Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
There were certainly levees when needed but this more for the sake of appearances and the "troops" in question were generally poorly equipped, poorly trained and worthless as far as the actual fighting was concerned. Nothing like universal conscription existed in the Middle Ages. Because levies were of such poor quality mercenaries typically comprised the bulk of infantry forces on campaign.

I don't get this whole "expendable" thing about the Civil War. You're not the first person to mention that recently. Casualties among the officer corps, including high ranking officers, were very high.
Civil War casualties were high because tactics did not keep up with advances in weaponry.