War is hell; there is no other way to put it. No matter how many times bards romanticize war and battle, there is that ultimate inherent ugliness involved in the business of killing. There is no honor or heroism in dying for your county, you just die, it is a great tragedy and there is nothing you can do about it. Mortality is always present on both sides fighting the battle; there will continuously be casualties. Suffering misery and destitution are constant whether on the march, sitting in the trench or charging across no man's land. The pain is felt on both warring sides, everyone suffers, war brings nothing but anguish, joy and happiness are non-existent. No one rejoices war, unless they are zealous over a cause, then they are just crazy.
Historians consider the Civil War as one of the bloodiest conflicts of all time. Through the eyes of a hospital attendant, there must have been nothing but rows of cots containing dead or dying. Walt Whitman was a hospital attendant who treated many soldiers, and watched many of them suffer as they died. In his collection of poetry, Leaves of Grass, the section, "Drum- Taps", shows how Whitman conveys the pain and suffering endured by the North and the South in the Civil War to express the pointlessness and destructiveness of the war.
In his collection of poetry, Whitman expresses how meaningless the slaughter is in order to expound the total futility and pointlessness of the war. Everyone who was killed in the Civil War was an American. Everyone involved is a human being, and a member of the same country. If members of the same country bicker against each other, what is the end result? Nothing, nothing is gained, nothing is benefited; Whitman mourns this by coming to "bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin," (Reconciliation, 16) of his enemy, of his brother. Even though the Southerners are technically his enemy, he still loves them tenderly as he would his own kin.