Monday, March 2, 2015

Children in the Civil War

By Marcie Schwartz

Children were an active, enthusiastic, and critical part of Civil War society. They comprised a much bigger portion of the US population in 1860 than in the 21st century, with persons under age 19 making up nearly half of the population (compared to less than 25% today). Children played an important role on the home front supporting the war effort, and many soldiers on both sides invoked the future of their children as to why the war should be fought and won at any cost. A number of children took up arms with their elders and served as enlisted soldiers or regimental musicians. While we don't know how many children enlisted during the Civil War, we do know that around 48 soldiers who were under the age of 18 won the Congressional Medal of Honor for their bravery and service.



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