Thursday, January 22, 2015

Civil War Oddities #128


Builders of the USS Monitor equipped the first Federal ironclad with a battery of hoses. They were linked to boilers of the warship, and when a valve was turned, scalding water was spouted. Members of the crew planned to use their hoses to repel Confederate boarders, but they soon found that such an attempt would never be made.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Civil War Oddities #127

Federal purchasing agents were gleeful when they managed to buy shipment of big Belgian muskets. Issued without being tested, the pieces that weighed half again as much as the U.S. Model of 1842 proved to have a powerful "kick" When these clumsy pieces were first fired, the weapons ended up knocking so many men down that they soon went into storage.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Civil War Oddities #126


Artillery dual at long distance constituted the first battle of the civil war. Inside Fort Sumter, eighty-five Federals, who were aided by forty-three civilian workmen, managed to get off numerous shots at installations manned by more than 6,000 secessionists. During the thirty-eight-hour exchange of fire from sixty-nine big buns, more than 3,00 shells, some of them hot shot heated in a furnace, were fired. Not a man among the defenders or attackers was killed.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Civil War Oddities #125


An artillery duel at long distance constituted the first battle of the war. Inside Fort Sumter, eighty-five Federals, who were aided by forty-three civilian workmen, managed to get off numerous shots at installations manned by more than 6,000 secessionists. During the thirty-eight-hour exchange of fire from sixty-nine big guns, more than 3,000 shells, some of them hot shot heated in a furnace, were fired. Not a man among defenders or attackers was killed.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Civil War Oddities #124


While the Forty-second New York Regiment was encamped at Kalorama Heights, Virginia, Private Tinker captured a pigeon and made a pet of it. According to the Rebellion Record, the pigeon regularly followed when men of the Tammany regiment moved to another position. “Occasionally flying away at a great distance, it always returned and when weary, would alight on some wagon of the train.

Tinker’s pet reportedly went to Poolesville, Washington, Fort Monroe, and Yorktown. Staying with the regiment throughout the bloody days of the Wilderness, the pigeon is also credited with having been at Antietam and Harpers Ferry.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Civil War Oddities #123


In addition to four-legged pets, officers and men sometimes took a special fancy to feathered creatures.

Men belonging to a unit commanded by Confederate Brig. General Cobb claimed to have taught a rooster to crow when given a signal. At Fredericksburg, reported the Savannah Republic, every time Federals launched an advance the rooster responded to prompting. As a result, “just before our sharp-shooters opened upon them, the rooster’s clear, shrill clarion rang out on the sulphurous air. This strange defiance, while it cheered and amused out boys, fell with a depressing effect upon the ears of the enemy.”


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Civil War Oddities #122


Harvard Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was the recipient of an unusual gift from an unknown source. Identified as MCZ-570, a jar labeled “Richmond, Virginia, 1862” holds a lizard. How and why the creature was sent from the capital of the Confederacy to Massachusetts during heavy fighting remains a mystery.