Civil War Facts

· Of the 364,000 on the Union side who lost their lives, a third were killed or died of wounds and two-thirds died of disease.

· The chance of surviving a wound in Civil War days was 7 to 1; in the Korean War, 50 to 1.

· Many doctors who saw service in the Civil War had never been to medical school, but had served an apprenticeship in the office of an established practitioner.

· Approximately 130,000 freed slaves became Union soldiers during the war.

· Besides the rifle and cannon, weapons consisted of revolvers, swords, cutlasses, hand grenades, Greek fire and land mines.

· About 15 percent of the wounded died in the Civil War; about 8 percent in World War I; about 4 percent in World War II; about 2 percent in the Korean War.

· Most infantry rifles were equipped with bayonets, but very few men wounded by bayonet showed up at hospitals. The conclusion was that the bayonet was not a lethal weapon. The explanation probably lay in the fact that opposing soldiers did not often actually come to grips and, when they did, were prone to use their rifles as clubs.

· Eighty percent of all wounds during the Civil War were in the extremities.

· Most wounds were caused by an elongated bullet made of soft lead, about an inch long, pointed at one end and hollowed out at the base, and called a “minie” ball, having been invented by Capt. Minié of the French army.

· During the Civil war a person who had been drafted could hire a substitute. This bounty system was exploited by so called “bounty jumpers”. These men would hire out to more than one draftee and then make a hasty exit once they were paid. The record for bounty –jumping was held by John O’Connor. He admitted to hiring himself out 32 times before being caught. He received a 4 year prison term.

· The first U. S. Naval hospital ship, the Red Rover, was used on the inland waters during the Vicksburg campaign.

· Black soldiers were paid $10 per month while serving in the Union army. This was $3 less than white soldiers.

· Artillery was used extensively, but only about 10 percent of the wounded were the victims of artillery fire.

· General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate forces, traveled with a pet hen that laid one egg under his cot every morning.

· Fully armed, a soldier carried about seven pounds of ammunition. His cartridge box contained 40 rounds, and an additional 60 rounds might be conveyed in the pocket if an extensive battle was anticipated.