Fun Facts About the Civil War!

1) At 4:00 in the morning on April 12, 1861 Southern batteries (cannons) opened fire on Fort Sumter, officially starting the Civil War. On April 15, President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 troops and offered Robert E. Lee command of the Union armies. Lee rejected the offer as he was a native of Virginia and did not want to take up arms against his home state even though he was an officer in the United States army. Later he would lead the Confederate army and surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomatox Court House in Virginia. When he ran for President, Lincoln did not plan to end slavery, just make sure it didn't expand to the new territories and states, but as the war kept going he decided to end slavery. At the begining he just wanted to keep all the states together.

2) Union armies were named after rivers and Southern armies were named after states. For instance, in the Eastern Theatre the Union Army was known as the Army of the Potomac and the Confederate army was most often known as the Army of Northern Virginia. In the Western Theatre the Union had the Army of the Ohio, The Amry of the Mississippi and the Army of the Tennessee, while the South had the Army of Tennessee and the Army of Mississippi.  That kind of makes it hard in some of he battles in the West because the Union Army of theTennessee was fighting the Army of Tennessee. 

3) The red stripes on this uniform mean it was that of an artillery soldier.

 4) Both the Union and Confederates used colors to identify if a soldier was infantry, artillery or cavalry.  They used the same colors - i think that is because the leaders of both armies graduated from the United States Military Academy at Westpoint. Light blue meant a soldier was in the infantry, red was artillery and yellow was for the cavalry.

5) There were 35 stars on the United States Flag at the start of the Civil War.
 Even though 11 states succeeded from the United States leaving only 24 in the Union, President Lincoln did not remove the stars of the Southern states from the official American flag. The flag above is a picture of the flag that flew over Fort Sumter when the Confederate States of America attacked the fort on April 12, 1861. It is different than the official US flag which had the stars in a different pattern. I don't really know why though.

 6) Which flag is the official flag of the Confederate States of America, the one on top or the one I am holding in the photo on the right? The answer is the top one, known as the Stars and Bars.  Some people call the second one, also known as "The Stainless Banner" the second national flag of the Confederate States, but it was actually the Confederate battle flag. The Stars and Bars looked too much like the United States flag in all the smoke and dust of the battles which caused confusion for the soldiers.

 7) 620,000 men were killed in the Civil War - more than all the other wars the United States has fought in combined.

 8) More soldiers died from disease and infection during the war than on the battlefield.  My Great, Great Grandfather served in the 46th Massachusetts Infantry that had 36 men die during the war - one was killed in action and 35 died of disease. Because the guns and cannons were more advanced than past wars, the medical world was not ready for the wounds of the war. Doctors had to cut men's legs and arms off on the battlefield to try to save their lives. There are a lot of stories about the arms and legs that were cut off being in piles taller than the doctors.