Life in Civil War America


The Civil War is a fascinating time period in American history. Life in Civil War America, 2nd Edition provides readers with fast facts and statistics about the 1860s from military life to civilian life in both the North and South.

Topics covered include:

  • social and economic realities of daily life
  • common slang and idioms
  • diets of the era, ...
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Life in Civil War America

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The Civil War is a fascinating time period in American history. Life in Civil War America, 2nd Edition provides readers with fast facts and statistics about the 1860s from military life to civilian life in both the North and South.

Topics covered include:

  • social and economic realities of daily life
  • common slang and idioms
  • diets of the era, including recipes, food preparation and the impact of shortages and inflation on rations
  • civilian dress, military dress, and technology of the time.
The book focuses on the era, not just the events of the war. Period illustrations and photos further illuminate the era.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440310867
  • Publisher: F+W Media
  • Publication date: 2/27/2011
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,485,443
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael J. Varhola is an author, editor, and lecturer who specializes in non-fiction and travel-related subjects. His books include Everyday Life During the Civil War (Writer's Digest Books, 1999) and Fire and Ice: The Korean War, 1950–1953 (Savas Publishing, 2000). He is the founder and publisher of game development company Skirmisher Publishing LLC. Varhola studied in Denver and Paris before earning a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Eric J. Wittenberg 8

Preface 10

Introduction: Discovering Your Civil War Ancestors 12

Chapter 1 North and South: One Nation, Two Peoples 18

The North

The South

The Union States

The Confederate States

United States Territories


Chapter 2 Where People Lived: Life in City, Town, and Country 44

Where People Lived in the North

Where People Lived in the South

Country Life

City Life

Architectural Styles

Costs of Homes and Housing


Chapter 3 Education: From Schoolhouses to Universities 60

Educational Movements

Education in the North

Education in the South

Education in U.S. Territories


Chapter 4 Slang and Idiom: How People and Events Shaped Language 78

A Nation of Many Tongues

Language in the North

Language in the South

Ethnic Influences

A War of Many Names

An Enemy by Any Other Name

The Written Word


Chapter 5 Religion: What People Believed 92

Regligious Denominations

The Great Awakenings

Benevolent Societies



Chapter 6 Fun and Games: How People Entertained Themselves 106

Entertainment in the North

Entertainment in the South






Circuses and Carnivals

Tobacco and Other Vices


Chapter 7 Wages and Currency: Coins, Greenbacks, and Postal Currency 126




Chapter 8 Clothing and Dry Goods: What Items Cost and the Impact of Shortages 138


Other Shortages and Substitutions

Costs of Goods and Services


Chapter 9 Food and Diet: How People Ate at Home and on the War Front 158

Food in the North

Food in the South

Civilian Diet

Shortages and Inflation

Military Diet


Chapter 10 Technology: Inventions That Changed Life and Warfare 172

Technology in the North

Technology in the South

Military Technology

Medical Technology

Farm Technology

Rail Transportation




Chapter 11 The War on the Home Front: The Draft and Civil Unrest 192

The Northern View

The Southern View

Who Fought?


Filling the Ranks


American Terrorism


Chapter 12 Brothers at War: Billy Yank, Johnny Reb 208

The Armed Services

The Army

The Navy

The Marines

The Revenue Cutter Service


Chapter 13 Arms, Equipment, and Uniforms: Supplying the Servicemen 228


Small Arms

Melee Weapons

Heavy Weapons and Ammunitions

Infantry Weapons and Equipment

Cavalry Weapons and Equipment

Artillery Weapons and Equipment

Navy Weapons and Equipment

Marine Corps Weapons and Equipment

Revenue Cutter Service Weapons and Equipment

Other Items


Rank and Insignia




Appendix A Civil War Photography Maureen A. Taylor 254

Appendix B Civil War Timeline 265

Appendix C Bibliography and Recommended Books 282

Appendix D Resources 290

Appendix E Songs and Poetry 301

Index 306

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