Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review of Curiosities of the Civil War

I recently signed up for a site called Book Sneeze. If you're not familiar with it, you can sign up, pick out a book you are interested in reading and they'll send it to you for free in exchange for your honest review of it.

I'm usually not that interested in history (I'm more of a science girl), but I think one of the biggest reasons I usually can't get interested in history is because it's usually presented in a really boring way. "General so-and-so did this on such and such date and blah blah blah..." Lets face it, there is only so much of that a person can take.

But that is why I was interested in checking out the book Curiosities of the Civil War: Strange Stories, Infamous Characters, and Bizarre Events by Webb Garrison. This book has all kinds of interesting and unusual stories and facts about the Civil War, which in my opinion makes learning about the Civil War a lot more interesting. Everyone remembers the big stuff but learning about the smaller things really puts you in the moment. It gives you a much better idea of what the war was really like.

Here are some things I learned from this book that I think you'll find interesting as well...

  • How many of you guys knew that camels were used for a short period of time in the Civil War? According to the book, U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis decided to use camels because they were accustomed to desert life and therefore, would be more useful than horses. But after the camels died they went back to using horses.
  • Many women actually disguised themselves and went into battle right along with the men.
  • During the battle of Bull Run, Brig. Gen. Barnard E. Bee realized that the Confederate forces were gaining the upper hand. He remarked "Yonder stands Jackson like a stone wall; let's go to his assistance." No one knows if he meant that as a compliment for resisting Federal charges or if he meant to criticize him for remaining stationary instead of moving into action. But that is how Thomas J. Jackson got his famous nickname of "Stonewall Jackson".
And those are just a few interesting facts about the Civil War that you'll find in this book. I really enjoyed this book and that is saying a lot considering that I fully admit that I'm not a history buff. But this book was really interesting and the information is presented in a fun way. I have a lot of friends and family members that love history and most of them didn't know a lot of the stories in this book, so this book would make a great gift for anyone that likes history or anyone that is a Civil War buff.

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