finding it really hard to imagine that even a small fraction of Union soldiers went to battle confident that they fought the good fight to free the negro slaves. Similarly, I can’t imagine any Confederate soldiers eager to throw their lives away to maintain the southern status quo for slaveowners far wealthier than they. Particularly interested to hear what kind of percentages you might assign for the various motivations (I’ve no doubt some went to war simply for the loot, some went for bloodlust, but how many?).