5 things You Might Not Know about the Civil War
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"Roundheads and Ramblings"

5 things You Might Not Know about the Civil War

1. Did you know that during the Civil War both union and Confederate soldiers sometimes took their pets with them when they enlisted?  Records show that many dogs, a few house cats, several squirrels, a raccoon, a bear, a badger, an eagle, a wildcat, and even one camel accompanied the troops. Besides offering the usual companionship and comfort to their original owners, these animals sometimes became the mascot of a whole regiment.  You can read one article about this practice at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/06/the-dogs-and-bears-and-camels-of-war/

2. Did you know that several battles of the Civil War have two names? Was it Manassas or Bull Run, Elkhorn Tavern or Pea Ridge, Boonsboro or South Mountain, Shiloh or Pittsburgh Landing, Murfreesboro or Stones Mountain?  No, the names are not just designed to drive history students crazy. Historian Shelby Foote once speculated that the South named battles for the closest town because most of their soldiers came from rural areas and noticed signs of civilization.  The North, however, named battles for nearby bodies of water or other natural landmarks because they came from an urban environment and were attracted to nature.

3. Did you know that the same phenomenon shows up in the names of major armies.  The South named their armies for states. They had the Army of Tennessee, the Army of Virginia, the Army of Mississippi. The North once again used rivers. They  had the Army of the Potomac, the Army of the Cumberland, and the Army of the Mississippi. (Note how the addition of "the" makes a difference.)

4. Did  you know that Arlington National Cemetery was once the Virginia home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee?  The government confiscated the 1100-acre location in 1863 for non-payment of back taxes. President Lincoln authorized its use as a cemetery so that if Lee tried to return to it after the war, he would “have to look at these graves and see the carnage that he had created.” Note: he didn't.  A family member later sued the government to get the estate returned, but the graves remained, and the family finally sold the land back to the government .

5. Did you know that the the tune "Dixie" was equally popular with both Confederate and Union troops?  It was even played as part of a patriotic concert at Abraham Lincoln's inauguration.