Legacy of Conflict: 40 Disturbing Facts About the American Civil War – Part 2 2

26Fenian Raids

Fenian Raids

Between 1866 and 1871, a group of republican Irishmen known as ‘The Fenians’ fought in the American Civil War. During the war, they tried to invade Canada to use it as ransom against the UK to liberate Ireland.

27. The American Civil War was the deadliest armed conflict in the country's history, resulting in 750,000 combined civilian and military casualties, which at the time (1860) represented 3% of the total population. By comparison, World War 2 resulted in 405,399 American casualties.

28. During the American Civil War, the Confederate States invented a sabotage device called a coal torpedo. It was a bomb designed to look like a lump of coal and meant to cause a steam ship's boiler to explode.

29. During the American Civil War, the king of Siam (now Thailand) offered Abraham Lincoln war elephants to help fight the Confederates. Lincoln respectfully declined.

30. During the American Civil War, commander of the Union "Lightning Brigade," personally took out a loan to buy his soldiers advanced new repeating rifles because the government would not supply them. Using the firepower advantage afforded by the new rifles, his brigade proved extremely effective in combat.

31Bread Riots

Bread Riots

During the Southern Bread Riots, protesters who were mostly women protested against huge surges in food costs during the American Civil War and rioted in Richmond, Virginia with chants of "bread or blood!" Food prices had soared to prices 10 times higher than normal in many instances. Among the items stolen during the riots was 500 pounds of bacon.

32. Despite the fact that the US Civil War was causing economic disruption and famine in the cotton-milling region of England, workers there supported the effort to end slavery, and a statue of Lincoln stands there to commemorate their friendship.

33. During the American Civil War, the prisoner exchange system broke down over the Confederate’s treatment of the Union's black soldiers. Officially, Confederates tried them as rebellious slaves, which was a capital offense. In practice, they were often just killed instead of captured.

34. Amid the American Civil War, General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 11, expelling all Jews from his Military District because of a bothersome South-to-North black market for cotton. Despite outrage at the time, Grant secured the majority of the Jewish vote in 1868.

35. During the American Civil War, a thing called "rectal acorn" was used to carry secret messages. The messenger stored the secret note inside the brass "acorn" and then inserted it into his rectum.

36Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon

Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon

During the American Civil War, Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon successfully spied on a Confederate camp dressed as a woman, complete with a bonnet and veil to hide his facial hair.

37. The average soldier who fought in the American civil war was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed only 143 lbs.

38. During the Civil War, a Maine woman was captured at sea by Confederate pirates but she managed to escape by getting them blackout drunk and then convincing their slave crew to "make them prisoners" and sail with her to freedom.

39. Towards the beginning of the American Civil War, the Union returned escaped slaves to their owners in the Confederate States.

40. After losing the American Civil War, several southerners immigrated to Brazil. These people, and their descendants, came to be known as Confederados and are mainly concentrated in the towns of Americana and Santa Barbera D'Oeste in Sao Paulo state.