The Confederate Soldier was as varied as the Continental Soldier. Some old, some not. Some may have had some money, some did not. Some had slaves, some did not. Some started out dressed to the nines, some were rag tag but it was the best they had. In researching my own ancestors, it’s gotten to be even a larger mystery to me. I believe one, in the 32nd Al., who was the son of a Full Blood Cherokee, may have had some revengeful thoughts on the United States Government as a whole. The one from Columbia County, Florida? I have no clue what his reason was to end up in the 8th Fl Inf. They had a farm and ran cattle. They were doing ok, but not rich. Four brothers enlisted, only one came home alive.
The one in the 53rd Al? I need to find more info on him. I do not know his reasons either. Must have been some because they sure paid a big price. My Georgia bunch were, for the most part in the 15th Ga and I think were with Benning. They were the sons of those who fought in the War of 1812. Kind of difficult to imagine they’d go against the very government their father fought to preserve but they did. There had to be a very good reason. At least one they could live with because they were well aware of the price paid in their Father and Grandfather’s wars.
Unless they left some written word, we can only try so see things the way they might have seen them. There was no “one size fits all” in that war. It just does not make sense.
What we can tell from history, that any time one Government gets so large it is not serving the people but itself, it’s ready for a fall. I’m truly understanding that point right now. When GW the 1st and the gang went off to fight to relieve England of us, it was because England was getting very greedy. The government was like a clawing monster and the people had had enough. There have been a few times after the government got a bit overbearing. People will do a lot to keep from being stomped on. I think, that’s kind of what some were thinking in 1861.