This period of time in America’s history was hard. Hard for everyone concerned. It’s a fascinating time to study and you won’t believe some of the nuggets I found!
- In 2009, a woman visited a museum in Richmond Virginia to show the experts something that had been in her family since the Civil War. They had never seen ANYTHING like it. It was made out of brass, approximately 1″ in length and looked very much like an acorn. There were no marking or inscriptions and the museum was stumped! The woman explained that her family’s history passed down the story of a Confederate soldier using it to smuggle secret notes across enemy lines. It was….smuggled in his bum. She said it was called a “Rectal Acorn”. She did not donate the item.
- In 1862, a Virginian farmer gave Robert E. Lee a flock of chickens. Unfortunately, another general’s men ate them all except for one. She had made her roost up in a tree and they missed her when they were preparing dinner. Robert E. Lee took a real liking to her and left the flap of his tent up so she could come and go as she pleased. Over time, she started leaving him fresh eggs under his bed every morning. On the eve of a large battle, the General invited all of his generals to a dinner. The only problem was there wasn’t enough food. (You see where this is going.) His slave cook, even though he hated to lose her, stuffed her and cooked her as part of the meal. He said it was the only time in 4 years the general scolded him. “The general don’t like seein’ nothin’ get killed- not his soldiers and especially not his chicken.”
- There were many rules for women at this time in history, right down to how they were to mourn for their loved ones. If a woman lost her child, she was in mourning for 1 year, a brother, 6 months, and a husband for 2 1/2 years. That time was broken into heavy, full, and half mourning- mostly shown in how they dressed. Mary Todd Lincoln stayed in heavy mourning after the loss of her son, Willie. She dressed in black veils, black crepe and even black jewelry. A confederate wife stayed in heavy mourning for 59 years after her husband was shot! Men were only expected to mourn for 3 months and could signal that by a simple black arm band or a black strap on their hat.
- There were 2 General Jefferson Davis! What?!? Yes. One for each side of the war. This didn’t really cause too many problems except for this one time…During the battle of Chickamauga, night approached and darkness fell. A group of soldiers from Ohio saw another group approaching but they couldn’t tell if they were friend or foe. (That’s a problem!) They called out, “What troops are you?” They all answered as a group. “Jeff Davis’s troops.” The guys from Ohio relaxed, believing it was their Jeff Davis. Wrong! The group belonged to the Confederate Jeff Davis.
- Did you know they had glow-in-the-dark wounds? I kid you not. After the bloody battle at Shiloh, over 16,000 men were wounded. It was overwhelming to both sides. Soldiers layed in the mud for 2 rainy days or more and noticed that many of them had glowing wounds. In fact, it seemed that the ones that glowed fared better! It wasn’t until two teenagers, working on their science fair project in 2001, solved the mystery. The wounded became hypothermic, and their lowered body temperatures made ideal conditions for a bio-luminescent bacterium called Photorhabdus luminescens, which inhibits pathogens.
- After President Abraham Lincoln was killed. His wallet was found to contain a $5 Confederate bill with the Confederate President Jefferson Davis printed on it. Hmmmmmm