Ever since I read Gone with the Wind and saw the Jimmie Stewart classic Shenandoah, the Civil War has fascinated me. Recent visits to Gettysburg and Harper”s Ferry reinforced its allure. Peeking through a flea market find (Civil War Trivia and Fact Book by Webb Garrison) pointed out some wonderful tidbits that I thought inquiring minds might want to know.
1. Only 28 percent of the 30,500 miles of railroads in 1860 lay in Confederate territory.
2. The two warring capitals, Washington DC and Richmond, VA, are 100 miles apart.
3. Seven states had announced their secession at the time of Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration. (Can you name them?** See below.)
4. 86 percent of the United States’ manufacturing firms were located in the North.
5. 38 percent of the Confederacy’s population were slaves.
6. Diarrhea, including dysentery, was the most common ailment in the camps and claimed the lives of 44,000 Union soldiers.
7. More than 68 American Revolutions could have been financed for the estimated cost of the Civil War.
8. During the years of the conflict, 2,778,304 men were enlisted in all the branches of the Union forces.
9. Four states were classified as “border states”, meaning they remained in the Union but had strong ties to the South. (Can you name them?*** See below.)
10. New Orleans was the Confederacy’s largest city, with an 1860 census of 168,000.
11. New York, with its 1860 population exceeding 800,000, was the North’s largest city.
12. Due to inflation in the Confederacy, the price of a pound of tea was $10.00 by the end of 1862.
13. On New Year’s Day 1865, 55 percent of the Confederate fighting forces was listed as AWOL.
14. The tallest man in the Union forces was Captain Van Buskirk of the 27th Indiana. Six feet, ten and one-half inches.
15. The shorted man in the Union forces was a private in the 192nd Ohio. Three feet, four inches.
16. There were 33 states in the Union in 1860.
17. In 1861, a Union soldier’s monthly salary was $13.
18. As president of the United States, Abe Lincoln’s annual salary was $25,000.
19. About 200,000 blacks eventually served in the Union army and navy.
20. Union regiment, the First Minnesota, lost 82 percent at Gettysburg, the highest percentage of one-battle casualties.
21. By the war’s end, 12,912 graves had been filled at infamous Andersonville Prison. (total deaths is believed much higher.)
22. When Harper’s Ferry fell to Stonewall Jackson, he seized 73 cannon and 13,000 small arms from the arsenal there. And 10,000 prisoners.
23. Thirty six (36) horses were needed to pull the six guns of a standard field battery, three pairs in tandem per gun.
24. Six Confederate generals were killed at Gettysburg.
25. Black troops participated in 450 battles and skirmishes.
26. The most popular handgun in the North with about 200,000 manufactured between 1860-1872 was the Colt Army and Navy revolver.
27. The weight of a shell thrown by a 13-inch mortar (the largest in use then) was 220 pounds.
28. Three of the 2,300 Federal chaplains received the Congressional
Medal of Honor.
I hope you didn”t mind a history lesson today! Which fact did you find the most interesting?
** South Carolina; Mississippi; Florida; Alabama; Georgia; Louisiana, and Texas.
*** Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri
Coming this summer: