Civil War Trivia

Discussion in 'History & Geography' started by Ken Anderson, May 3, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    • At the start of the American Civil War, Confederate General Robert E. Lee owned no slaves. Union General Ulysses S. Grant did.
    • Dixie, the official anthem of the South during the Civil War, was written in 1859 by Daniel Decatur Emmett, a northerner who was loyal to the Union.
    When reading accounts of Civil War battles, it is often possible to determine whether the account is going to be told from the perspective of the North or from the South by the name attached to the battle.

    Since more battles were fought in the South than in the North, invading Union armies depended on maps, while Confederates were more likely to be familiar with the terrain, and they were more often the ones to determine the site of the battle. As a result, Union archivists often named battles for nearby streams or other geographical features, while the Confederates used the name of the nearest town. For example:
    • Bull Run (Union) - Manassas (Confederate)
    • Antietam (Union) - Sharpsburg (Confederate)
    • Stone's River (Union) - Murfreesboro (Confederate)
    • Fair Oaks (Union) - Seven Pines (Confederate)
    • Elkhorn Tavern (Union) - Pea Ridge (Confederate)
    Curiously, Union armies were also named for waterways:
    • The Army of the Potomac
    • The Army of the James
    • The Army of the Tennessee
    Confederate counterparts were:
    • The Army of Northern Virginia
    • The Army of Tennessee
    • The Army of the Trans-Mississippi
     
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  2. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Supreme Member
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    Ahem. ...... The correct name of that war was The War For Southern Independence.
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Or the War Against Northern Aggression.
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Mostly showing perspective, the American Civil War was known by a number of names, found in newspapers and other periodicals during the war and in the years immediately following:
    • The War for Constitutional Liberty
    • The War for Southern Independence
    • The Second American Revolution
    • The War for States' Rights
    • Mr. Lincoln's War
    • The Southern Rebellion
    • The War for Southern Rights
    • The War of the Southern Planters
    • The War of the Rebellion
    • 'The Second War for Independence
    • The War to Suppress Yankee Arrogance
    • The Brothers' War
    • The War of Secession
    • The Great Rebellion
    • The War for Nationality
    • The War for Southern Nationality
    • The War Against Slavery
    • The Civil War
    • The American Civil War
    • The War Between the States
    • The Civil War Between the States
    • The War of the Sixties
    • The War Against Northern Aggression
    • The Yankee Invasion
    • The War for Separation
    • The War for Abolition
    • The War for the Union
    • The War to Restore the Union
    • The Confederate War
    • The War of the Southrons
    • The War for Southern Freedom
    • The War of the North and South
    • The Lost Cause
    • The Late Unpleasantness
    • The Late Friction
    • The Late Ruction
    • The Schism
    • The Uncivil War
    • The War
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    • Union ordnance men turned down the Spencer repeating breech-loading rifle in 1860 and didn't get it into the hands of troops until near the end of the war. The reason given was that soldiers would fire too fast, wasting ammunition.
    • Firing on both sides was so inaccurate in the heat of battle that soldiers estimated that it took a man's weight in lead to kill a single enemy in battle.
    • A Union expert wrote that each Confederate who was shot required 240 pounds of powder and 900 pounds of lead.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Confederate Captain Richard W. Dowling, of the Davis Guards, age nineteen, defended Sabine Pass, Texas in September of 1863 with 43 men armed with rifles and six small cannons, driving off a Union fleet that was trying to land 15,000 troops. The Davis Guards sank one gunboat, disabled and captured two others, and turned away the rest of the fleet, taking 400 prisoners, all without losing a man. All of the men received silver medals from President Jefferson Davis.
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

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    Of the future members of the United States Supreme Court who were of fighting age during the Civil War, seven were in uniform. Four fought for the Union (Oliver Wendell Holmes, John M. Harlan, William B. Woods, and Stanley Matthews), while three fought for the Confederacy (Edward D. White, Horace H. Lurton, and Lucius Q.C. Lamar).
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    President Lincoln was suffering from a mild case of smallpox when he delivered what was perhaps the most famous speech in American history - his Gettysburg Address. His smallpox had not yet been diagnosed when he delivered the address but during the ride back to Washington, DC from Gettysburg, he was lying down with a wet cloth across his head.

    David Wills, a Gettysburg lawyer, was chairman of the town's committee to create a national cemetery on the edge of the Gettysburg battlefield. Two months before the ceremony, he wrote to the well-known orator, Edward Everett, asking him to be the keynote speaker at the ceremony. Lincoln wasn't invited to speak until two weeks before the event, and Lincoln was given limits on the amount of time that he would be given to speak.

    In inviting President Lincoln to speak, Wills wrote, "It is the desire, that after the oration, you, as chief executive of the nation, formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks."

    Lincoln wrote at least one page of the first draft of his speech in Washington, DC, on White House stationery, on November 17, 1863. He added the final nine and a half lines, in pencil, when he went to his bedroom in the Gettysburg home of David Wills the following evening.

    On the morning of the address, November 19, Lincoln wrote a new draft, copying the first, and making a few changes. There were 239 words in the first, and 269 words in the second draft.

    Five words of the address were one-letter words (all of them the letter "a"). Forty-six had two letters, forty-four had three, fifty-six had four, thirty had five, twenty-five had six, thirteen had seven, and the rest eight or more letters. There were only eighteen words of three or more syllables.

