SOME INTERESTING FACTS OF THE CIVIL WAR
1. The financial cost, per day, of fighting the Civil War, according to Government records released by the U.S. Congress in 1863 was 2.5 Million.
2. According to the 1860 census the 6 largest cities in the United States were: New York (805,651), Philadelphia (562,529), Brooklyn (266,661), New Orleans (168,675), Charleston (40,578), & Richmond (37,910).
3. The population of the United States on the eve of the war, according to the 1860 census was 31,443,321. States which would remain in the Union had a total population of 22,339,989. States that would form the Confederacy had a total population of 9,103,332. This figure included 3,521,110 slaves.
4. More than 800,000 immigrants entered the United States from 1860-1865. The largest number of immigrants were: Germany (233,052), Ireland (196,359), & England (85,116).
5. The official name of the American Civil War was the “War of the Rebellion”, as stated in the Official Records of the Union & Confederate Armies, by the U.S. Government .
6. The beard was temporarily in style as a facial decoration during the war & came to be popular with officers on both sides.
7. The largest age group who served as soldiers in the Union army was composed of young men who were 21 years old or younger. This was approximately 40% of all those enlisted.
8. The youngest known Union soldier was John L. Clem (aka. “Johnny Shiloh” or “Drummer Boy of Chickamauga”). He enlisted in the Union army at age 9 as a drummer boy. His drum was destroyed by an artillery shell @ Shiloh. At age 12, he was promoted to Sgt. After shooting a Confederate Officer @ Chickamauga. He later suffered 2 battle wounds in combat. He remained in the army after the war & retired from service on the eve of WWI, as a Major General.
9. An estimated 3,200 women served as nurses in the Union Army during the Civil War. A somewhat smaller contingent which is undetermined served as Nurses for the Confederacy.
10. An estimated 2.2 Million men enlisted in the Union Army, compared to an estimated 800,000 in the Confederate Army.
11. On Friday, April 22, 1864, the U.S. Government, under act of Congess first stamped the motto “In God We Trust” on all U.S. coins.
12. In January of 1864 the cost of a barrel of flour in Richmond, VA was $250.00.
13. The first military draft in American history was put into effect on April 16, 1862 by Confederate President Jefferson Davis. On March 3, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln signed the military draft act passed by U.S. Congress.
14. The eleven Confederate States in the order in which they seceded were: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina & Tennessee. The last 4 seceded states did not secede until Union forces entered Southern territory. On the Confederate Battle Flag, two more states (Kentucky & Missouri) were represented with stars, as their populations were equally divided in allegiance, between North & South.
15. The first Union regiment to cross the Potomac River and advance into Virginia was the 12th New York Militia, which left Washington D. C., on May 2, 1861, crossed the Potomac & occupied an advance position in Northern Virginia.
16. On August 2, 1861 the U.S. Congress enacted the first national income tax on annual incomes over $800.00.
17. The first shot of the Civil War was fired @ 4:30am, Friday, April 12, 1861, when Captain George S. James, commander of the Confederate artillery @ Fort Johnson overlooking Charleston harbor, ordered Henry S. Farley to fire a 10 inch mortar, as a signal to all Confederate batteries, to begin the bombardment of Fort Sumter.
18. Fort Sumter surrendered @ 2:30pm, April 13, 1861. Maj. Robert Anderson of the U.S. Army surrendered the fort to Confederate authorities after a 34 hour bombardment.
19. Fort Sumter was never again retaken by Union forces during the war. After the fort was occupied in April 1861 by Confederate forces, it was never surrendered. However, it was evacuated at war’s end by the retreating Confederate forces in Charleston & was repossessed by Federal troops in February 1865.
20. Although Confederate forces had fired on the Union garrison in Fort Sumter 3 weeks earlier, the Confederate States of America did not recognize a state of war with the United States until May 3, 1861, when the Confederate Congress passed an act declaring war between the two governments.
21. The first serious land action of the war occurred on June 10, 1861, @ Big Bethel, VA.. Seven regiments of Federal troops numbering about 2,500 men left nearby Fort Monroe and marched toward Richmond until they encountered a well-fortified Confederate position manned by approximately 1,200 troops. After a brisk exchange of fire the Union forces were repulsed with a loss of 18 dead, while the Confederates recorded one combat death. Bull Run/Manassas would not occur for another month.
22. Battles during the Civil War were named by the nearest body of water if you were a union soldier & Confederate soldiers named the same battle after the nearest community. Thus on numerous instances Civil War battles had 2 names (Bull Run/Manassas, Antietam/Sharpsburg).
