86 Brutal Facts About the American Civil War for History Fans

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51Mary Bowser

Mary Bowser, a freed slave with a Quaker education and a photographic memory, posed as a slow-witted slave to spy for the Union in Confederate president Jefferson Davis' household through much of the Civil War.

52. Dr. Mary Edwards Walker who, during the Civil War, stood on the Union front lines for nearly two years, including the wake of the bloody Battle of Chickamauga. She is the only woman to receive the Medal of Honor.

53. Anderson Cooper is related to Cornelius Vanderbilt and a Civil War general, was a Calvin Klein model, interned at the CIA, studied Vietnamese, lived in Africa and caught malaria...

54. In 1866, the State of Mississippi spent more than half its yearly budget providing Civil War veterans with prosthetics

55. Hookworms infested up to 40% of the population in the South after the civil war symptoms stymied development for decades and bred stereotypes of lazy, moronic Southerners.

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56Fort Jefferson

There is a huge abandoned fortress (Fort Jefferson) 70 nautical miles off the coast of Key West in Florida. Fort Jefferson remains the largest all-masonry fort in the United States and was briefly used as a prison for Union deserters in the Civil War.

57. Pro-slavery activist Edmund Ruffin the man who fired the first shot of the Civil War was so distraught by Confederate surrender that he wrote in his diary he would never submit to "Yankee rule" and committed suicide by gunshot to the head

58. An estimated 400 women disguised themselves as men to fight in the US Civil War, including one whose cover was blown when she absentmindedly tried to put her pants on over her head, thinking they were her dress

59. More soldiers died of accident/disease in the American civil war, rather than actual combat.

60. After the Civil War many wealthy Confederate families fled to Brazil, today many Southern cultures and traditions can still be seen in the descendants of these "Confederados"

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61Pain bullets

Contrary to popular belief, almost all surgery during the American Civil War was performed under general anesthesia and "pain bullets" are a myth. They were actually chewed by pigs.

62. There are currently living children of Civil War Veterans 150 years after the war, who can still recall their fathers' war stories.

63. In the Civil War, Generals were 50% more likely to die in combat than Privates

64. Civil War Veteran Jacob Miller, who was shot in the forehead on Sept.19th, 1863 at Brock Field at Chickamauga and left for dead. He lived with an open bullet wound for many years, with the last pieces of lead dropping out 31 years after he was first shot.

65. The writer of "O Canada" was wounded while fighting for the Union in the American Civil War.

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66Saguaro Cactus

The Saguaro Cactus takes 75 years to grow its first "arm;" and a Saguaro that dies this year has, on average, been around since before the Civil War.

67. The song "Cotton Eyed Joe" predates Tchaikovsky and the US Civil War.

68. Wilmer McLean's house was involved in the 1st Battle of Bull Run, where the Civil War began. After, he moved 120 miles away to Appomattox Courthouse to avoid further battles, and 2 years later, the Civil War ended in his parlor where General Lee surrendered to General Grant.

69. During the U.S. Civil War, former President John Tyler became a Confederate and was elected to serve in the Confederate congress. He is the only U.S. President to not be mourned officially in Washington D.C. due to his being a Confederate supporter.

70. The "rebel yell" that terrified the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War has been successfully reconstructed

71United States

Prior to the American Civil War, most citizens of the United States referred to their country in the plural ("The United States are wealthy", "The United States have a large population")

72. Major General Henry A. Barnum was shot through the side in the Civil War. Assumed dead, he was taken the prisoner and survived. He kept the bullet tract open as a trophy by running a ramrod through the wound every day. He was later shot in two more battles and survived them both.

73. Soon after the outbreak of the American Civil War, former President Franklin Pierce tried to assemble all other living former US presidents to use their influence to end the war.

74. The US Postal Service began home delivery during the Civil War after a postal worker became so torn up by seeing women lined up in the cold to see if a letter had arrived from a son or husband at the front lines that he started delivering mail to homes.

75. An officer in the American Civil War, Benjamin Runkle, was mistakenly left for dead on the battlefield. An obituary was written for him while he was still alive, but ironically Runkle outlived the man who wrote it, and in return wrote an obituary for his obituary writer


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