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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  Facts: Strange & Rare


Recent hand-picked Civil War news and articles

How black spies risked their lives by going undercover during the Civil War
Confederate officers thought slaves were powerless and oblivious, and as a result leaders in the South would openly discuss troop movements and battle plans and leave important documents right under their noses, without any fear they would comprehend and relay the information. Little is known about the black men and women who served as Union intelligence officers, because Union spymasters destroyed documents to shield them from Confederate soldiers and sympathisers during the war and vengeful whites afterwards.

The Dogs, Bears, eagles and Camels of American Civil War
As Union and Confederate soldiers left the comforts of home for the grim realities of war, many brought along family pets or adopted stray or wild animals, which took on semi-official roles. Regiments from the North and the South kept dogs, cats, horses, squirrels and raccoons as mascots. Some chose more unusual animals, including bears, badgers, eagles, wildcats, even a camel. Not only did these mascots provide comfort and entertainment to lonely and bored soldiers in camp and on marches, but they often became companions in battle, suffering alongside their regiments.

In "The Union War" author Gary W. Gallagher claims that the North went to war to preserve the Union, not to end slavery
In "The Union War" author Gary W. Gallagher takes issue with what has become the new conventional wisdom, that the North fought the war in order to achieve the emancipation of the slaves. While welcoming the post-civil-rights-era emphasis on "slavery, emancipation, and the actions of black people, unfairly marginalized for decades in writings about the conflict," he makes a very strong case that the dominating motive in the North was preservation of the Union.

Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero by Marissa Moss and John Hendrix
"Nurse, Soldier, Spy" is a fast-moving true story of the Civil War, offers a mix of history, adventure and "old-fashioned girl power," explains artist John Hendrix. Written by Marissa Moss, the book tells the true tale of teenager Sarah Emma Edmonds, who dressed as a man and enlisted in the Union Army under the name Frank Thompson. Thompson rescued the wounded on battlefields, nursed them and served as a spy, disguising herself as a slave to get behind Confederate lines.

Role of Chinese Americans who fought in American Civil War
Many people would be surprised to know that there were Asian faces - mostly Chinese Americans - in the crowds of white and black soldiers serving in the American Civil War. There were 200 Chinese-Americans living in the eastern United States at the time, 58 of them fought in the Civil War. Because of their previous experiences at sea, many of them saw action in the U.S. Navy. Three Chinese-Americans gained the rank of corporal in all-white units.

Virginia Tech launches Civil War newspapers repository website
The American Civil War Newspapers website is now online. Under the supervision of William C. Davis, professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Science and director of programs at the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech, students have indexed the site's first journal, the Macon, Ga., Daily Telegraph for the period July 1860 to June 1865. The site is available free of charge, as one of the projects of the center to further understanding of the Civil War era. The site is located on Virginia Tech's Discovery Commons repository. Users may then search by keyword, or browse the pages either on their own or by predefined topics. Each page provides options for downloading and viewing printable digital images of the newspaper columns in which a search finds a hit.

Poll: 38% of Southerners still side with the Confederacy
The American Civil War started 150 years ago, and the echoes are still being felt. A poll found that 38% said they sympathize with the Confederacy, which lost the fight that cost 600,000 American lives, and resulted in the bloodiest days on U.S. soil. Overall, 25% from all geographic areas said they still side with the South. 54% said they believe the war was over slavery, while 42% said slavery wasn't the main reason.

Abraham Lincoln tried to deport slaves to British colonies
Evidence from the British legation in Washington - that has turned up at the National Archives in Kew, UK - reveals that Abraham Lincoln planned black colonization right up until his assassination in 1865. Phillip Magness and Sebastian Page claim that after Lincoln announced the freedom of three quarters of America's four million slaves with his 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, he authorised plans to set up freedmen's settlements in Belize and Guyana. As black soldiers were dying for the Union cause and a mission to send 453 freed slaves to colonize an island off Haiti met with a disastrous small pox outbreak, Lincoln secretly authorized British officials to recruit blacks for a new life on the plantations of Central America.

