50 Shocking Facts about American Civil War – Part 2

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26General P.G.T. Beauregard

During the US Civil War, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard employed a servant to daily wax his mustache, and summoned his own cow from New Orleans, claiming that his delicate stomach could abide no other milk.

27. There were a few "sponsored" units in the American Civil War. The Chicago Board of Trade Independent Light Artillery, one such unit, was formed in August 1862, and swiftly followed later that month by the competing Chicago Mercantile Independent Light Battery Artillery.

28. American Civil War led to the first stock market crash in India (British India). In the preceding years, speculation about the results of the American civil war had led to irrational increases in stocks of new Indian companies.

29. USS Red Rover was a 650-ton Confederate States of America steamer that the United States Navy captured. After refitting the vessel, the Union used it as a hospital ship during the American Civil War. It became U.S. Navy’s first hospital ship.

30. During the American Civil War, the Union regularly cracked the Confederacy's coded messages because the Confederacy relied on a limited number of key phrases for encrypting their messages, one of which was "Complete Victory."

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31Civil War Coffee Rations

American Civil War Union soldiers were issued 36 pounds of coffee a year and the word "coffee" appeared more in journal entries than "war," "bullet," "cannon," "slavery," "mother" or "Lincoln."

32. The Battle of Picacho Pass was the westernmost battle of the American Civil War. It occurred near Tucson, Arizona while it was still a part of the New Mexico Territory. This was 50 years before Arizona’s statehood.

33. Between 1866 and 1871, a group of republican Irishmen known as ‘The Fenians’ fought in the American Civil War. During the war, they tried to invade Canada to use it as ransom against the UK to liberate Ireland.

34. The American Civil War was the deadliest armed conflict in the country's history, resulting in 750,000 combined civilian and military casualties, which at the time (1860) represented 3% of the total population. By comparison, World War 2 resulted in 405,399 American casualties.

35. During the American Civil War, the Confederate States invented a sabotage device called a coal torpedo. It was a bomb designed to look like a lump of coal and meant to cause a steam ship's boiler to explode.

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36Siam's Offer

During the American Civil War, the king of Siam (now Thailand) offered Abraham Lincoln war elephants to help fight the Confederates. Lincoln respectfully declined.

37. During the American Civil War, commander of the Union "Lightning Brigade," personally took out a loan to buy his soldiers advanced new repeating rifles because the government would not supply them. Using the firepower advantage afforded by the new rifles, his brigade proved extremely effective in combat.

38. During the Southern Bread Riots, protesters who were mostly women protested against huge surges in food costs during the American Civil War and rioted in Richmond, Virginia with chants of "bread or blood!" Food prices had soared to prices 10 times higher than normal in many instances. Among the items stolen during the riots was 500 pounds of bacon.

39. Despite the fact that the US Civil War was causing economic disruption and famine in the cotton-milling region of England, workers there supported the effort to end slavery, and a statue of Lincoln stands there to commemorate their friendship.

40. During the American Civil War, the prisoner exchange system broke down over the Confederate’s treatment of the Union's black soldiers. Officially, Confederates tried them as rebellious slaves, which was a capital offense. In practice, they were often just killed instead of captured.

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41U.S. Grant's Order No. 11

Amid the American Civil War, General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 11, expelling all Jews from his Military District because of a bothersome South-to-North black market for cotton. Despite outrage at the time, Grant secured the majority of the Jewish vote in 1868.

42. During the American Civil War, a thing called "rectal acorn" was used to carry secret messages. The messenger stored the secret note inside the brass "acorn" and then inserted it into his rectum.

43. During the American Civil War, Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon successfully spied on a Confederate camp dressed as a woman, complete with a bonnet and veil to hide his facial hair.

44. The average soldier who fought in the American civil war was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed only 143 lbs.

45. During the Civil War, a Maine woman was captured at sea by Confederate pirates but she managed to escape by getting them blackout drunk and then convincing their slave crew to "make them prisoners" and sail with her to freedom.

46Union Returning Escaped Slaves

Towards the beginning of the American Civil War, the Union returned escaped slaves to their owners in the Confederate States.

47. After losing the American Civil War, several southerners immigrated to Brazil. These people, and their descendants, came to be known as Confederados and are mainly concentrated in the towns of Americana and Santa Barbera D'Oeste in Sao Paulo state.

48. In 1864, the Confederate Army forced Frederick, Maryland, to pay $200,000 or be burned to the ground. The town had to borrow the money from local banks and didn't finish paying off the loans until 1951.

49. During the American Civil War, Winston County in Alabama attempted to cede from the Confederacy and become a free republic. Lack of plantations and the resulting rarity of slaveholders in the region gave the locals little reason to sympathize with the rebel cause.

50. Confederate troops used a dish towel to surrender at Appomattox Court House.


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