Typical camps were hard, most had churches, bands, and theaters to lift soldier spirits. The worst part of camps was physical discomfort, as most got exhausted from exercise. Mailmen came and soldiers received letters, soldiers eyes would light up if they received mail. A third of southern soldiers could neither read nor write. The chances of soldiers dying in battle was only 1 in 65, but about 1 in 13 on the camp would die of disease, over a four times more likely chance you would die from disease then being shot.
In the south African Americans saw limited military action. Most were used on their plantations or as cooks and other things along that line. Until 1865, black soldiers were payed only $10, which was $3 less than the white soldier. African American soldiers were targeted more than whites by the south, leaving more black fatalities. About 200,000 African-Americans enlisted in the Union Army and 30,000 in the Navy. Another quarter of a million black men and women worked for that army as nurses, cooks, pilots, fortification builders, while many more served as guides, spies, and scouts. Almost all commanders were white until 1865, and most weren't trusted to carry guns into war
Now the main question is, are we soldiers, or are we laborers? We are fully armed, and equipped, have done all the various duties pertaining to a soldier’s life, have conducted ourselves to the complete satisfaction of general officers, who were, if anything, prejudiced against us.... Now your excellency, we have done a soldier’s duty. Why can’t we have soldier’s pay