Some children at home had relatives like either uncle, brother, or father who were off fighting and had to take responsiblity of work of adults. They also lived in fear that there father or brother may never return.
Even though men were supposed to go in the army at age 18 both sides needed soliders and were willing to look the other way when it comes to age. They were looking for boys the age of 13 and 17. Many of these boys were killed or wounded.
When the Civil War started the lives of women took a dramatic turn. On the homeside women for both sides had to manage the household while there husbands and sons went on the battlefield. In the battlefield for women, they helped take care of soliders, provide health care, and work as spies.
Women also helped care for soliders when they were camped or injured. They sewed uniforms, provided blankets, mended shoes, washed clothes, and cooked for the soliders. Although women were not allowed to fight in battle, many were able to get in battle by disgusing them selves as men. They would cut there hair short and wear bulky clothes. If a women was discoverd they would be sent home without punishment.
The soliders that fought were usually the age of 13 to 25 the minimum age is 18 but both sides needed soliders of all ages. At the end of the war there were around soliders as young as 15. The soliders were often hungery . They uaslly ate hard crakers made from flour, water, and salt called hardstack. They would hunt fruits, berries, and nuts whenever they could. At the end of the war they would be on the void of starvation.
Johnny Clem is the most famous boy solider. He first tried to join when he was 9 but was rejected because of his age and size. But he didn't give up. He followed along with the 22nd Michigan regiment until they adopted him as their drummer. He join the Union Army two years later at the age of 13. He became famous when he shot a Confederate officer and escaped during a battle at Chickamauga, GA.