The Civil War: The First Year As Told By Those Who Lived It (book review)
To mark the 150th anniversary of The Civil War, editors Brooks D. Simpson, Stephen W. Sears, and Aaron Sheehan-Dean have begun on a 4-year, 4-volume history of the crisis. Based on the first volume - The Civil War: The First Year Told By Those Who Lived It - this will be the most complete look at that crucial era in American history ever. The editors have collected an unprecedented variety of sources in the 840 pages of the first volume.

Ulysses S. Grant's last surviving great grandson dies at 91
Ulysses S. Grant, V, the last surviving great grandson of the 18th American President, Ulysses S. Grant, has passed away in his Battlefield, Missouri home, near to the Wilson Creek Battlefield. Grant moved to Battlefield in his later years becoming the family historian inheriting numerous historical artifacts from his grandfather, Jesse Grant, President Grant's youngest son

Civil War ironclad's technology unveiled as USS Monitor's steam engine is examined for the first time
On Dec. 31, 1862, the USS Monitor sank in treacherous waters 16 miles off North Carolina's Cape Hatteras. The wreck was discovered in 1973, upside down on the ocean floor in 235 feet of water. In 2001, the ship's steam engine - an innovative "vibrating side-lever" engine with pistons that worked horizontally - was salvaged. Until recently the engine lay in a 35,000-gallon tank at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va., soaking in alkaline water to loosen the sediment.

Strangling the Confederacy:: Coastal Operations in the American Civil War by Kevin Dougherty
"Strangling the Confederacy" examines Union coastal operations against the Confederate States during the American Civil War. With 189 harbour and river openings along the 3549 miles of Confederate shoreline between the Potomac and the Rio Grande, it was easier to declare the blockade than enforce it.

Civil War battlegrounds in danger: Casino in Gettysburg, Walmart in Wilderness battlefield
A casino could soon be located near the Gettysburg battlefield. A Walmart may shadow the Wilderness battlefield in Virginia, where U. S. Grant kept his headquarters when he first fought Robert E. Lee. At the same time that battlefield sites gear up for a flood of visitors - because of the Civil War's 150th anniversary - they are shrinking away, acre by acre.

The US Coast Survey`s map of the slave-holding states show concentrations of slaves
The detailed United States Coast Survey's map of the slave-holding states - based on the 1860 Census and illustrating the different concentrations of slaves across the South - provides a captivating insight into the country's massive slave population.

Stolen Civil War sword, which belonged to Col. Rush C. Hawkins, surfaces after 30 years
Colonel Rush C. Hawkins led his Union troops to victory over Confederate forces time and time again. His reward after his retirement from battle in 1863: a Tiffany-made silver presentation sword. In the 1970s, the sword disappeared from the Brown University's Hawkins collection - and was not heard from until in 2010. At the present time, courts are trying to resolve the ownership of the sword.

Five myths about slavery and why the South seceded comprehensively explored
(Myth #1) The South seceded over states' rights: South Carolina's secession convention adopted a "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union." It noted "an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery". (Myth #3) Most white Southerners didn't own slaves, so they wouldn't secede for slavery: Most non-slave-owning whites defended slavery because they dreamed to become slave-owners in the future.

American history 1861-1865: U.S. Civil War was a conflict between the Abraham Lincoln led Union and 11 southern states that formed CSA - the Confederate States of America, led by Jefferson Davis. In the first year the Union got control of the border states and established a naval blockade as both sides raised large armies. In 1862 the bloody battles began. Robert E. Lee get a series of Confederate victories, but his best general, Stonewall Jackson, was killed at the Chancellorsville in May 1863. Lee's invasion of the North was repulsed at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. In July 1863 Ulysses Grant seized control of Mississippi by capturing Vicksburg, thus splitting the Confederacy. The war ended after the Confederacy collapsed following General Robert E. Lee's surrender at the Battle of Appomattox.

Also called: 'War of the Rebellion', 'War of Southern Independence', 'War of Northern Aggression' and 'War Between the States'.