First assigned to Walker's division and then to the famous Texas Brigade of Longstreet's corps, the men of the Third Arkansas Infantry fought in nearly every major engagement in the Eastern Theater. While James M. McPherson, for instance, argues for the primacy of ideology as a motivating factor, he also concedes that primary group cohesion among companies, messmates, family members, and friends was just as important for Civil War soldiers as it is for their modern counterparts. Because so many of these soldiers were friends and kin when they joined their regiments, McPherson maintains, the bonds of family and community reinforced their commitments to the unit and to each other.\n"49 Personal tragedy became an instrument of national fidelity, and thus survivors rendered the senseless sensible.
The Homecircle: Kinship and Community in the Third Arkansas Infantry, Texas Brigade, 1861-1865 BY ANDREW SCOTT BLEDSOE I lost my brother on the bloody field of Sharpsburg though three years my junior he [h]as grown into manhood before his years—he was my constant companion from childhood—we were not blessed with a sister near our own age—so we were thrown entirely together. he had his faults. was wild and impet- uous—was ever ready to avenge the slightest insult to himself or his friends. [H]e was feared by his foes
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