“We are in the beginning of the greatest war that has ever been waged on this continent.” The youths and middle-aged men who became Johnny Rebs and BillyYanks did so because they had been caught up in the heated atmosphere and angry words of the day, or else they had been emotionally moved . . . by swaying oratory, inspiring music, the sight of a flag waving defiantly at some moment. They were going off to war in enthusiastic expectation – in quest of excitement amd accomplishment – never slowed down by any thoughts that war contains hardships and sufferings, and that soldiers often die.
– James I. Robertson, Jr., Soldiers Blue and Gray: p. 18.