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Southern Magic - History Tidbits

Blue and Gray

By Carla Swafford

In the soldier's tents, to light the room, a candle was stuck on a bayonet, and the bayonet would be attached to the wall or thrust into the dirt floor.

In effort to raise money in the North, the one-dollar bill was issued in 1862. It was called a "greenback" and was the first US paper money.

The Union and the Confederacy had different names for several Civil War battles. Such as, Bull Run to the Union, would be Manassas to the Confederacy. Antietam to a Union soldier, Sharpsburg to a Confederate.

For many years after the Civil War (for those die-hard Rebels, the War Between the States), families would pay tribute to a fallen loved one by placing a portrait of the soldier on the front porch with a flag (whichever applied, Stars and Bars or Stars and Stripes) hanging above it and a riderless horse tied to the rail nearby.

Before the war, a bag of salt in the South cost $2. By the fall of 1862, the price was $60.

As far back as the Civil War, draft dodgers fled to Canada.

The range of the widely used Springfield and Enfield rifles was 600 yards.

"Dixie Land" and "The Bonnie Blue Flag" were popular songs among Southern soldiers. A haunting love song called "Lorena" would make Confederate soldiers so homesick they deserted after hearing it. Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan ordered his officers to kill its author.

Odd, considering they were fighting Johnny Reb, but Billy Yank enjoyed "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."

The first barbed wire fence was made in 1861.


Taken from Magic Moments - April 2000 Volume 3/Issue 4