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The War for the Common SoldierHow Men Thought, Fought, and Survived in Civil War Armies$
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Peter S. Carmichael

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469643090

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469643090.001.0001

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Providence and Cheerfulness

Providence and Cheerfulness

(p.66) 2 Providence and Cheerfulness
The War for the Common Soldier
Gary W. Gallagher, T. Michael Parrish
University of North Carolina Press

Civil War soldiers learned that they could not afford to rely on God absolutely and unconditionally if they hoped to survive in the ranks. Yet the war did not undermine faith or lead people to stray from the idea that they had a direct and personal relationship with God. Letters full of certitude abound from both sides as a result, but even soldiers who wrote with blinding clarity could not always paper over the metaphysical confusion that drifted into their thinking.

Keywords:   religious beliefs, philosophy of pragmatism, providence, desertion, faith, Civil War soldiers, letter writing

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