Life in Civil War America
By Michael O. Varhola
OH: Family Tree Books, 1999
Chapter 1: North & South, One Nation, Two Peoples
Chapter 2: Where People Lived: Life in City, Town, and Country
Chapter 3: Education: From Schoolhouses to Universities
Chapter 4: Slang and Idiom: How People and Events Shaped Language
Chapter 5: Religion: What People Believed
Chapter 6: Fun and Games: How People Entertained Themselves
Chapter 7: Wages and Currency: Coins, Greenbacks, and Postal Currency
Chapter 8: Clothing and Dry Goods: What Items Cost and the Impact of Shortages
Chapter 9: Food and Diet: How People Ate at Home and on the War Front
Chapter 10: Technology: Inventions That Changed Life and Warfare
Chapter 11: The War on the Home Front; the Draft and Civil Unrest
Chapter 12: Brothers at War: Billy Yank, Johnny Reb
Chapter 13: Arms, Equipment, and Uniforms: Supplying the Servicemen
Do you want to know more about the Civil War than the battles? What was happening on the home front? How did everyday life continue despite shortages? How was life different in the north and in the south? I have lots of questions about how the lives of our family members were changed by the conflict. This book answers lots of those questions. It is very interesting and fun.
Test yourself. Do you know the definitions of these words?
Cashier To dishonorably dismiss from the military
God’s Flag Term used by the Union troops to refer to the US flag
Pie-Eater A country boy, a rustic
The Shakes Malaria
Top Rail First class
Did you know that the gatling gun, the player piano and barbed wire were invented during the war? Doctors did not yet have hypodermic syringes, blood transfusions or antibiotics. Most of the nation’s railroad tracks and rolling stock existed in the north. The south had difficulties maintaining and repairing the track and equipment they did have. Confederate rations, when available, included: bacon, chicory, cornmeal, molasses, peanuts, sugar, tea and vegetables. That’s just a small sample of the little details included in this book.
Pick up a copy. It is a fun read.