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A Civil War Soldier: Joseph J. Hoyle's Motivation to Fight

A common sentiment for supporting the Confederate cause during the Civil War included supporting slavery and states’ rights. Such national motivations indeed played a part in the Confederate soldier and the region’s decision to withdraw from the Union. However, many soldiers found personal motivations for why they fought to be far more worthy of their efforts. Lieutenant Joseph J. Hoyle, of the 55th Regiment of North Carolina, depicted a soldier with these personal motivations. His perseverance and courage to fight for nearly three years are largely drawn from the letters he wrote to his wife during the war. Through the examination of these primary sources Hoyle's personal motivations to fight can be deduced. Hoyle fought for God, his home, and his comrades. Many secondary sources were also reviewed. These secondary sources contain historians James McPherson, George Rable, and Gabor Boritt analysis of soldiers' motivations during the Civil War.


Woodard, Paige