The results of a demographic profile of age, occupation, and prewar residence of western Pennsylvania soldiers—created from enlistment and muster rolls, and examined at enlistment, at the end of 1863, and after re-enlistment—when placed within the context of individual soldiers' letters and the social history of western Pennsylvania, show that soldiers with rural backgrounds and poor occupations re-enlisted at higher rates than soldiers with urban backgrounds and better occupations. The reason for the difference lies in the greater opportunities available to civilians in the city.

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