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Small and interesting facts about the Civil War

~ By the summer of 1861, Wilmer McLean had had enough. The two great Armies were converging on his farm and what would be the first major battle- Bull Run or Manassas would soon run across the aging virginians farm, a Union shell going so far as to tear through his summer kitchen. Now McLean moved his family away from Manassas, far south and west of Richmond-out of harms way to a dusty little crossroads town called Apomattox Courthouse. It was there three and a half years later that Lee surrendered to Grant and Wilmer McLean could rightfully say

"The war began in my front yard and ended in my front Parlor".

~ Robert E. Lee became a legend in the Confederate Army only after turning down an offer to command the entire Union Force.

~Four of Lincolns own brothers-in-law fought on the Confederate side, and one was killed.

~ The little town of Winchester, Virginia changed hands 72 times during the war.

~ The State of Missouri sent 39 regiments to fight in the seige of Vicksburg: -17 to the Confederacy -22 to the Union

~ Col. and Brevet Brig. Gen. Christopher "Kit" who was also the shortest notable officer in the war standing less then 5'4"

~ John Clem, of Newark, Ohio who left home at the age of 9, better kown as "Jonny Shiloh" or "The Drummer Boy of Chickamauga", who enlisted at the age of 10 . His drum was destroyed by a artillery round at Shiloh. At age 12 he shot a confederate officer at Chickamauga, later suffered two battle wounds, and retired from the army as a Major General in 1916 on the eve of WWI.

~ Willie Johnson, from St. Johnsbury, Vermont, was a drummer in Co. D 3rd Vermont, winning the Medal of Honor during the Seven Days, becoming the youngest person to be so honered, being then just about the age of 13.

~Madam Turchin, wife of Col. Ivan Turchin, "The Mad Russian," led his 19th Illinois in Tennessee on day in 1862 after he was wounded.

~One battle with Seven names: White Oak Swamp/Fraysers Farm/Glendale/Charles City Cross Roads/Nelsons Farm/ Turkey Bend/New Market Cross Roads, Virginia 30 June 1862.

~The Confederate 1st Louisiana allegedly had men of 37 different nationalities in its ranks.

~The tallest Union Soldier was Captain Van Buskirk, 27th Indiana, stood 6'10 1/2 inches tall.

~ The shortest Union Soldier was a private in the 192nd Ohio, he stood 3 feet, 4 inches tall.

~ When General Hooker took command of the Army of Potomic, his realistic policy toward recreation for the troops changed Washington overnight. Red-light districts flourished. Tradition strongly insists that it was the benevolent commanding General who gave his name to the sland expression "hooker" signifying both an abandoned women and a drink of whiskey neat.

~ Mr Lincoln was suffering from a fresh case of smallpox when he delivered the most famous speech in American history, The Gettysburg Address.

~ The youngest Confederate General was William Paul Roberts of North Carolina, a cavalry commander who went to war at 20. His claim to the title has been est. only recently through a study of vital statistics.

~ Of the 425 Confederate Generals, 77 were killed or died of wounds during the war. The last surviving LT. General of the Southern Army was Simon Bolivar Buckner, who lived until 1914, his son and namesake was killed as a General in WWII.

~ In the post war years, Johnson served as a pallbearer for several prominent Union Generals, including U.S. Grant. His last such service was for William T. Sherman, his conqueror. While paying his respects to Sherman in the cemetery on a winters day, Johnson contracted a severe cold which became pneumonia and was the cause of his death.

~There was a Abraham Lincoln on both sides of the war. The President, and a Confederate, Private Abraham Lincoln of Co. F 1st VA Cavalry. He was reported as a deserter in 1864, so the North ended up with both of them.

~The 126th New York was the YMCA Regiment.

~Though more then 27,000 were casualties of the battle of Chickamauga, and 4,000 were killed, only one soldier is known to lie on the field today. He is Private John Ingraham, of the 1st Condeferate Reg. GA Vol, an orphan who was buried by comrades where he fell and remained there despite removal of all other known bodies in development of the battlefield park.

~The youngest of the Generals was 17 years of age. Brevet Major General Galusha Pennypacker USA, the youngest of the wars general officers. Born June 1, 1844, and too young to vote until the wars end.

~More then 2,000,000 Federal soldiers were 21 or under. More then 1,000,000 were 18 or under. About 8000,000 were 17, 2000,000 were 16 years of age, 1000,000 were 15 years of age or younger. 300 were 13 or under in age, most of these were fifers or drummers but some times fighters.

~On the Condeferate side, one man was 70 years of age, and another was 73 years of age.

~General Patrick Cleburne, CSA had one brother in the Southern Army and one in the Northern Army

~ The climax of the war for the 7th Tennesse Regiment CSA, was the capture of the complete 7th Tennesse USA- warriors, drummers, cooks and all.

~Old Henry Clay's grandsons were soldiers, three for the Union, and four for the Confederacy.

~James W. Ripley, the Federal Chief of ordnance, had a firebreathing nephew, General Roswell Ripley, who fought for the Confederacy.

~Captain Frank Armstrong of the 2nd US Cavalry fought in blue at First Manassas, or Bull Run, resigned the following month and went South to became a Confederate brigadier general.

~Senator George Crittenden of Kentucky was proud of two sons who became Major Generals, one on each side.

~Stonewall Jackson was a symbol of southern resistance, but his sister Laura, a Union sympathizer, remained unshaken in her devotion to the Old Republic. She was applauded for her stand by Federal soldiers. She sent a message by Union soldier to the effect that she could "take care of wounded Federals as fast as her brother Thomas would wound them."

~Almost 99 years lay between the deaths of the Civil Wars first casualty and its last survivor. The first man fell in May 1861. By some accounts Colonel Elmer Ellsworth of New York Fire Zouaves, slain May 24, by an irate Alexandria, VA, innkeeper after he had lowered the Rebel flag. Others, the first was Private T. B. Brown USA, who died from a CSA bullet on May 22.

~ The identity of the "Last man" is also uncertain, but the reconginzed final survivor was Walter Williams, once a forager for John Hoods Texans, who died in Houston on Decembert 19, 1959 at the age of 117. He was counted the last of the wars four million, outliving the last Union Veteran, Albert Woolson of Duluth, Minnesota by about 3 years.

~At least 618,000 Americans died in the Civil War and some experts say the toll reached 700,000. These casualties exceed the nations loss in all its other wars, from the Revolution through Korea.

~The Union armies had from 2,5000,000 to 2,7000,000 men. Their losses, Battle deaths, 110,070, Disease, 250,00. Total deaths by the war for the Union were est. at 360,222.

~The CSA strength, known less accurately due to missing records, was from 750,000 to 1,250,000. Their loss is est. at: Battle deaths: 94,000, Disease: 164,000. Total deaths by the war for the Confederate side, 258,000.

~Of the estimated 2 million Union Soldiers who served in the Civil War, 267 were executed by US authorities. The largest number was 147, they were ordered for desertion, 120 were for murder, rape or mutiny.



The Civil War Book of List, complied by the editors of Combined Books, 1993

The Civil War, Strange & Fascinating Facts, by Burke Davis, author of Gray Fox, 1913.