23. A “housewife” was a small sewing kit commonly carried by soldiers of both sides during the war.
24. Instant coffee was first widely used in the American Civil War. Coffee mixed with cream & sugar was distributed in paste form to Union soldiers, who tried to dissolve it in hot water to make a cup of coffee.
25. The most commonly used rifle during the Civil War was the U.S. Springfield Musket (1861 & 1863 Models). 1.5million Springfield muskets were manufactured during the war & were used by both sides.
26. “Buck & Ball” was the term used by troops referring to the type of ammunition used with the old-model .69 caliber smoothbore musket. The ammunition was composed of one .69 cal. Musket ball & 3 buckshot, all neatly packaged in a paper cartridge & fired from the musket. The result was a very devastating close range weapon. The Irish Brigade carried this weapon/ammunition of choice throughout the conflict.
27. The biggest killer in the American Civil War was not combat, but disease. Of an estimated 623,026 soldiers who died in the war, an estimated 388,580 (62%) died of disease. The leading cause of death on both sides was diarrhea, followed by typhoid, typhus & malarial fevers, pneumonia, smallpox, measles & infection.
28. On July 13th-16th, 1863, 50,000+ rioters objecting to the Federal military draft went on a destructive rampage in New York City.
Most commonly referred to as the “New York City Draft Riots”. Rioters destroyed a black church, an orphanage, & several homes & offices, and caused more than a million dollars in damages before they were suppressed by Federal troops (veterans of the battle of Gettysburg). On Friday, November 25th,1864 New York City was again the scene of unrest when Confederate conspirators set coordinated fires in a dozen buildings throughout the city. The conspirators, however, caused no serious damage.
29. The “Virginia Quickstep” was term using jokingly by Union soldiers who coined this name to refer to diarrhea. The most common ailment in the army.
30. Of the estimated 2.2 million Union soldiers who served in the Civil War, 267 were executed by U.S. authorities. The largest number of executions,147, were ordered for desertion. The remaining 120 were executed for murder, rape, or mutiny.
31. On April 16, 1862 president Lincoln signed into law a bill passed by U.S. Congress which outlawed slavery in Washington D.C..
32. The Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued on September 22, 1862 (immediately following the Union victory of the Battle of Antietam) & became effective on January 1, 1863, ordered all slaves to be freed in areas “in rebellion against the United States”. Lincoln intentionally did not abolish slavery in northern states & territories as a strategic ploy to antagonize the south.
33. The mortality rate for Union soldiers in Confederate prison camps was approximately 15%. For Confederate soldiers the rate was about 12%. Of the 194,000 Federal troops in Southern prison camps, approximately 30,000 did not survive. Of the the 214,000 Confederate troops, approximately 26,000 died in captivity.
34. Andersonville, GA., one of the most notorious Confederate prison camps was also known as “Camp Sumter”.
35. Although best known today as Ulysses Simpson Grant, his name at birth was Hiram Ulysses Grant. At West Point, a clerical error officially listed him as Ulysses Simpson grant, mistakenly replacing “Hiram” with his mother’s maiden name, Simpson, which gave grant the famous initials “U.S.”.
36. The owner of Ford Theater, John T. Ford, in Washington D.C., site of the Lincoln assassination was imprisoned for more than a month until the government admitted it had no evidence that he was a conspirator.
37. Following the assassination of president Lincoln, the U.S. government seized Ford’s Theater & later converted it into a government office building. The owner, John Ford, was eventually awarded $100,000 from the government as compensation for the confiscation of his property.
38. The Confederate Infantry regiment which suffered the highest number of casualties in a single battle was the 26th N.C. During fighting at Gettysburg, the regiment lost 708 of its 803 men, recording a casualty rate of almost 90%.
39. When Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, on April 9, 1865, Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia numbered only about 26,000. A year earlier Lee’s army numbered over 80,000. At Appomattox C.H. Lee’s army faced a federal force of over 100,000 men.
40. The last Confederate army to officially surrender, did so on June 2, 1865, when Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith surrendered the 43,000 troops of the Trans-Mississippi Dept. to Union General Edward R.S. Canby @ Galveston, Texas.
41. The last serious land action of the American Civil War was the Battle of Palmito Ranch, fought on May 12, 1865, near Brownsville, Texas. In the brief action Confederate troops under Col. John S. Ford repulsed a Union force led by Col. Theodore H. Barrett.
42. The last shot of the Civil War was fired on June 22, 1865. On that date the Confederate commerce raider CSS Shanandoah, commanded by James I. Waddell, encountered the Northern whaling ship Jerah Swift in the Pacific’s Bering Sea & to obtain the ship’s surrender, fired one round from the Shenandoah’s 32 pounder Whitworth cannon.