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"The Sweet Little Man."

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Prior to March, 1863, when Congress passed the first conscription or draft law, Union armies relied entirely on volunteers to fill their ranks. A sense of patriotism and peer pressure caused many young men to join the army, but individuals could also avoid military duty. The author of this anonymous poem, written sometime after the battle of Bull Run, Virginia, in July 1861, berates those who won't answer the call to arms and choose to stay at home with the women.


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