- Short Answers


Question by  TamanduaGirl (77)

What were the average confederate enlistment ages?

I am studying the Civil War and would like to know more about the soldiers.


Answer by  jeyR (264)

I saw this graph online that showed that the highest number of recruits were 18 years old. This was also the official entry age for confederate enlistment. The maximum allowed age was 45 years and there were quite a few in this age band also.


Answer by  boonjax (205)

The situation back then was so different. There was a vast difference between what was official and what was reality. There were children as young as 8 enlisted to fight! Some were enlisted as drummers but involved in the fighting too. Quite an unfortunate situation.

Reply by rejoice (216):
I can't imagine 10 year olds in a war. This was criminal practice!  add a comment

Answer by  SouthernBelle (66)

At the beginning of the war they did, as Ferfer said, try to not take anyone younger than 14 years old. Unfortunately in the later days of the war just about anyone who wanted to join could and did. There are cases of boys as young as 7 and 8.


Answer by  theblip (295)

One shocking revelation is that even 14 year olds who were forced to enter and then could not cope or became sick, had to leave on their own and were labeled deserters! My heart stopped for a moment when I read this! How cruel!!


Answer by  BigMomma2 (132)

There is an American Civil War Data Base available on the internet which graphs enlistment ages. Unfortunately many researchers disagree on the age. Some claim that the age of enlistment was 18 years old and that might be quite true but some younger who looked 18 slipped in and fought.

Reply by BonChance (93):
They didn't have to slip in. They took 14 year old for drummer boys but they fought as well as drummed  add a comment

Answer by  ferfer72 (2623)

It depends on what you count as a soldier. It was 14, but you have to remember that 8-year-olds were used as drummer boys. Boys were allowed to work as soldiers as young as 11.

Reply by HemmedIn3 (30):
Sadly, I think it is true that such young boys fought and died. My dad lied about his age when he was 15 in order to join the Army and got away with it. With our technology now it wouldn't happen but until technology how could they verify information?  add a comment
You have 50 words left!