No other events rattled the US as much as the American Civil War. In the space of four years, Union and Confederate troops met and fought more than 10,000 times. The battles were fought in New Mexico, Vermont, and other States. Although many people are aware of the central facts, there are surprising facts that will surprise you. These facts include;
Immigrants Formed a Third of the Union Army
The Union army contained soldiers from all cultures and nations. Irish troops made up 7.5% while Germans constituted 10%. Besides, there were Scottish, English, Polish, Italian, and French soldiers. Generally, 25% of the regiments were made up of foreigners. The Union army decided to take this further in 1863 when they enlisted blacks. It is widely believed that the multicultural composition helped the Union army to win the war.
Black Union Soldiers Staged a Boycott
The war propaganda posters started asking black soldiers to join the war in 1862. Many people took up this call, and black people joined the army in 1863. However, they soon discovered that something was amiss.
While the general pay for white soldiers was $13, blacks were being paid $10 per month. This amount was slashed even further when the army started charging $3 for clothing.
Soon after they joined the army, black soldiers started to boycott their duties. This pressure continued until it reached abolitionist members of Congress. The congressman pressured Congress to harmonize payment for the soldiers. It was not until the end of 1864 that payment for white and black soldiers became the same.
Harriet Tubman Organized Slave Rebellions
Most people know Harriet Tubman as an escaped slave who organized the Underground Railroad escapes before the American Civil War. When the war broke out, she escaped to South Carolina and offered her services. Initially, she worked as a teacher for freed slave women. Soon, the army management noted her intelligence skills.
In 1863, Tubman conspired with Colonel James Montgomery to organize a slave trade. The two revolutionaries led more than 300 soldiers into the interior. They burned homes and plantations as gunboats bombarded strongholds. The raid was so successful that more than 1,000 people were freed during that mission. This is despite the fact that they were using weapons with inferior specs. One wonders what they could have achieved if they knew of the Bowscanner’s take from bowscanner.com
Lincoln Survived Two Assassinations Before the Successful One
The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1965 is famous around the world. But, very few people are aware that President Lincoln survived two other assassination attempts. The first one happened in August 1863 near the White House. The president was riding his horse towards his home when somebody shot at him.
Fortunately, his horse reacted quickly, and he was able to get into his home. His family was shocked to find a bullet hole in Lincoln’s hat. The president was worried about his wife finding out, so he swore his guards to secrecy.
William Sherman was Accused of Insanity
Union general William Sherman was commanding union troops in Kentucky at the beginning of the American civil war. In one of his reports, he asked the secretary of war to provide him with more than 260,000 troops to carry out a mission. The war secretary considered the request as insanity. Consequently, he directed that Sherman be demoted for insane claims.
Sherman considered committing suicide, but the thought of his children dissuaded him from doing that. Luckily, his demotion was scrapped less than a year later. He would later go on to become a celebrated Union general.
Robert E. Lee Won More Battles than Ulysses Grant
General Ulysses Grant is considered one of the bloodiest generals in history. Historians believed for many years that he was responsible for the most deaths during the American civil war. However, recent war reviews have revealed that general Robert E. Lee was responsible for more casualties. Not only did he lose more soldiers during the war, but he was in charge of inflicting the heaviest losses on the Confederate soldiers.
President Lincoln Wanted to Deport Freed Slaves
The consensus among historians is that President Lincoln wanted to free black slaves in the US. However, recently declassified documents show that his plan was to deport freed black slaves to Africa. His plan was to create a new country for freed slaves in Central and West Africa. To this end, he approached five black pastors for help. However, this plan was rejected by congress.
Not everything is as it seems, and this is true for the American civil war. There are so many surprising things that can shock anybody.