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Things I didn’t know: Civil War edition

Life continues to surprise me, for which I am grateful. Here are some things I learned recently about the Civil War.

North_Carolina_state_coat_of_arms_(illustrated,_1876)

Life continues to surprise me, for which I am grateful. Here are some things I learned recently about the Civil War, or at least re-learned:

— “There were eight regiments of North Carolinians — four white and four black — who fought for the Union army.”

— One factor leading to the Civil War that I hadn’t seen before was that there was a major recession in the late 1850s — that is, the Panic of 1857. It hit the industrial North much harder than it did the agrarian South, and so made Southerners overconfident about their financial strength going into the war.

— Before the war, William T. Sherman briefly practiced law in Leavenworth, Kansas.

— Lincoln on Grant’s tenacity: “When Grant once gets possession of a place, he holds on to it as if he had inherited it.” (A quotation I once knew, having underlined it in Harry Williams’ book on Lincoln and his generals, but had forgotten.)

Image credit: Henry Mitchell (1876), The State Arms of the Union/Wikimedia Commons

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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