The Civil War Soldier Returns To A Life That No Longer Exists
After the war hundreds of thousands of soldiers traveled by train, horse and foot. Southern soldiers often had the hardest time getting back to their loved ones. Upon returning home, some soldiers might have found that the life they had left behind was gone.
James S. Dupray served honorably with the 12th Iowa Volunteer Regiment, he returned home to “find neither wife or children to greet me.”
But that was not the truly stunning news for his “children were scattered one in one place and one another” and his “Dear wife in her grave.”
The loss was almost more than James could bare, “I had nothing to live for and I wanted to lie down in the grave by her side…”
Still for his children he soldiered on, selling all the property he had left (totaling $600) and putting it all into an investment property.” When home, one of the more difficult adjustments involved dealing with those who did not “do their duty” and fight for the Union. Dupray noted how those “loyal men [who] enlisted & gave in defense of their country, leaving the traitors at home to rule matters there.”
Larry M. Logue’s To Appomattox and Beyond : the Civil War Soldier in War and Peace (Chicago : I.R. Dee, c1996.)