The soldiers who were fighting in the Union ranks were following orders. I do not believe they had any desire to lose. Soldiers follow orders. That’s required for the job. I took the quote to mean the Southern soldier was not trying to preserve the government but to aid in forming a new one. I thought I explained that but must not have done it very well.
I did not think I indicated the Union soldier or even Sheridan were doing anything they believed to be wrong. They believed in the government they lived under. I said they followed orders, but I did not say they did not believe in the rightness of their governments position. They were trying to preserve the Union and the Union entailed a lot of land. Officers who did not believe in the rightness of their position pretty much went South. I’m not at all saying anyone held a bayonet to anyone’s back. It was more about the individual, unrecognized soldier than the leadership. Unless they were ‘drafted’ , they did what our soldiers do now. What ever the nation requires of them.
On the Rosecrans post. He was speaking to those in a Union area. Yes, they wanted to preserve the government and all it entailed. Had he said that in a town in the South, do you think he would have gotten the response he did in Ohio?
When I read those words in the Sullivan Ballou quote, it struck me that they could apply to the Southern soldier. The problem was/is, the government each of them believed in was not the same entity. It doesn’t take anything away from either individual soldier or officer because they were willing to go the distance for the ‘side’ they believed in.
Southern soldiers were surely not fighting to preserve the government. They were fighting for the right to establish a new government. Later, since most of the destruction occurred in the South, they may have tossed in a dose of anger to fuel them after most of their supplies were gone.
If an officer tells a company to move from point A to point B, does anyone think they are holding a bayonet to the back of the soldiers following those directions? I doubt it and it is not what I meant. I am saying that what ever happened, what ever battle they may have fought they did because they were ordered to fight. I am not saying they did not want to participate in that fight.