I sent this to the Dispatch with no one able to answer the question.
We have been hearing a lot, lately, about how our American Warriors have been dealing with the sights, sounds and smells of war. Many, if not most, come back with some symptoms of "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder".
Disorder? How is ones reaction to war a disorder? But, more importantly, how did Johnny Reb fair after he returned home after four years of war. Times were different in those days. Life was cheap. It was nothing to string up an outlaw if he had killed someone. No one thought much of it, other than he got what he deserved. Killing was an integral part of survival, as in the killing of wildlife for meat, the killing of livestock for meat.
Books have been written of the times of how armies marched and maneuvered, how the civilians faired, the political consequences that followed certain votes and actions, etc. Has anyone written about the psychological costs, or the lack thereof, on Johnny Reb? Has anyone studied how the experience of war – seeing his childhood friend die in horrible ways, seeing his family blown away by canister, coming back by weeks or months later to a battlefield and seeing/smelling the carcasses of their family and friends as they have laid there to rot away… How did Johnny Reb cope? Was he a basket case? Was he OK?
I am curious to know if our American forbears were of a far tougher composition and were impervious to the results of death, and that today’s Americans are in truth a bunch of wussys, so use to the government teat, so use to the government nanny. Or not.
Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.