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Daily Life For Children in The Civil War. Overview. The Civil War was one of the only wars that children were involved in. They were involved in all aspects of the war, including the battlefield.

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Presentation Transcript
  • The Civil War was one of the only wars that children were involved in.
  • They were involved in all aspects of the war, including the battlefield.
  • William Black, the youngest wounded soldier, was 12 when both his left arm and left hand were shattered by an exploding shell.
  • Daily life changed because many of the children had to grow up quickly and take over the roles of their parents.
  • If their fathers died in battle, the children were very sad, but they knew their fathers had died for a good cause.
children and enlistment
Children and Enlistment
  • In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln announced that boys under the age of 18 could enlist only with their parents’ permission.
  • The next year he prohibited the enlistment of those under 18.
  • But recruiting officers turned a blind eye when underage enlistees tried to enlist, due to high casualties and the desperate need for soldiers.
jobs in the army
Jobs in The Army
  • Thousands participated as drummers, messengers, hospital orderlies, and even full-fledged soldiers!
  • It is recorded that 1,000,000 soldiers were under the age of 18!
  • They had many tasks, including carrying canteens, bandages, and stretchers.
  • Many young soldiers signed up as drummers, who relayed officers’ commands, signaling Reveille, roll call, company drill, and Taps.
reasons for enlisting
Reasons for Enlisting
  • There were a wide variety of reasons that children wanted to join the Army for.
  • These reasons included patriotism and the desire to escape the boring routines of farms.
  • Some Northerners were eager to completely end slavery.
the story of elisha stockwell
The Story of Elisha Stockwell

Elisha Stockwell of Alma, Wisconsin, was 15 years old when he enlisted. The following is a direct dialect of Elisha Stockwell. We heard there was going to be a war meeting at our little log schoolhouse. I went to the meeting when they called for volunteers, Harrison Maxon (21), Edgar Houghton (16), and myself wrote our names down. My father was there and objected to my going, so they scratched my name out, which humiliated me somewhat. My sister gave me a severe calling down… for exposing my ignorance, and called me a little snotty boy, which raised my anger. I told her “never mind, I’ll show you I’m not the little boy you think I am”. I told her I had to go down to town. She said “Hurry back, for dinner will soon be ready”. But I didn’t get back for 2 years.