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During the war you had to be at least 18 years old to join the military. Men 18-20 years old needed parental permission while those over 45 were considered too old to serve. Given this enlistment age criteria, the graph below plotting the enlistment age for all Union troops for the entire War has an interesting profile.

Why are there a large number of 18 year old enlistees, a significant drop in 19 and 20 year olds, and an increase in 21 year old enlistees? The graph also shows a surprising increase in 44 year old enlistees. What could possibly explain this?

There are other ways to use an Enlistment Age graph. You can create a graph for each year of the War and watch the progress of the War and the need for additional troops.

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