    Lincoln left the Wills House for the ceremonies at 10 am, riding horseback in a military parade. He sat on a crowded platform facing an audience of about 15,000. Companions noted that he seemed restless as Everett, the keynote speaker, delivered a two-hour oration.

    The president wore glasses when he rose, his speech in his hand. He glanced at the paper only once or twice, and was on his feet for less than three minutes, delivering his ten-sentence speech in his high, squeaky voice.

    If anyone recognized the greatness of this speech as it was being delivered, that has been lost to history. People in the audience, including dignitaries, were said to have expressed private disappointment, and most of the newspapers ignored Lincoln's speech or reviewed it harshly.

    However, the following day, Everett wrote to Lincoln, "Permit me to express my admiration. I would be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near the central idea of the occasion in two hours, as you did in two minutes."

    Lincoln replied, "In our respective parts yesterday, you could not have been excused to make a short address, nor I a long one. I am pleased to know that, in your judgment, the little I did say was not entirely a failure."

    The first accolades received were from the Chicago Tribune, which said that the speech would "live in the annals of man."

    In 1864, the speech began to acquire value. At the request of Everett, who was prompted by Mrs. Hamilton Fish of New York, Lincoln made a copy of the speech and sent it to the Metropolitan Fair in New York to be sold for charity. Lincoln inserted two words that nearly every newspaper had quoted him as using, but which were not in the original draft: "under God." Lincoln may have added that while delivering the speech.

    Lincoln later made two more copies for the historian, George Bancroft, to be sold at a Baltimore fair. The first of these was not auctioned because Lincoln had failed to sign it. The second one had been edited slightly by Lincoln, who changed the punctuation slightly, and at one point omitted a word: "here."
     
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  9. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Supreme Member
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    @Ken Anderson
    This sort of information relating casualtiesd to numbers of bullets fired is consistent with information I've seen about more "modern" wars: Something like 100,000 rounds fired to effect one enemy hit in WW-II, Viet Nam similar.

    Makers of ammunition were kept very, very happy, since gov't rarely made it's ammunition.
    Frank
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    At the start of the war, slaves could be rented in Virginia for $30 a month. The pay of a Confederate Army private was $11 a month. Union privates were paid $16 a month, but the gold value of their pay was more than seven times greater than that of the Confederates.
     
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  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Despite the familiar term that we associate with the Civil War - the blue and gray - at the start of the war, the uniforms of the armies were drastically varied, and this often resulted in Union troops firing on Union troops, and vice versa. When the war began, Union troops were often dressed in "standard gray." The 3rd New York, the 1st Vermont, and nearly all of the Indiana troops wore gray with black facings, almost identical to the uniforms worn by the Georgia Confederates. The 1st Iowa dressed much like the Louisiana troops. A New Jersey Cavalry battalion wore blue and yellow and was known as the "Butterflies." Many of the various flags carried into battle were also very similar. Together, this sometimes led to enemy troops being seen as friendly, and friendly troops viewed as enemies.
     
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  12. Ken Anderson

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    The Confederate General, Nathan Bedford Forrest, had 29 horses shot from under him during the course of the war. He survived the war to found the Ku Klux Klan, although he may not have actually founded the Klan. There is a question about his role there, as the organization he founded had a different name, and its purpose was to defend against persecution from Northern carpetbaggers and troops. If this is the organization that evolved into the Klan, he was no longer involved. That's one side of it, anyhow.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

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    John Ericsson, the man who engineered the Monitor, built the ship with $275,000 in private capital and was to be reimbursed by the Federal Government only if it proved to be effective against the Confederate ironclads, Merrimac or Virginia. The Monitor was modeled after Swedish lumber rafts that Ericsson was familiar with as a young man. Its deck was only two inches above the water line. After the Monitor was used in battle against the South, Ericsson was able to sell five ironclads to France.
     
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  14. Ken Anderson

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    • Eight Union generals came from Galena, Illinois, which had a population of only 15,000. It is unknown whether there was something about Galena that bred military geniuses or if they received their promotions due to a friendship with the Commander of the Army, Ulysses S. Grant, who resided in Galena.
    • Of the 435 Confederate generals, 77 were killed or died of wounds suffered during the war. The last surviving Confederate general was Simon Bolivar Buckner, who died in 1914. His son (and namesake) died as a general in World War II.
    • The first Confederate general to be killed was Robert S. Garnett, who was shot at Corrick's Ford, Virginia, before the first Battle of Manassas/Bull Run. He was first buried in Baltimore, then his body was secretly moved to a Brooklyn cemetery plot beside his wife. His identity was not revealed to the family because of strong wartime feelings. His final resting place did not become publicly known until 1959.
    • The youngest Confederate general was William Paul Roberts of North Carolina, a Cavalry commander who enlisted at the age of 19 and was commissioned as a general at 23, despite having had no formal military training.
    • Years before the Civil War, Jesse Grant, the father of Ulysses S. Grant, lived and worked in the home of Owen Brown, whose son grew up to be John Brown, the abolitionist who is said to have lit the fuse to the war.
    • A Confederate officer, Captain S. Isadore Guillet, was shot and killed on the same horse on which three of his brothers had previously been killed. As Confederate horses were privately owned, the horse became the property of his nephew.
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I know this might bore some of you, but I have a few dozen books on Civil War history, plus Civil War journals that have been formatted for Kindle. Plus there are the DVDs.
     
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