The Civil War was one of the most bloody and vicious conflicts America has ever engaged in. With a death total equaling 2% of the entire nation, and disease running rampant through the frontlines, it claimed more American lives in total than WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam combined, and shattered families in two, separating abolitionists from non, southern brother from northern, and drew lines in the sand that were all-but impossible to cross.
In an upcoming auction scheduled on June 1st, we have a Union and a Confederate Teardrop both adorned in their side’s coloration and flag, blue for the Union with the traditional American coloration shield, grey with a ‘stars and bars’ shield for the Confederacy, and each one is ready to go to the highest bidder. The appearance of a discontinued pair of knives from an earlier series Case produced prompted me to do a little digging regarding the so-called “War Among The States”, and I found a few small facts that you might not have heard in school.
Take, for example:
1: Nearly 3000 people died during the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001. Almost the same died within 15 minutes during Ulysses S. Grant’s assault on Cold Harbor in 1864
2: In August of 1863, Abraham Lincoln was traveling to his summer home when he was shot upon. The would-be assassin’s shot had landed in Abraham’s hat, punching a bullet clean through it. Reportedly he kept the attempt on his life a secret from his wife Mary so she would not worry. Two years later John Wilkes Booth would be successful where the other attempt failed.
3: The first death of the Civil War was an accident. While surrendering Fort Sumter after three days of bombardment, the color guard fired off a 100 gun salute as the American Flag was lowered. A canon fired prematurely and killed Private Daniel Hough.
4: The youngest soldier that served in the war was a 9 year old boy from Mississippi. The oldest was an 80 year old man from Iowa.
5: Robert E. Lee’s Virginia Estate was taken by Union soldiers and they elected to build a graveyard to house the men that had died during the war, “So that General Lee could see what carnage he caused.” His son eventually sued for illegal confiscation to gain his family’s land back, but saw no point in keeping a graveyard: he sold it back to the government for 150,000. Now over 250,000 rest in what is now known as Arlington National Cemetery.
And as an added bonus fact: at the start of the war, you were expected to bring a decent supply of your own gear to fight with, so many Confederate soldiers were forced to bring their own melee weapons and tools to the frontlines. The weapon of choice? A bowie knife, and it would not be replaced with a more standard bayonet until at least another year had passed.
If the idea of owing one of the knives that pays tribute to the greatest conflict the American shores have ever seen interests you, please take a look at the auction here.