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The Civil War Soldier


During the Civil War, soldiers fought with their courage and character. But courage and character only got them so far. In the field, they relied heavily on their equipment.

The Civil War was known as the first "modern" war because of the guns and other weapons brought to the battlefield for the first time. Take a look at what Union troops carried with them to their victory at Gettysburg.

From Digital First Video

The First Mobile Phone Was The Civil War Telegraph Wagon

Cw wagon
It's always a tricky thing to try and pinpoint the first of anything. The first working automobile, the first powered flight, the first beer of the night — all these things are usually surrounded by an impenetrable haze of uncertainty and occasionally, vomit. Often we can make some pretty decent guesses, but this time I feel pretty confident in making an out-and-out statement of what I think is fact:

The first vehicles with on-board electrical communication systems were Civil War Telegraph Wagons.

That means those battery-crammed wooden wagons are the direct ancestor of cars with radios,radiophones, car phones, all the way down to you sitting in your car with your iPhone or whatever in your hand.

Continue reading at Jalopnik

Bullet Casting


Spent the morning at a friend's place casting bullets. We used a variety of moulds including two 19th Century Winchester moulds for .45 Long Colt and .45-70 Government. The .58 Cal. Minie Ball was made from a modern Lyman mould that duplicates the Civil War era bullet. 

Faces of 2 USS Monitor crewmembers reconstructed


By Steve SzkotakAssociated Press 

RICHMOND, Va.—When the turret of the USS Monitor was raised from the ocean bottom, two skeletons and the tattered remnants of their uniforms were discovered in the rusted hulk of the Union Civil War ironclad, mute and nameless witnesses to the cost of war. A rubber comb was found by one of the remains, a ring was on a finger of the other.

Now, thanks to forensic reconstruction, the two have faces.

In a longshot bid that combines science and educated guesswork, researchers hope those reconstructed faces will help someone identify the unknown Union sailors who went down with the Monitor 150 years ago.

The facial reconstructions were done by experts at Louisiana State University, using the skulls of the two full skeletal remains found in the turret, after other scientific detective work failed to identify them. DNA testing, based on samples from their teeth and leg bones, did not find a match with any living descendants of the ship's crew or their families.

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A Walk Through Savannah's Civil War: Railroads


By Richard Burkhart 

The Central of Georgia Railroad and Banking Company brought economic growth to Savannah by transporting cotton from the heart of the state to be shipped from the Port of Savannah.

During the Civil War, however, the role of the railroad began to change. With port shipments effectively cut off by the Union blockade, the transportation needs changed. Troops, supplies, artillery and prisoners of war were moved through Georgia by way of the railroads.

Continue reading at SavannahNow

Telegraphy, the first information superhighway



The advent of the Internet has prompted endless claims that we are living through an unprecedented revolution in communication, one that has annihilated the concept of distance. Yet the real revolution came with the arrival of the telegraph in the 19th century.

The innovations of Joseph Henry and Samuel F.B. Morse, among others, led to the first telegraphed message in 1844, and by the late 1850s President Buchanan was famously exchanging pleasantries with Queen Victoria. Over 50,000 miles of telegraph wire were strung across the country in the prior two decades, and by November 1861 a transcontinental network was complete.

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