Earlier this year I commented on another blog that 40% of Civil War soldiers were 18 or younger and 75% were 21 and under. These are numbers that stuck with me from a lecture sometime last century. Politely challenged, I was unable to find *any* backup for my figures.
This surprised me given the massive Official Records and census data readily available and the web on all topics Civil War.
Browsing randomly (as I tend to) through the booklet "Civil War Union Monuments" published in 1978 by the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, I found this page:
Some quick math reveals that 41% of Union soldiers were 18 or under and 78% were 21 and younger. Only 2 in 9 were 22 and older..
Naturally, one source does not a solid conclusion make.
However, my primary thesis is that movies, battle reenactments and living history has instilled in us the idea that Civil War soldiers were old, well-fed and graying.
These numbers tell us that 3 in 4 weren't even eligible to vote.