The French Wars shattered the 18th-century rules of warfare. ‘Soldiers and civilians’ looks at the effects of the French Wars on the ordinary people of the war, the men and women who found themselves in the line of fire, and considers conscription, desertion, and insurrection. Conscription was a traumatic experience for any civilian. It tended to be the poorest who were signed up, partly because those with money could pay for someone to join ranks in their place. Despite efforts to ensure army cohesion and effectiveness there were many factors which the soldiers struggled with: long marches, disease, and the carnage of battle and the psychological effects of that.