American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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Civil War Mysteries

Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

Historians hunt for Civil War-era passage that could have run from Fort Totten to Bronx
The visitors have heard the legend about an escape passage built between Fort Totten in Queens, to Fort Schuyler in the Bronx, where the Long Island Sound and the East River meet. Historians and park rangers say it's a myth: The technology to build a tunnel under 100 feet of water didn't exist at the time. But myth has been stirred up by clues like dead-ending corridors and walled-up chambers in both forts. David Allen enjoys exploring the Throgs Neck fort's complex maze of underground tunnels, and recently he discovered a passage that seems to go under the bay headed for Fort Totten. The tale motivated the History Channel to run a segment on it.

Civil War submarine Hunley is still a mystery
It could be one of the America's oldest cold case files. What happened to 8 Confederate sailors aboard the H.L. Hunley after it became the first submarine to sink an enemy warship? Its fate has been the subject of 150 years of theories and a decade of research since the Hunley was raised in 2000. But the submarine has been slow giving up her secrets. "She was a mystery when she was built. She was a mystery as to how she looked and how she was constructed for many years and she is still a mystery as to why she didn't come home," said Glenn McConnell, chairman of the South Carolina Hunley Commission, which raised the sub and is preserves and displays it.

Hurricane reveals mystery Civil War ship - Photos
The last time this mystery ship was visible was after a hurricane hit the Alabama Gulf Coast on September 16, 2004. At that time a much smaller part of the ship was visible. The 150 foot long, 30 foot wide wooden ship seems to have been powered by steam. One of the items within the perimeter of the ship's hull appears to be an old water pump. A long pipe runs down the center of the ship, with smaller pipes found nearby. While no one knows for sure what ship this is, historians theorize that the ship was a blockade-runner from the civil war.

Where are the missing Civil War flags - Mystery of lost union flags   (Article no longer available from the original source)
As the Tennessee State Museum curators collected data on historic battle flags for a book "Volunteer Banners: The Civil War Flags of Tennessee" a mystery unfolded: Where are the banners of the Tennessee Union troops? At the start of the civil war Tennessee was divided, most in East Tennessee were against the Confederacy, and joined regiments to preserve the Union. "Only 8 Union regimental flags out of the 60-70 believed to have been in existence during the war have been located. As there is no known record of Union flags being destroyed by post-war Confederate sympathizers, there is the possibility that the flags were hidden."

Discovery suggests York's rebel helper - Civil War mystery
One of York County's whodunits now appears to have an ending. Who was that young girl who handed a bouquet of flowers to the Confederate general as his rebel brigade marched through York in June 1863? This story has been told and retold since Gen. John B. Gordon recounted the tale of the anonymous floral gift in his 1904 autobiography. Military historians writing about the famed Confederate general often tell the tale. Now they have a name to attach to the story: 12yo Margaret Small. It wasn't the flowers that made the moment important: The bouquet hid a note showing Union troop defensive positions.

Mystery: ID tag of a Union soldier aboard a sunken Confederate sub
An identification tag of a Killingly soldier had been found aboard a sunken Confederate submarine in Charleston, SC. Thus began the mystery and the search for answers as to why the dog tag of a Union soldier, Ezra Chamberlin, was on board the Confederate submarine, "H. L. Hunley," which sank in Charleston Harbor February 17, 1864, after ramming an explosive charge into the Union blockade ship "Housatonic" that sank it. The Hunley had been discovered in 1995 by Clive Cussler's National Underwater Agency (NUMA) and raised from the bottom of the harbor on August 8, 2000.