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Civil War Facts - Page 3

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  • The first organized ambulance corps were used in the Peninsular campaign and at Antietam.

  • The U.S.S. Kearsarge sank the C.S.S. Alabama off the coast of Cherbourg, France, in a fierce engagement. Frenchmen gathered along the beach to witness the battle and Renoir painted the scene, which now hangs in a Philadelphia art gallery.

  • General Grant's losses from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor in 1864, a period of 29 days, totaled 54,900.

  • Besides their captures, Confederate cruisers drove great numbers of U.S. ships under foreign flags for protection, precipitating the decline of the U.S. Merchant Marine.

  • In the Vicksburg Campaign in 1863, Grant won five battles within a period of 18 days, captured 40 field guns, and inflicted casualties of approximately 5,200 on the South. He captured 31,600 prisoners, 172 cannons, and 6,000 small arms when Vicksburg, Mississippi fell. It was the greatest military haul ever made in the Western hemisphere.

Civil War Ambulance.

Civil War Ambulance.

This image available for photographic prints HERE!




  • The Confederate cruiser Shenandoah sailed completely around the world, raiding Union whalers and commerce vessels. The ship and its crew surrendered to English authorities in Liverpool more than six months after Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

  • There were 6,000,000 cases of disease in the Federal armies, which meant that, on an average, every man was sick at least twice.

  • One small section of Virginia became America's bloodiest battle ground. In an area of barely 20 square miles and including Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor, more than half a million men fought in deadly combat. Here, more men were killed and wounded during the Civil War than were killed and wounded in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the War with Mexico and all of the Indian wars combined. No fewer than 19 generals, ten Union and nine Confederate, met their deaths here.

  • Lincoln did not believe that whites and blacks could live together in peace. He had planned to relocate the entire black population of the United States to Central America.

  • Union and Confederate forces stationed at Fredericksburg, Virginia during the winter of 1862 traded items by constructing small boats and floating them back and forth across the Rappahannock River.

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

  • Approximately 130,000 freed slaves became Union soldiers during the war.

  • The artillery barrage at the Battle of Gettysburg during Pickett’s charge was heard over 100 miles away in Pittsburgh.

  • The first civilian killed by the abolitionist John Brown and his cohorts at Harper’s Ferry was a free black man.

  • During the Peninsular campaign in the spring of 1862, as many as 5,000 wounded were brought into a hospital where there was only one medical man and five hospital stewards to care for them.

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

Harper's Ferry Arsenal Ruins, West Virginia, 1862

Harper's Ferry Arsenal ruins. This image available for photographic prints HERE!


  • The largest cavalry battle took place at Brandy Station, Virginia, June 9, 1863.

  • Approximately 2,000 men served in the 26th North Carolina Regiment during the course of the Civil War. With Lee’s surrender on April 9, 1865, at the Appomattox courthouse, there were only 131 men left to receive their paroles.

  • The Confederate forces lost 63 Brigadier Generals, 7 Major Generals, and 3 Lieutenant Generals during the war.

  • The first military decoration formally authorized by the American government was, the Medal of Honor created by an act of Congress in December 1861. The award was to be given to those members of the armed forces who "shall distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier like qualities. It was liberally awarded during the Civil War to about 1,200 men.

  • Black soldiers were paid $10 per month for serving in the Union army, while white soldiers received $13 per month.  In June, 1864, both got a $3 raise.

  • In the infantry and artillery units, officers received the following pay at the start of the war:

- Colonels - $212

- Lieutenant Colonels - $181

- Majors - $169

- Captains - $115.50

- Lieutenants - $105.50

  • The Birth of Freedom DVDOther line and staff officers drew an average of about $15 per month more. Pay for one, two, and three star generals was $315, $457, and $758, respectively.

  • Approximately 30,000 Union soldiers died as prisoners of war. The number of Confederate soldiers is estimated at only a little more at 31,000.

  • More than 3,000 horses were killed at Gettysburg

  • 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.

  • During the Civil War was the first time that the U.S. Army commissioned chaplains.

  • In addition to its dead and wounded from battle and disease, the Union listed sunstroke fatalities at 313.

  • Some authorities accredit the 26th North Carolina Regiment with having incurred the greatest loss in a single battle. At the Battle of Gettysburg, the regiment lost 708 of its men, representing 85 percent of its total strength. In one company of 84 men, every man and officer was hit. The orderly sergeant who made out the report had a bullet wound through both legs.

  • In the assault on Petersburg in June, 1864, the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery incurred 635 of its 900 men were killed or wounded within seven minutes.  Though this organization did not see action until 1864, in less than one year, 1,283 men of its total 2202 were killed or wounded.

  • The Confederate pay structure was modeled after that of the US Army. Privates continued to be paid at the prewar rate of $11 per month until June 1864, when the pay of all enlisted men was raised $18 per month.

  • If a statue of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

  • No one knows the identity of the war's youngest soldier, one Confederate solider named George S. Lamkin of Winona, Mississippi joined Stanford's Mississippi Battery when he was just eleven. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Shiloh.

  • The bloodiest battles of the War were: Gettysburg - 51,116 casualties in three days, Antietam - 22,726 casualties in one day, and the Seven Days Battle where 36,463 men lost their lives.

  • Of the 425 Confederate generals, 146 were graduates of West Point.

  • Almost one third of the U.S. Army officers resigned to serve the Confederacy.

  • One regiment of volunteers at Albany, New York was composed entirely of men over forty-five year-old.

  • The number of Union deserters during the Civil War is estimated at over 200,000, while deserters from the South, are estimated at just a little more than 100,000.

  • After the Battle of Gettysburg the discarded rifles were collected and sent to Washington to be inspected and reissued. Of the 37,574 rifles recovered, 24,000 were still loaded.

  • Missouri sent more men to war, in proportion to her population, than any other state. The total number of Missouri Volunteers who served was 199,111.

A boy soldier in the Civil War

A boy soldier of the Civil War. This image available for photographic prints HERE!



Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson

Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson.

This image available for photographic prints HERE!


  • Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson often went about camp handing out Sunday school leaflets.

  • Most infantry rifles were equipped with bayonets, but very few men wounded by bayonet showed up at hospitals. The conclusion was that the bayonet was not a lethal weapon. The explanation probably lay in the fact that opposing soldiers did not often actually come to grips and, when they did, were prone to use their rifles as clubs.

  • Thomas Stewart, aged 92 years, of East Newtown, Ohio, was a private in the 101st Ohio regiment, and took part in the battle of Perryville, where he was complimented for his bravery and soldierly bearing.

  • More shells were discharged in the single battle of Gettysburg than were employed in all the battles that Napoleon ever fought.


Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated July, 2015.





Also See:

The Union in the Civil War

Confederate States of America

Civil War (main page)

Civil War Photo Print Galleries

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