The Civil War was indeed a total war, involving an all-out struggle between armies and civilians for resources.
The two armies had a tremendous impact on the material and physical environment of the wartime South. Because neither army was very good at supplying men in the field, soldiers turned to local resources to meet their needs for food, timber, and habitat. Soon a fierce contest broke out between armies and civilians over these resources, parallel to the struggle between the two armies. Civilians thought their survival was at least as important as any military objective. The war quickly turned into a total war, with an all-out struggle for material resources.