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Civil War Stories You Were Never Taught

By Wyatt Earp | June 13, 2009

<i>President Lincoln at Gettysburg</i>

President Lincoln at Gettysburg

At least not by your teacher. Of course, in these p.c. times, who the Hell knows what kind of revisionist history the public schools are disseminating to kids anymore?

I’m sure GroovyVic knew about these stories, but the rest of us? Not so much.

Perhaps your history teachers failed to alert you to these Civil War facts: Jefferson Davis nearly got mugged by an angry female mob; Abraham Lincoln loved the Confederate anthem “Dixie,” and Paul Revere was a Civil War casualty.

The Civil War, in addition to being among the defining moments of U.S. history, is also the source of some bizarre and surprisingly cool trivia.

The article goes on to detail seven lesser-known stories, but this one was by far my favorite:

1. Lincoln’s first solution to slavery was a fiasco

Early in his presidency, Abe was convinced that white Americans would never accept black Americans. “You and we are different races,” the president told a committee of “colored” leaders in August 1862. “…But for your race among us there could not be war…It is better for us both, therefore, to be separated.”

Lincoln proposed voluntary emigration to Central America, seeing it as a more convenient destination than Liberia. This idea didn’t sit well with leaders like Frederick Douglass, who considered colonization to be “a safety valve…for white racism.”

Luckily for Douglass (and the country), colonization failed spectacularly. One of the first attempts was on Île à Vache, a.k.a. Cow Island, a small isle off the coast of Haiti.

The island was owned by land developer Bernard Kock, who claimed he had approved a black American colony with the Haitian government.

No one bothered to call him on that claim.

Following a smallpox outbreak on the boat ride down, hundreds of black colonizers were abandoned on the island with no housing prepared for them, as Kock had promised.

To make matters worse, the soil on Cow Island was too poor for any serious agriculture. In January 1864, the Navy rescued the survivors from the ripoff colony. Once Île à Vache fell through, Lincoln never spoke of colonization again (H/TCNN)

You really should take a minute and read the others, because they are incredibly interesting. Heck, they might also help you win a round of history questions at Quizzo. Knowledge is power kids!

Topics: Coolness! | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Civil War Stories You Were Never Taught”

  1. Dave Says:
    June 14th, 2009 at 12:20 am

    One of my favourite Lincoln anecdotes is, when told by others about U.S. Grant’s supposed drunkenness prior to Grant’s taking Nashville, Lincoln replied-” Find out what he drinks so I can send a barrel of it to my other generals”.

  2. Wyatt Earp Says:
    June 14th, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Dave – That’s awesome! Apparently, he was a very functional drunk. Heh.

  3. MUD Says:
    June 14th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Lincoln saw the peril for the United States to be conceived in Libery and the home for slavery at the same time. He saw that no nation so conceived could survive without a war. I am fairly sure that had we the sense to spend the money freeing the slaves rather than payin ght horrible cost in dollars and dead soldiers we would be a better place for doing so. Many good stories are not taught in school. Most important is that Lincoln was a Republican and he freed the slaves. The Democrats have always talked a good game but not produced good things for the blacks. Yet they turn out in droves to vote for the party of Robert KKK Byrd. MUD

  4. Wyatt Earp Says:
    June 14th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    MUD – And they gave that racist bastard a leadership position. Unbelievable.

  5. Lergnom Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Uh, I didn’t see the link.