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Friday, August 14, 2009

Civil War Trivia

I thought I’d end my series of Civil War blog posts with a little bit of trivia. Some of it may surprise you. I especially liked numbers 10 and 13. Number 16 makes me think Buffalo Bill must have stretched the truth a bit. Check back next week for guest blogger Clare Austin whose new novel Butterfly has just been released. Hope you enjoy the trivia.

1. The artillery barrage at the battle of Gettysburg during Pickett’s charge was heard over 100 miles away in Pittsburg.

2. General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate forces, traveled with a pet hen that laid one egg under his cot every morning.

3. At Cold Harbor, Va., 7,000 Americans fell in 20 minutes.

4. In March 1862, European powers watched in worried fascination as the Monitor and Merrimack battled off Hampton Roads, Va. From then on, after these ironclads opened fire, every other navy on earth was obsolete.

5. Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest had 30 horses shot from under him and personally killed 31 men in hand-to-hand combat. "I was a horse ahead at the end," he said.

6. The words "In God We Trust" first appeared on a U.S. coin in 1864.

7. The greatest cavalry battle ever fought in the Western hemisphere was at Brandy Station, Virginia, on June 9, 1863. Nearly 20,000 cavalrymen were engaged on a relatively confined terrain for more than 12 hours.

8. An Iowa regiment had a rule that any man who uttered an oath should read a chapter in the Bible. Several of them got nearly through the Old Testament.

9. Alfred Thomas Archimedes Torbert held commissions in both USA and CSA armies simultaneously. The general remained loyal to the Union. He's the man in the picture.

10. General Stonewall Jackson never ate food that tasted good, because he assumed that anything that tasted good was completely unhealthy.

11. The last land engagement of the Civil War was fought on May 13, 1865 at the Battle of Palmito Ranch in south Texas more than a month after General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

12. The U.S. government estimated in January, 1863 that the war was costing $2.5 million per day. A final official estimate in 1879 totaled all expenses at $6,190,000,000. The Confederacy spent an estimated $2,099,808,707.

13. The melody of the popular Civil War ballad "Aura Lee" was later used for Elvis Presley's "Love me Tender".

14. Plantation owners offered a $40,000 reward for the return of escaped slave Harriet Tubman.

15. As the peace treaty was being signed at Appomattox, the brass band outside played Auld Lang Syne.

16. Wild Bill Hickock claimed to have killed fifty Confederates with fifty shots from his special rifle.

17. Albert Woodson, the last Union veteran, died in 1958. The last Confederate veteran, Walter Williams, died in 1959 at the age of 117.

18. General George Armstrong Custer captured the first and last battle flag of the Civil War.

19. The word deadline came from the infamous Confederate POW camp at Andersonville, Ga. A small perimeter between the stockade and the Union soldiers all the way around the interior of the prison was a no-man’s land. Anyone in this area was subject to immediate execution. That line of demarcation became known as the deadline.

20. When Lincoln was assassinated John Wilkes Booth ran from a theater to a warehouse. When John F. Kennedy was assassinated his assassin ran from a warehouse to a theater.

Trivia was collected from the following sources:

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