5 Civil War Stories You Didn’t Learn In School

During the Civil War, there were some strange and bizarre events that occurred that failed to make the history books. In fact some of what happened was rarely publicized and hidden away from prying eyes. Here are 5 civil war stories that didn’t make the headlines of the day:

1. Lincoln tried to set up a colony for black slaves. The newly elected President felt that white Americans would never accept black slaves as equals so he proposed a solution. He proposed that black slaves be relocated to Central America. The first proposal was that a colony be set up in a place called Cow Island located near Haiti. The island was owned by an American developer who convinced the government that it would be an ideal solution for colonization. So a few hundred blacks were ferried to the island by the U.S. Navy. Housing was promised but was never provided and following a smallpox outbreak the idea was dropped and Lincoln never spoke of it again.

2. President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, was attacked by women of the south. As the war progressed, food prices skyrocketed and the value of the Confederate currency fluctuated sharply. As food became scare, the women in the south in Richmond, Virginia staged a protest march, which became violent. The mob blamed the Confederate government and was confronted by President Jefferson Davis, who tried to quell the protest by throwing the crowd money. It wasn’t until Davis threatened to use force that the mob dispersed.

3. Mark Twain played a minor part in the Civil War, stating he had fired only one shot and left. In his recounting the story it is unknown whether his rendition of the tale was fact or fiction. It seems that Twain had joined a Confederate militia from Marion county, Missouri. According to his account he had fired a single shot, killing a man. However, as the story goes, there were actually six men who fired at the northern horseman, of which only one shot struck the rider. It is unknown if the shot came from Twain’s weapon or not. But that was enough shooting for the popular author so he left.

4. The song ‘Dixie’ may have been a northern song that was stolen by the south. In fact, the true origin of the song remains shadowed in controversy about when the song was actually written. It is alleged that the song under the name ‘I Wish I Was in Dixie’s Land’ was first performed in 1859 in New York. The Confederacy adopted the song as its unofficial anthem. Lincoln had a celebration party and the song played after the south surrendered.

5. Only men served in the Civil War. In 1909 the U.S. Army denied that any woman had enlisted in the Army during the civil war. But it is alleged that hundreds of women disguised themselves as men and fought on both sides. Though it is thought that these women fought to represent their countries, the fact is that they may have fought for monetary reasons. The north paid its soldiers $13 a month and these women needed the cash to support their families.

Comments welcome.

Source – WSJ