nerd alert!

I am ABSOLUTELY entranced by the U.S. Civil War (*I should say here, I am AGAINST wars of any kinds--except hugging wars*), I always have been since I was a kid. I own huge volumes on Civil War history and instead of getting rid of them I lug them around from house to house every time I move. This last move into the cabin found me looking over them again, feeling that familiar twinge, that same joy I felt as a 14/15/16/17, etc. year old; lugging the glossy covered books onto my lap, I opened to maps, Matthew Brady photographs, paragraphs explaining casualties and strategies. Books on the Civil War are like photo albums to me, an arranged attachment to relatives I never knew, people who's histories fascinate me.

I am excited because this year marks the 150th Anniversary since the U.S. Civil War began which means we'll be hearing a lot more about the war and there are sure to be specials on the History Channel!

Doing some reading led me to these intriguing facts (I am a big nerd, I know). These facts and more were found at PBS:
Abraham Lincoln reads with his youngest son, Tad Lincoln, in this 1864 Matthew Brady photograph.  Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th president of the United States of America.  Abraham Lincoln led the Union to victory in the American Civil War.
Lincoln and Tad, 1864, Matthew Brady photo
  • More than three million men fought in the war.
  • Two percent of the population—more than 620,000—died in it.
  • In two days at Shiloh on the banks of the Tennessee River, more Americans fell than in all previous American wars combined.
  • During the Battle of Antietam, 12,401 Union men were killed, missing or wounded; double the casualties of D-Day, 82 years later. With a total of 23,000 casualties on both sides, it was the bloodiest single day of the Civil War.
  • Senator John J. Crittendon of Kentucky had two sons who became major generals during the Civil War: one for the North, one for the South.
  • Missouri sent 39 regiments to fight in the siege of Vicksburg: 17 to the Confederacy and 22 to the Union.
  • During the Battle of Antietam, Clara Barton tended the wounded so close to the fighting that a bullet went through her sleeve and killed a man she was treating.
  •   In 1862, the U.S. Congress authorized the first paper currency, called "greenbacks."
  • Disease was the chief killer during the war, taking two men for every one who died of battle wounds.
  • African Americans constituted less than one percent of the northern population, yet by the war’s end made up ten percent of the Union Army. A total of 180,000 black men, more than 85% of those eligible, enlisted.
  • In November 1863, President Lincoln was invited to offer a "few appropriate remarks" at the opening of a new Union cemetery at Gettysburg. The main speaker, a celebrated orator from Massachusetts, spoke for nearly two hours. Lincoln offered just 269 words in his Gettysburg Address.
  • The words "In God We Trust" first appeared on a U.S. coin in 1864.
  • In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to Lieutenant General, a rank previously held by General George Washington, and led the 533,000 men of the Union Army, the largest in the world. Three years later, he was made President of the United States.
  • On May 13, 1865, a month after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Private John J. Williams of the 34th Indiana became the last man killed in the Civil War, in a battle at Palmito Ranch, Texas. The final skirmish was a Confederate victory. 

    This was also a cool site.


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