The Blue & Gray Almanac: The Civil War in Facts & Figures, Recipes & Slang

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Albert Nofi tells the story of the American War through a range of insightful essays, anecdotes, and facts. Did you know...

• During the final days of the war, some Richmond citizens would throw “Starvation Parties,” at which elegantly attired guests would gather at soirees where the finest silver and crystal tableware was used, though there were usually no refreshments except water.
• Union Rear-Admiral Goldsborough was nicknamed “Old Guts”, not so much for his combativeness as for his heft, weighing about 300 pounds, and was described as “. . . a huge mass of inert matter.”
• 30.6 percent of the 425 Confederate generals, but only 21.6 percent of the 583 Union generals, had been lawyers before the war.
• In 1861, J. P. Morgan made a huge profit by buying 5,000 condemned US Army carbines and selling them back to another arsenal, taking the Army to court when they tried to refuse to pay for the faulty weapons.
• Major General Loring was reputed to have so rich a vocabulary than one of the men once remarked he could "curse a cannon up hill without horses."
• Many militia units had a favorite drink, the Charleston Light Dragoons’ punch took around a week to make while the Chatham Artillery required 1 pound of green tea leaves be steeped overnight. 
• There were five living former presidents when the Civil War began, and seven veterans of the war (plus one draft dodger) went on to serve as President.

Table of Contents

1. The "House Divided"
2. From Secession to Civil War
3. The Civil War in 11,000 Words
4. Armies Blue and Gray
5. Incidents and Anecdotes of War
6. The Naval War
7. War and Society
8. The Generals
9. Money, Graft, and Corruption
10. The Naughty Bits
11. The Troops
12. Civil War Medicine

Epilogue: The Civil War since the Civil War
Appendix: The Civil War and the Presidency
Further Reading
Onomastic Index