The Civil War: Beyond The History Book

Known as the deadliest war in American history, the Civil War resulted in the deaths of around 210,000 soldiers killed in action for a grand total of 625,000 casualties.  60% of these deaths were due to illness.  In examining this great war that changed the face of America forever, there is a wealth of information to sift through, some of it engaging and some of it mundane, with many interesting facts that you did not learn in school.  So, here are some of those random tidbits relating to the Civil War for your enlightenment.

General Stonewall Jackson was right-handed and believed that his right hand got more blood flow than his left hand and thus, walked around raising his right hand in the air in hopes that the excess blood would run to his left hand and balance out his body.  He also refused to eat any food that he thought tasted good, as he considered tasty food unhealthy.

Deluxe Gettysburg Boxed Set:

Deluxe Gettysburg Boxed Set

During the 1860s, the average American couldn’t afford to paint their house and in turn, a painted house was a status symbol of the wealthy.  To make their houses presentable, many people used cedar clapboards.

War time surgeons rarely washed their hands after performing an operation because all blood was believed to be the same.  Another interesting medical fact is that glasses with colored lenses were used to treat illnesses during the Civil War.  Yellow was used to treat syphilis, blue for insanity, and pink for depression.  From this practice, the phrase “to see the world through rose colored glasses” developed.

After the Battle of Gettysburg, the discarded rifles were gathered and sent to Washington for inspection and reissuing.  In total, there were 37,574 rifles recovered with 24,000 still loaded: 6,000 with one round in the barrel, 12,000 had two rounds in the barrel, and 6,000 had three to ten rounds in the barrel.

Civil War Musket – 3 Band Enfield:

Civil War Musket - 3 Band Enfield

While delivering the famous Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln had a mild form smallpox (varioloid) and wittingly remarked, “Now I have something that I can give everybody” on the train ride back to Washington after the speech.  Other noteworthy trivia on Lincoln: his favorite time was “Dixie” and he had a dream of being assassinated only a mere few days before he was shot.

The Union army practically doubled the Confederate army with 2,100,000 soldiers.  The Confederate army had 1,064,000 soldiers.  When the war began, the two sides did not have uniforms, which made it challenging to recognize who was who on the battlefield.  Later, Union soldiers wore dark uniforms and Confederate soldiers wore grey pants and coats.  For both sides on the battlefield, they would often go hungry for days.

As you can see from the above facts, the Civil War was a horrific time in history, but it incorporated many aspects.  The effects of the Civil War were profound and infiltrated into every area of life.  For our complete Civil War collection, visit:

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