Looking Back - Civil War

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

The origin of Memorial Day can be argued but there is no doubt that the day began as "Decoration Day" for the graves of Civil War soldiers. The first official proclamation was made on May 5, 1868.

Just how much do you know about the events and people involved in the Civil War? Here is a trivia quiz to enjoy on your day off.


1. Who said, "War means fightin' and fightin' means killin'"?

2. Where were the first black troops used in battle?

3. Who spent his first 13 months in Confederate uniform without coming under fire or taking part in a general engagement?

4. On April 22, 1864, a tradition was started that remains in place today. What is it?

5. What Virginia-born artillerist named four of his cannons Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?

6. Who refused to put pepper on his food, saying it gave him pains in his left leg?

7. What was the "Alligator"?

8. What was the first major Confederate city to be permanently occupied by the Union?

9. What was the first capital of the Confederacy?

10. How much was an enlisted man paid for providing his own horse?

11. What was the name of the 800-acre plantation on the Mississippi River owned by Jefferson Davis?

12. When a soldier spoke of "Bragg's body guard," to what was he referring?

13. What disease did Abraham Lincoln contract soon after the Gettysburg Address?

14. What famous battle in Tennessee ( April 6-7, 1862) was named after a Methodist church?

15. What Union state first called for the enlistment of black men?

16. Who served as a Union nurse until she became ill with typhoid? This ex-nurse released a collection of war-time letters, published as "Hospital Sketches," in 1863.

17. When a soldier referred to "forty dead men," what was he talking about?

18. Who made up the regiment of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers?

19. What was the only major battle fought in Florida?

20. How old was John Wilkes Booth when he assassinated Abraham Lincoln?

21. Who was the physician-inventor that devised a weapon for the Union that was a prototype of the machine gun?

22. Who were the Knights of the Golden Circle?

23. Where were Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman last together in battle?

24. How did most of the very young boys slip into military service for both the North and the South? .

25. Besides being one of the Confederacy's best fighters, Nathan Bedford Forrest stood out in what other way?

26. On average, what was the bounty for deserters?

27. What was a "housewife" to a soldier?

28. What famous Union commander and his army lost every battle, every campaign and every engagement fought?

29. What was the most commonly used medicine during the war?

30. There were 425 Confederate generals. How many were graduates of West Point?

31. One state had 39 regiments at the Battle of Vicksburg. Of those, 22 were Union and 17 were Confederate. What state was it?

32. What is "hayfoot, strawfoot"?

33. On December 11, 1861, the "Cincinnati Commercial" (newspaper) accused Union leader William T. Sherman of being what?

34. What tragedy struck President Jefferson Davis and his wife on April 30, 1864?

35. How many days did Confederate President Jefferson Davis spend in Fort Monroe prison in Virginia?

36. What was so unique about Albert D.J. Cashier of the 95th Infantry of the Illinois Volunteers?

37. Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave was taught to read and write by his mistress. After escape, how did he use these skills to aid in his survival?

38. What lawyer went to war as a major for the 23rd Ohio and later said that those were the "best years" of his life?

39. Northern troops were fortunate enough to have paper cartridges replaced with metallic ones. Besides rapid fire, what was the other main advantage of this new ammunition?

40. What was the largest city in the Confederacy at the beginning of the war?


1. Nathan Bedford Forrest, likely the most-feared leader in the Confederacy

2. Island Mount, Missouri on October 29, 1862

3. Robert E. Lee

4. The words IN GOD WE TRUST were placed on U.S. coins

5. Brig. Gen. William Nelson Pendleton, an ordained Episcopal rector

6. Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson

7. An experimental Union submarine that was quickly declared useless

8. Nashville, Tenn.

9. Montgomery, Ala.

10. 50 cents per day, at least in the beginning when funds were readily available.

11. Briarwood

12. Body lice

13. Smallpox

14. Shiloh

15. Rhode Island

16. Louisa May Alcott

17. A full cartridge box, which usually held 40 rounds

18. Freed slaves, about 800 of them fought for the Union

19. The Battle of Olustee was fought in a virgin pine forest near Lake City in 1864. The Union wanted to stop supplies from heading northward to Confederate troops.

20. 24 years old

21. Dr. Richard J. Gatling ... the Gatling gun

22. A secret order in the North of Southern sympathizers

23. Missionary Ridge, Tennessee-361 Confederate soldiers and 753 Union soldiers died

24. Young boys signed on as musicians and then became soldiers.

25. He was a millionaire.

26. $30 per soldier

27. A sewing kit furnished by a mother, sister, sweetheart, wife or aid society

28. Benjamin F. Butler, Lincoln's appointee in charge of the Army of the James

29. alcohol, usually whiskey or brandy

30. 146

31. Missouri

32. A command used to teach raw recruits the difference between left and right, respectively

33. The headline read: "GENERAL WILLIAM T. SHERMAN INSANE" A dispatch explained: "He was ... . while commanding in Kentucky, stark mad ..."

34. Their 5-year-old son was killed in a fall from the high veranda at the Confederate White House in Richmond, Virginia.

35. 720 days -- there were no visitors for six months and his wife was barred for one year. Davis was charged with treason but the case never made it to trial.

36. Cashier was actually Jennie Hodges, the only woman to have completed a fully documented Union Army enlistment, fighting in 40 battles.

37. He traded reading and writing lessons for food.

38. Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president of the United States

39. Unlike paper, the metallic cartridges were virtually unaffected by moisture

40. New Orleans, La.