Monday, August 1, 2011

Curiosities of the Civil War

I found this book to be extremely interesting.  I have long been a student of history, and the American Civil War has always been interesting to me, even as a child.  In this book are many anecdotes, about every aspect of life during the war.  This book includes information about subjects that are not touched on in a lot of histories of the war, such as friendly fire.  Also interesting was the anecdotes about people who were unknown before and during the war, but would go on to make a great contribution to it later on.  Such people as Walt Whitman and Elias Howe were mentioned.  It is fascinating to me to see these great historical figures playing their part, however big or small, in this great and terrible conflict.
I found of particular interest the anecdotes mentioning the area in which I live, Northeast Georgia.  This one mentions Athens and UGA, about twenty-five miles from where I went to college.   "Experimenting with ways to increase the power of large guns, Pvt. John Gilleland of Georgia's Mitchell Thunderbolts developed a double-barreled cannon.  Balls linked by a chain were designed to 'mow down Yankees as a scythe cuts rye.'  When put to use, however, it was found that precise coordination of firing was impossible.  In a few test rounds, linked cannon balls 'whizzed around in erratic fashion' and killed two or three Thunderbolts.
This experimental weapon is commemorated by a historical marker on the campus of the University of Georgia at Athens." (p.163)
I think this is a great book, and would be a welcome addition to any history buff's library, especially as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

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