Writing to Charles Hannaford of Cape Elizabeth, Pvt. George S. Dyer of Cape Elizabeth commented on the disillusionment of soldiers who had enlisted "for a great object, that being the restoration of the Union, as it was and, for the Constitution as our forefathers made it."
Dyer, who served in Co. E of the 17th Maine from August 1862 to August 1863, was 23 when he enlisted.
He continued that the "restoration of the Union is a thing now obsolete, that it never will be settled by fighting..."
He questioned whether the Union could be considered "restored" if the Northern forces "whip" the Southern ones. That, he said, would be more "subjugation."
He also comments on the Emancipation Proclamation, suggesting that was the real goal of the war.
He wrote, "If I had not been totally blind to these things before I enlisted I never would have signed my name nor have requested my friends too."
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