Civil War Facts


Mourning rituals.
Wartime convention decreed that a woman mourn her child’s death for one year, a brother’s death for six months, and a husband’s death for two and a half years. She progressed through prescribed stages of heavy, full, and half mourning, with gradually loosening requirements of dress and behavior. Mary Todd Lincoln remained in deep mourning for more than a year after her son Willie’s death, dressing in black veils, black crepe and black jewelry. Flora Stuart, the widow of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart, remained in heavy morning for 59 years after the 1864 death of her husband, wearing black until she died in 1923. By contrast, a widower was expected to mourn for only three months, simply by displaying black crepe on his hat or armband.
Glowing Wounds.
After the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, soldiers reported a peculiar phenomenon: glow-in-the-dark wounds. More than 16,000 soldiers from both armies were wounded during the battle, and neither Union nor Confederate medical personnel were prepared for the carnage. Soldiers lay in the mud for two rainy days, and many of them noticed that their wounds glowed in the dark. In fact, the injured whose wounds glowed seemed to heal better than the others. In 2001, two Maryland teenagers solved the mystery (and won a top prize at an international science fair). The wounded became hypothermic, and their lowered body temperatures made ideal conditions for a bioluminescent bacterium called Photorhabdus luminescens, which inhibits pathogens.
andersonville prisonAndersonville Prison
in southwest Georgia held 33,000 prisoners in 1864. It was the fifth-largest city in the Confederacy.
Last Man Killed in the Civil War
On May 13, 1865, a month after Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Private John J. Williams of the 34th Indiana became the last man killed in the Civil War, in a battle at Palmito Ranch, Texas. The final skirmish was a Confederate victory.
civil war surgeon's toolsMedicine
As per the statistics, two-third of the deaths in the war were due to diseases. Patients were given  ,ether or a glass of whiskey and a bullet to bite down in as anesthesia was not available. Doctors didn’t know what sterilization is and there weren’t any antibiotics either. Amputation was the treatment for severely wounded limb. Left are some physician instruments of the time period. Glad I wasn't born back then!
young soldier in civil warAges of Solders
The scant documentation indicates about 20% soldiers in the Union Army were under 18. There was no minimum age limit fixed by the Confederacy to participate in the war. The minimum age participation was 9 years.
Number of Soldiers Fighting
At the beginning of the war the Northern states had a combined population of 22 million people. The Southern states had a combined population of about 9 million. This disparity was reflected in the size of the armies in the field. The Union forces outnumbered the Confederates roughly two to one.
What happened to the dead?
Typically, soldiers were buried where they fell on the battlefield. Others were buried near the hospitals where they died. At most battlefields the dead were exhumed and moved to National or Confederate cemeteries, but because there were so many bodies, and because of the time and effort it took to disinter them, there are undoubtedly thousands if not tens of thousands of Civil War soldiers in unknown battlefield graves.
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