Trivia

Did you know that ...

  • Of the 3,530 Native Americans who fought for the Union Army, 1,018 were killed.

  • The northern most Confederate land attack occurred near St. Albans, Vermont. A group of 26 soldiers made their way to Canada, crossed the border and took $200,000 from the town's banks.

  • African Americans made up less than 1% of the northern population, but by the end of the war composed 10% of the Union Army.  More than 85% of the eligible men enlisted.

  • The Confederate trenches above Fredericksburg stretched for seven miles with a density of 11,000 men per mile or two men per foot.

  • Abolitionist Henry War Beecher shipped rifles to pre-war Kansas in crates marked "Bibles."

  • Mother's Day originated after the Civil War as a protest to the devastation of war by women who had lost their sons in the conflict.

  • "Stonewall" Jackson's "Foot Cavalry" once achieved a marching speed of six miles an hour.

  • Union soldiers referred to alcoholic beverages as "tangle foot" and "oil of gladness."

  • There were six million cases of disease in the Union armies which meant that on average every man was at least sick twice.

  • More than 10,000 military engagements occurred during the Civil War, but less than 0.4% are considered significant and only 45 are ranked as "having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war."

  • There were more than 10,000 soldiers serving in the Union Army under the age of eighteen.

  • The western-most battle was fought on Picacho Peak which was fifty miles northwest of Tucson.

  • The following states had the greatest number of Civil War battles: Virginia (2,154), Tennessee (1,462), Missouri (1,162), Mississippi (772) and Arkansas (771)

  • Anyone who managed to spend a year on active duty without using his full clothing allowance was supposed to receive the difference in cash. This provision fostered the systematic removal of clothing from dead soldiers.

  • Army issued beef was so saturated with salt to preserve it that the Union troops called it salt horse.  Troops had to soak it for days before eating.

  • On May 13, 1865, Private John L. Williams of the 34th Indiana became the last man killed in the war during the Confederate victory at Palmito Ranch, Texas in south Texas near Brownville.

  • The Confederate Army’s 43rd Battalion of Virginia Cavalry is better known as Mosby’s Rangers after its leader Colonel John Singleton Mosby.

  • When Colonel Daniel Butterfield led his 12th New York Militia across Washington’s Long Bridge on May 24, 1861, he became the first commander to enter the Confederacy.  However, he is better known as the composer of “Taps.” 

  • Stonewall Jackson's cousin William Jackson was given the nickname "Mudwall"

  • Two percent of the nation's population, more than 620,000, died in the Civil War

  • At the Battle of Fredericksburg, General Ambrose Burnside's Union army suffered a total of 12,700 killed and wounded after making repeated frontal assaults on Lee's positions. 

  • In order to help pay for the war effort, the U.S. government issued the first income tax as part of the revenue act of 1861.  Tax was paid on income over $800.

  • Following his defeat at the battle of Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee offered his resignation as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia to President Jefferson Davis, who refused to accept it.

  • According to a report released by the U.S. Congress in 1863, the cost of fighting the war was $2.5 million a day.

  • Seventy-seven Confederate generals and forty-seven Union generals were killed or mortally wounded in action.  This means that 18% of Confederate generals and 8% of Union generals died from battle wounds.

  • The town of Gettysburg had approximately 2,400 citizens in July 1863.  The area population temporarily increased by 165,000 during the battle.

  • The chance of surviving a wound in Civil War times was seven to one.

  • At the Battle of First Bull Run (Manassas) between 8,000 and 10,000 bullets were fired for every man killed or wounded.

  • The all-wool Union blouse, trousers, and undershirt weighed six pounds and caused discomfort during the summer heat.

  • General Nathaniel Lyon was the the first Union general killed in the Civil War at the Battle of Wilson's Creek on August 10, 1861.

  • During Lincoln's second presidential campaign, he received 78% of the soldier vote which helped him win a half-million vote plurality and an electoral advantage of 212 to 21.

  • There were 10,455 military engagements during the Civil War.

  • Some wounded soldiers remained unattended on the battlefield for up to two weeks after Second Manassas.

  • More than 150,000 Irish immigrants served in the Union Army. Many of them left Ireland to escape the potato famine.

  • Disease was the chief killer during the war.  Approximately two-thirds of the deaths were from disease.  Some of the killer diseases were tuberculosis, diphtheria, dysentery, typhoid fever, and malaria.

  • "Wild Bill Hickok" served as a Union scout at the Battle of Pea Ridge.

  • Casualties included three categories: dead, wounded, and missing or captured.  The distribution was generally 20% dead and 80% wounded.

  • A soldier carried about seven pounds of ammunition.  His cartridge box contained 40 rounds.  He could carry an additional 60 rounds in his pocket.

  • African American soldiers made-up 10% of the entire Union Army and one-third died during the war.

  • Approximately 1,700 Confederate soldiers were suffering from measles just prior to entering into battle at First Bull Run.

  • Washington, DC was protected by 60 forts.

  • Missouri sent the highest percentage of men to war (both Union and Confederate) than any other state with 199,111 soldiers.

  • At the beginning of the Civil war, the Regular Army had 16,000 men.  After Fort Sumter, Lincoln asked for 22,700 additional men to be recruited into the Regular Army.  However, at no time during the war did the Army reach its goal of 42,000 troops.

  • Abraham Lincoln referred to three Southern cities as "the brain (Richmond), heart (Chattanooga), and bowels (Vicksburg) of the rebellion."

  • The British 0.577-caliber Enfield rifle was the most popular rifle among the Confederate.  The Enfield weighed more than nine pounds and was 55 inches long.  It was accurate up to one thousand yards.  The Confederacy imported four hundred thousand rifles from Britain.

  • The wealthy abolitionists who provided financial support to John Brown were known as The Secret Six.

  • Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, served as a nurse in the Civil war.   

  • Confederate General Gabriel Rains was rebuked by his superiors at Yorktown, VA for using buried land mines.

  • After the Civil War, Stephen Dill Lee, the youngest Confederate Lieutenant General, became a promoter of women's rights.

  • Union records reveal that ten to twenty percent of soldiers were boys under the legal age of 18 for recruits.  At least 127 were only thirteen.

  • After the Battle of Fredericksburg, Confederates recovered approximately 11,000 small arms left by the Union.

  • Approximately twenty thousand Native Americans served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. They fought in battles such as Pea Ridge, Second Manassas, Antietam, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. 

  • Chloroform was used for almost all surgery done in field hospitals and less than 1% of operations were done without anesthesia.

  • The stone bridge across Antietam Creek became known as Burnside Bridge because his troops were engaged in the bloody crossing.   The actual name of the bridge was Rohrback Bridge. 

  • William Jones was the a slave owned by U. S. Grant in the 1850s when Grant tried his hand at farming.  He later freed Jones rather than selling him.

  • Carpenters working on the CSS Mississippi were fired because they demanded a wage increase to $4 a day.

  • In 1916, a board composed of five retired generals was appointed to investigate the validity of all medals awarded. more than 900 names were removed from the list of which most were presented during the Civil War. The majority of those were from the 27th Maine Infantry who received Medals of Honor in June 1863 for re-enlisting.

  • Nevada was admitted to the Union during the Civil War (October 31, 1864) and used the nickname "Battle-Born State" which was adopted as the official state motto in 1937.

  • Clothing manufacturing was transformed within months after the war began.  The War Department only had clothing for 13,000 soldiers.

  • Frank C. Armstrong was the only officer to fight on both sides as a Union Army Captain and as a Confederate brigadier general. 

Revised 04/21/2014