With Ballot and Bayonet

The Political Socialization of American Civil War Soldiers

Title Details

Pages: 320

Illustrations: 7 b&w photos

Trim size: 6.120in x 9.250in



Pub Date: 05/15/2016

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5036-3

List Price: $26.95

With Ballot and Bayonet

The Political Socialization of American Civil War Soldiers

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  • Description
  • Reviews

In this groundbreaking study of what motivated soldiers to enlist and fight in this nation's most bloody conflict, Joseph Allan Frank argues that politics was central to the development of the armies of the North and South: motivating soldiers, molding the organization, defining the qualifications of officers, shaping fighting styles, and framing the nature of relations between the army and society.

Frank describes how political considerations motivated the soldiers and inspired the loyalty of the officers and men, assuring military cohesion. He reveals that these stalwart citizen soldiers remarkably remained true to the cause even as esprit de corps and small group bonding diminished, as new recruits replaced old comrades, and as old regiments were consolidated into new ones. His book relies on the letters and diaries of more than a thousand soldiers, with the author using social science categories for identifying politically aware soldiers and then defining and classifying the levels of political socialization.

Frank has extensively researched soldiers and letters and his book is enlightening in many ways. . . . One finishes the book with a deeper understanding of how thoroughly the armies of North and South were steeped in political ideology.

—American Historical Review

A solid and wide-ranging contribution to a developing field of study.

—Times Literary Supplement

A well-researched and serious work of history. Employing his expertise in statistics and political science to analyze 1,013 letters and diaries, Frank asks a relatively simple question: What motivated Civil War soldiers to fight?

—Journal of American History

A major contribution to a small but steadily growing body of work on Civil War soldiers . . . Frank has a particularly good sense of the internal dynamics of the war effort over time, and he is very concerned with dwelling on the concept of a people's war and a citizen army. Students of all these topics will greatly enjoy this book. His discussion of the South's debate over arming slaves is one of the best I have read. And no one can fault Frank for his grasp of political theory and the scholarship surrounding it (he is a political science professor), or for his wide understanding of other conflicts in the Western world that involved mass armies.

—Civil War History

About the Author/Editor

JOSEPH ALLEN FRANK was a professorof political science at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada until his retirement in 1999. He is now am adjunct faculty member teaching Civil War history in the department of history, political science, and law at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also the coauthor of Seeing the Elephant: Raw Recruits at the Battle of Shiloh.