The American Civil War was one of the deadliest and costliest wars ever fought on mainland U.S. It was an interstate conflict between the southern Confederate States and the northern...
Category: The American Civil War
Crazy Facts about the American Civil War
The American Civil War was a pivotal event in U.S. history, and it’s filled with intriguing and surprising facts. Here are some lesser-known and “crazy” facts about the Civil War:
- Early Use of Photography: The Civil War saw the earliest extensive use of photography in documenting a conflict. Mathew Brady and other photographers captured thousands of images, providing a visual record of the war.
- Lincoln’s Wrestling Skills: Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, was an accomplished wrestler in his youth. He was only defeated once in around 300 matches.
- Confederate Camel Corps: The Confederate Army experimented with using camels as pack animals in the deserts of the Southwest. The idea didn’t fully catch on, but a few camels remained in the region long after the war.
- Medal of Honor Origins: The Medal of Honor, one of the highest military decorations in the U.S., was established during the Civil War. Its first recipients were Union soldiers who had shown exceptional bravery.
- Stolen Locomotive Chase: In 1862, a daring raid led by James J. Andrews, known as the “Great Locomotive Chase,” saw Union soldiers steal a Confederate locomotive in an attempt to disrupt rail lines. The adventure was later the subject of a popular movie.
- Civil War Medicine: Medical practices during the Civil War were rudimentary by today’s standards. Amputation was a common treatment for battlefield injuries, often without anesthesia. Infections and disease were rampant.
- Battle of Palmito Ranch: The Battle of Palmito Ranch, fought in Texas in May 1865, was the last battle of the Civil War, occurring more than a month after General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.
- Confederate Inflation: Inflation in the Confederacy during the war was staggering. By the end of the conflict, prices had increased by around 9,000%.
- The Emancipation Proclamation’s Impact: The Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Lincoln in 1863, didn’t immediately free all enslaved people. It applied only to Confederate-held territory and was enforced as Union troops advanced.
- Confederate Ironclads Abroad: After the Civil War, some Confederate ironclad warships were sold and used by other countries, including Egypt and Brazil.
- Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley: The H.L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine, was the first submarine in history to sink an enemy ship in combat. However, it also sank three times during its development, resulting in the loss of many lives, including its inventor’s.
- “Hardtack” Survival: Soldiers on both sides often consumed a hard, tasteless cracker called “hardtack” as rations. It was so hard that soldiers sometimes had to soak it in coffee or water to make it edible.
- Song of the Confederacy: The popular song “Dixie,” often associated with the Confederacy, was written by a northerner, Daniel Decatur Emmett, and was initially a minstrel song.