Eight Little Known Facts About the Civil War

Smithsonian Magazine Highlights the top 8 little known, obscure, and sometimes just odd facts regarding the American Civil War. The odd facts include:

  1. The brothers Chang and Eng Bunker (the famed “Siamese Twins”) were drafted in the war.
  2. “Rectal Acorns” were used to smuggle messages by spies and couriers.
  3. General Lee had a pet chicken that accompanied him and lived at his home.
  4. Southern cultural standards had odd and strenuous requirements on women in terms of ‘mourning requirements’ – men were expected to be slightly sad briefly and then move on.
  5. After the Battle of Shiloh, several soldiers reported glowing and iridescent wounds.
  6. Confederate President Jefferson Davis shared his name with a Union General which led to some amusing (and deadly) guffaws on both sides!
  7. The famous Southern General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was a severe hypochondriac.
  8. President Abraham Lincoln carried with him a $5 confederate bill in his wallet.

To learn more about these obscure events, see the article in the Smithsonian.

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8 thoughts on “Eight Little Known Facts About the Civil War

  1. Jim Wheeler

    Thanks for highlighting these. My reading has been backing up and I haven’t even opened my copy of Smithsonian for Dec yet.

    The Civil War is especially interesting to me in that it came as the industrial revolution was peaking and knowledge was exploding. Steam engines, trains, steel plows, telegraphs, balloons, armored naval vessels, rifled gun barrels, the first publication of Scientific American magazine! Aspects of culture like your #4 are fresh material for me – its meaning isn’t clear, and I don’t see the subject in the contents page of the Dec issue. ??

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      You must highlighted a typo that I will be sure to correct when I get home! It should have been “odd and strenuous requirements pertaining to mourning for women.”
      I linked directly to the article which will give more input. Thanks!

      Reply
      1. Jim Wheeler

        Ah, I should have clicked, it was right there. Sorry.

        That is still the most interesting item on the list to me. How incredibly tribal! It speaks volumes, does it not, about how we humans are shaped by social forces, does it not?

      2. Jennifer Lockett Post author

        Fixed my error!

        It was in Gone With the Wind (I can’t recall if it was the film or the book) where Rhett Butler told the (then in mourning Scarlet) that the Indian practice of burning wives with their husbands was more merciful than the Southern ones.

  2. Pingback: What Caused the Civil War? | history348

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