Featured What CW myth would you like to correct most?

Rio Bravo

First Sergeant
Joined
Oct 6, 2013
Location
Suffolk, U.K.
I'm not sure whether this is a Myth or a Fact, but 'Stonewall' Jackson, at Fredericksburg, came up with a plan so bizarre that even Burnside would have thought twice about it ! Jackson suggested a night attack, in which Lee's entire Army would strip naked- to help distinguish themselves from the Union troops in the darkness- before swimming the river and rushing at Burnside's shattered Army ! It was either Lee's prudishness, or his common sense, which prevented such mad antics in the middle of a snowy, freezing December night !
 

kevikens

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Location
New Jersey
Sorry, but I have two, though they are both related to money. The five cent coin of the Civil War was NOT a nickel. We are so used to the five cent nickel that we think that has always been the five cent coin. In the Civil War that five cent coin was the silver half dime. I have read any number of books where the author refers to a transaction being made with a five cent nickel, especially where Tad Lincoln charges visitors to the White House a nickel to see his father. If he did do this, he was charging them a half dime.

The price of gold. When readers see that gold was selling for 150 in the spring of 1863 or 220 in the summer of 1864 they think that that meant gold was selling at $150 or $220 an ounce. That is not what those numbers meant. They meant that it took $150 in paper (Greenbacks) or $220 in paper to but $100 gold dollars. Those numbers represented a ratio of paper dollars to gold dollars, not the price per ounce, fixed every day by a consortium of NYC bankers meeting in the "gold room" to establish the Greenback's value value relative to gold dollars. If gold were selling at 150 its price in Greenbacks would have been $30 per ounce. This error has been repeated by some very reputable Civil War authors who ought to know their Civil War finances better.
 

BillO

Captain
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Location
Quinton, VA.
I'm not sure whether this is a Myth or a Fact, but 'Stonewall' Jackson, at Fredericksburg, came up with a plan so bizarre that even Burnside would have thought twice about it ! Jackson suggested a night attack, in which Lee's entire Army would strip naked- to help distinguish themselves from the Union troops in the darkness- before swimming the river and rushing at Burnside's shattered Army ! It was either Lee's prudishness, or his common sense, which prevented such mad antics in the middle of a snowy, freezing December night !
Not a myth just not reported exactly right. The Yanks were still on the same side of the river when Jackson suggested this, or that's how I remember
The myth I'd most like to dispel is the easiest one.
" Grant stole a march" on Lee when he crossed the James and took a harebrained attempt at Petersburg.
 

BillO

Captain
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Location
Quinton, VA.
How about the myth that General Forrest snatched up a Federal soldier to cover his back while trying to get back to his side at the end of the battle of Shiloh.
I don't think that's a myth and I don't think it was at Shiloh but feel free to correct me as I'm running on memory here and it is getting more and more untrustworthy.
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
Yes indeed. Everyone knows it was a shad-bake.
All seriousness aside, if it wasn't a siege ( or a shad-bake), then what what is?

A campaign.

Those who argue against it being a siege point out that Petersburg was never surrounded, that there was constant movement into and out of the city, and that supplies could be delivered.

Also, there were never approach trenches dug as you would find in a classic siege.
 

Reb

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Location
South Central Arizona
I don't think that's a myth and I don't think it was at Shiloh but feel free to correct me as I'm running on memory here and it is getting more and more untrustworthy.
It was Shiloh. General T.S. Sherman wrote about the encounter in his memoirs. Forrest had charged what he thought was a picket line and ran in to a brigade size force. Sherman was up front with said brigade and said it caused himself to run *** over tea kettle in the mud, and that if Forrest's pistols weren't empty, it would have ended his career right then. Forrest then got shot in the hip, at nearly point blank range, yet still managed to escape.
 
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