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U.S. Civil War FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions about the Civil War in the United States (1861-1865).

This FAQ about the Civil War in the United States (1861-1865) was compiled and written by Justin M. Sanders jsanders@jaguar1.usouthal.edu with numerous contributions by others.

-01 What are these groups anyway? (alt.war.civil.usa)
The USENET newsgroup alt.war.civil.usa was created in the ...
-02 Are the FAQ and Reading List archived somewhere? (alt.war.civil.usa)
Yes, the latest versions of the FAQ and Reading List are available ...
-03 Where can I find Civil War images, documents, and so forth on-line? (alt.war.civil.usa)
[Your humble FAQ maintainer asks the net cruisers among you to keep ...
-04 When did state X secede? (U.S. Civil War: The beginning)
Before Lincoln's call for troops, the following states seceded:...
-05 Was there a declaration of war or something? (U.S. Civil War: The beginning)
1. The United States never declared war. This was in keeping with ...
-06 Was Texas given a right to secede by the Treaty of Annexation that brought it into the Union? (U.S. Civil War: The beginning)
Texas *was not* brought into the Union by treaty. There was an ...
-07 Did the Supreme Court ever rule on the legality of secession? (U.S. Civil War: The beginning)
Yes, it did-- after the war. Perhaps the clearest statement is in ...
-08 What were the populations of the states at the outbreak of the war? (U.S. Civil War: The beginning)
The following statistics are from J.C.G. Kennedy, Supt. of Census,...
-09 What are the alternative names of various battles? (U.S. Civil War: Battles and fighting forces)
-10 Who were the U.S. Generals at the out-break of the war, and who were the first Generals appointed after the war began? (U.S. Civil War: Battles and fighting forces)
[Contributed by Carlton Andrews (andrews@mls.ed.ray.com)]...
-11 Who were the first C.S. Generals appointed? (U.S. Civil War: Battles and fighting forces)
[31 Aug 1861 will be the cut-off date for this answer.]...
-12 What were the naval ranks during the Civil War? (U.S. Civil War: Battles and fighting forces)
[Information from Richard Staley with amendments from Justin T. Broderick]...
-13 What were the organization and strengths of various units in the armies? (U.S. Civil War: Battles and fighting forces)
[Compiled with the assistance of Stephen ...
-14 What is the difference between grapeshot and canister? (U.S. Civil War: Battles and fighting forces)
Here is a list of the various ammunitions used in the war. The ...
-15 How did prisoner exchanges and paroles work? (U.S. Civil War: Battles and fighting forces)
Prisoner exchanges were a way for captors to avoid the ...
-16 What did a brevet promotion indicate, and what did an officer gain by being given a brevet? (U.S. Civil War: Battles and fighting forces)
[By Stephen Schmidt (schmidsj@unvax.union.edu) with assistance from ...
-17 When did the war end? (U.S. Civil War)
9 April 1865, Gen. R.E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at ...
-18 If the rebel states were never considered legally out of the Union, how was Reconstruction justified? (U.S. Civil War)
Although the states remained part of the U.S., they had no loyal ...
-19 When were the different states readmitted to representation in Congress? (U.S. Civil War)
For the dates that follow: Act is the date of the act which declared ...
-20 Who was the last surviving veteran of the Civil War? (U.S. Civil War)
[this entry was originally written by the late Paul Cowan, but it has ...
-21 My ancestor fought in the war-- how do I find out about his service? (U.S. Civil War)
[Thanks to Geoff Walden and Lynn Berkowitz for updated information.]...
-22 How can I find information about a particular regiment? (U.S. Civil War)
For the Union side, the definite first place to look for a ...
-23 What is the "Stars and Bars"? (U.S. Civil War)
The Stars and Bars IS NOT the familiar rebel flag one sees ...
-24 What changes to the U.S. flag occurred during the war? (U.S. Civil War)
The admission of two states affected the U.S. flag during the war. ...
-25 How was the state of West Virginia created? (U.S. Civil War)
On 17 Apr 1861, the Va Secession Convention passed an ordinance ...
-26 What war records did the post-war presidents have? (U.S. Civil War)
From: tecump@sulu.ucsb.edu (Dominic J. Dal Bello)...
-27 What are the various alternative names for the war? (U.S. Civil War)
From: pdunn@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Patrick L Dunn)...
-28 What are good books on the war? (U.S. Civil War)
Steve Schmidt (schmidsj@unvax.union.edu) has compiled a ...
-29 How can I get the soundtrack to Ken Burn's "Civil War"? (U.S. Civil War)
From Wayne J. Warf (WWARF@ucs.indiana.edu):...
-30 Did U.S. Grant and R.E. Lee both own slaves and free them? (U.S. Civil War)
[from the late Paul Cowan and James Epperson with amendments by JMS]...
-31 What is the recipe for hardtack? (U.S. Civil War)
Recipes for hardtack vary from extremely simple to more elaborate....
-32 Where can I get a copy of the Sullivan Ballou letter quoted in Ken Burn's "Civil War"?
The text of Maj. Ballou's letter can be found at the follwoing web ...
-33 What were the lyrics to "Dixie", "The Bonnie Blue Flag", etc.? (U.S. Civil War)
Kathie Fraser has the lyrics to several songs on her homepage of songs ...
-34 How can I get the "Official Records" on CD-ROM? (U.S. Civil War)
There are currently three publishers who have the Official Records of ...
-35 General Histories of the War (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom. 1988. ...
-36 Causes of the War and History to 1861 (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
David M. Potter, The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861 (Harpers & Row, 1976)....
-37 Slavery and Southern Society (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
Fogel and Engerman, Time on the Cross. 1974. ...
-38 Reconstruction (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution. 1990. ...
-39 Biographies (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
Stephen Oates, To Purge This Land With Blood. 1970. ...
-40 Memoirs. (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
[Note: The following books were written by prominent participants in ...
-41 Reference Works (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
The books on this section of the list are here as valuable references, ...
-42 Unit Histories and Soldier's Reminiscences (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
Bruce Catton. Civil War, 3 volumes....
-43 Fiction (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
Ambrose Bierce, In the Midst Of Life. ...
-44 Specific Battles and Campaigns (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
Jay Monaghan, Civil War on the Western Border, 1854-1865 (University of ...
-45 Strategies, Tactics, and General Military Aspects (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
Douglas Freeman, Lee's Lieutenants. 1944. ...
-46 The Experience of Soldiers (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
Gerald Linderman, Embattled Courage: the Experience of Combat in ...
-47 Civil War Periodicals (popular press) (U.S. Civil War Reading List)
These are periodicals for the general reader which deal with the Civil ...









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