Looking at the memoirs of Samuel Carbaugh, it can be argued that he was an educated peasant farmer looking for a decent life for his family and most importantly his parents. That is why he sought to join the 41st Pennsylvania army to create a better future for his parents. Seeing this, Carbaugh is a family-oriented man and is very protective and firm about the welfare of his family. In the letter, it was mentioned how he volunteered in the infantry that was sparked by nationalistic fervor to create a better situation for the confederate.
With that adage in mind, Samuel joined the army and communicated with his siblings and parents using letters. On the other hand, his family, mainly his parents were local workers and farmers in a particular field own by the Tyson’s. In the letter it can be seen that the Carbaugh family had been having a hard time to reach a settlement between the estate owners. This has been the main arguments revolving on some of Samuel’s letters.
After the settlement between Samuel’s parents and the landlord concerning the tilling of the land, there has been a response from Samuel indicating his willingness to buy her parents sheep or cattle once he receives his pay and the debts are settled. The story of Samuel Carbaugh is poignant in a sense that he had made sacrifices for his family and country but somehow he was not given what was due. In his effort to fight and protect what he believes in, he lost his capability to engage in work.
Seeing such case, he was not compensated according to the arrangement made by the army. In addition to this, he was discharged from the unit and was sent home to die. All his dreams to uplift his family’s status all disappeared turned into dust. His passion for the country was unappreciated and given not enough credit by people. Yet all he did was perform his duties as a soldier, brother and son to his mother and father. Seeing these, the letters of Samuel showcase the life of ordinary soldiers in the battlefield.
These memoirs showcase how difficult it is for a real soldier to live a life. One classic example was the experience of Samuel Carbaugh. He was an educated peasant and saw the opportunity of joining the army as an opportunity to better his life. In addition to the principles behind the fighting, his ideologies are pegged towards nationalism and the love & protection of his loved ones. Another realization on the life of Samuel Carbaugh is the relevant situation that ordinary soldiers face in the battlefield.
We see many important figures in history particularly in wars and battlefields but somehow we fail to recognize the roles these small figures play in the interplay of strategy and wits of generals. These soldiers are also important parties in the battlefield because they are the ones who risked their life and poured sweat towards the accomplishment of their unitary goal – protection of territory and nationalistic sentiments. Lastly, the memoirs of Samuel Carbaugh exhibit how the passion of one’s soldier is overlapped by the overall direction of the battle which is winning or losing.
In the letters, we see that Samuel had other motives for joining the army. Like other soldiers each one has their own aspirations and reasons for joining however these things are ruled out and cancelled by the overall goals and objectives of the army. Seeing this, it can be argued that an ordinary soldiers life remains to be a mystery unless such memoirs come out to give out an alternative explanation of how people took such incident and their unique stories to tell.