The Unknown Civil War: Odd, Peculiar, and Unusual Stories of the War Between the States

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Cumberland House, 2000 - History - 301 pages
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In the 135 years that have passed since the Civil War, almost every significant event has been discussed, detailed, or described in one way or another. Indeed, so much has been written that very little of what happened remains unknown.

Many unusual stories are attached to the people and events of the Civil War. This is a collection of stories that still raise questions today, revealing subtle ironies and neglected insights about the war.

However, many odd, peculiar, and unusual stories attached themselves to the people and events of the war. The Unknown Civil War is a collection of such stories, many of them about fascinating, little-known aspects of larger stories that have been ignored in the rush to stake out new scholarly insights about the war. The result is a genuine human-interest book about the war that does not ignore the political and military aspects but highlights a wealth of interesting facts that make for entertaining reading:

  • How Abraham Lincoln prevented Maryland from seceding from the Union by sending Ben Butler into Baltimore to arrest pro-Southern legislators before they could vote.
  • Draft dodgers shooting off toes or cutting off trigger fingers to avoid combat.
  • Seamstress Elizabeth Keckly, who worked for both Varina Davis, wife of the future Confederate President, and Mary Todd Lincoln.
  • Pro-slavery Unionist Parson Brownlow of Tennessee, one of many who adopted the slogan "The Union and Slavery."
  • Union soldiers mistakenly bombarded by their own warships because army and naval signalmen were not taught the same code "language."
  • A Union officer who ordered a slave hanged for not finding a safe passage across a rain-swollen river.
  • The story behind the first battlefield reconnaissance photographs taken from the air.
  • A cold-blooded killer who later won a Medal of Honor.
  • The role of "life closers," men who marched behind the infantry lines and whose job was to shoot any man who quit when he was supposed to be on the move.

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User Review  - cvp60 -

I ordered 2 books about the Civil War as a gift. One was hardbound the other paperback. I received both books in paperback. This was the only problem. I paid for one hardbound book but received a paperback book. Read full review

About the author (2000)

Webb Garrison is a former university dean & college president who has spent a lifetime collecting & chronicling Civil War imagery & documentation. He has written more than 1,000 articles for magazines, & over 65 books - of which the most popular are on the Civil War; their cumulative sales are approaching one million copies. He is a frequent speaker on this subject for radio talk shows & national TV programs. Webb Garrison lives in North Carolina.

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