The Blue & Gray Almanac : The Civil War in Facts & Figures, Recipes & Slang

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      “Help[s] readers to examine this period in history with a more cultural perspective than other books have... clear, concise, and crisp... fascinating” (San Francisco Book Review).• During the final days of the war, some Richmond citizens would throw “Starvation Parties,” soirees at which elegantly attired guests gathered amid the finest silver and crystal tableware, though there were usually no refreshments except water.• Union Rear-Admiral Goldsborough was nicknamed “Old Guts,” not so much for his combativeness as for his heft—weighing about three hundred pounds, he was described as “a huge mass of inert matter.”• 30.6 percent of the 425 Confederate generals, but only 21.6 percent of the 583 Union generals, had been lawyers before the war.• In 1861, J.P. Morgan made a huge profit by buying five thousand condemned US Army carbines and selling them back to another arsenal—taking the army to court when they tried to refuse to pay for the faulty weapons.• Major General Loring was reputed to have so rich a vocabulary that one of the men remarked he could “curse a cannon up hill without horses.”• Many militia units had a favorite drink—the Charleston Light Dragoons'punch took around a week to make, while the Chatham Artillery required a pound of green tea leaves be steeped overnight.• There were five living former presidents when the Civil War began, and seven veterans of the war, plus one draft dodger, went on to serve as president.These stories and many more can be found in this treasury of anecdotes, essays, trivia, and much more—including numerous illustrations—that bring this historical period to vivid life.
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