With Ballot and Bayonet
The Political Socialization of American Civil War Soldiers

Joseph Allan Frank


"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

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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.

Page count: 320 pp.
Trim size: 6.125 x 9.25


List price: $26.95

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Joseph Allan Frank was a professor of political science at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada until his retirement in 1999. He is now an 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.