The Civil War forced many young boys out of childhood and into adulthood. Most of these young boys were not prepared for war, and Henry Fleming was one of these boys. Henry Fleming’s life in New York was routine. He had his normal share of friends and lived on a farm. When Henry got up in the mornings, he always knew exactly what the day had in store for him. This simple and boring life drove Henry to enlist.
Henry wanted some excitement and to be seen by everyone as a hero. He wanted to be a man. However, his mother was strictly against his joining the Union Army. She thought that the Army was for rough and uncivilized heathens. His mother’s greatest fear was that these heathens would influence Henry to start drinking and swearing. Despite his mother’s concerns, Henry enlisted in the Army.
Being in the Army wasn’t enough, Henry was anxious to go to battle. All along the way to his station he and his fellow recruits were treated kindly. Old men patted them on their backs and young boys admired them when they stopped for rest. This warm feeling faded when they reached the camp. Here life was boring for Henry. The only thing his company did was drill day in and day out. All of the experienced soldiers told war stories every night by the campfire. Henry could only listen because he was still ‘wet behind the ears’. He felt left out and often sat alone wondering about battle. War was like an illusion to him. He couldn’t imagine people slaughtering each other. After hearing the tales of battle, Henry began to be intimidated by fear. He often thought about if he would run or not when he reached battle. Finally, after many months of camp life, he found out.
The Civil War was the most convulsive and significant war in American history. After the Constitution was adopted by all of the States in 1789, uniting the States into one nation, differences between the States had been worked out through compromises. By 1861 these differences between the Northern States, which included the Western States, and the Southern States had become so great that ...