The American Civil War was a turning point in American history and has helped shape the country into what it is today. There are many people who passionately collect Civil War memorabilia because they feel drawn to the event or have close ties to the people who were involved in the war. Even those who love American history, the Civil War specifically will be interested in knowing the following facts:
1. Thanksgiving Declaration
Thanksgiving wasn’t always an American holiday. In fact, President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War to an effort to maintain peace in the country.
2. The Sad Fate Of The University Of Mississippi
During the war, all of the students and faculty of the University of Mississippi enlisted to become a part of the Confederate Army. Sadly, they also suffered a 100% mortality rate during the war.
3. Origins Of Memorial Day
The first-ever Memorial Day celebration was held by the freed slaves for soldiers in the Union in 1865, after the war. It was a way to offer respect and gratitude to the Union soldiers for liberating them.
4. The Importance Of Front Teeth
Back during the war, one requirement to be drafted is to have at least four of the opposing front teeth. This was because the teeth were needed to open a pouch of gunpowder while on the battlefield. Some draftees purposely removed their front teeth to avoid service.
5. Leading Cause Of Death
Diarrhea was very common during the American Civil War and is known to be the leading cause of death. The epidemic was very prevalent at the time that the soldiers had a code of honor when it came to shooting someone who was in the middle of pooping.
6. Money Matters
To cause a massive inflation in the South and cripple the Confederate, the Union too the time to counterfeit the Confederate currency and they deliberately gave the fake money away.
7. John Clemm
A boy named John Clemm ran away to fight during the war at the age of 9. He was too young to serve as an active soldier so he became the drummer boy. When he turned 11, he became known as the youngest noncommissioned officer throughout the Army’s history.
8. Sgt. William Harvey Carney
He was the first ever African-American to receive a Medal of Honor during the Civil War due to his patriotic actions. Although he had been shot in the legs, arms, shoulders, and face he never let the American flag touch the ground.
9. W.V Meadows
During the American Civil War in the battle of Vicksburg, W.V Meadows survived a shot inside the eye. He later coughed up the bullet out of his mouth, 58 years after the fact!
10. Angel’s Glow
Soldiers with the “Angel’s Glow” were known to have a better rate of survival. Later on, the glow was determined to be caused by antibiotic-producing bacteria that lived inside nematodes.
11. Coffee’s Popularity
Looking back at the diary entries written during the Civil War, the word coffee was mentioned more often than a bullet, cannon, war, and Lincoln. In fact, the drink was so popular with the Union that a rifle company included a coffee grinder along with the carbine of their rifles.
12. Mary Browser
A freed slave with a Quaker education as well as photographic memory named Mary Browser used her intelligence and her appearance to pose as a dim-witted slave to spy in the home of the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis.
13. Women In War
There is an estimate of at least 400 women who disguised as men in order to fight in the war. Some were successful enough to hide their identities, while one was discovered when she mistakenly wore her pants over her head thinking it was a dress.
There is so much to learn about the Civil War that these facts are just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you are an avid Civil War memorabilia collector or a mild US history enthusiast, there’s always something new and interesting to learn about this period of US history.
If you are looking for Civil War memorabilia, visit Gettysburg Museum of History. You can also visit our website and shop for top quality war relics.