UDC Hears Little-Known Facts On War Between The States

The Ann Fulmore Harllee Chapter of The United Daughters of the Confederacy met September 11, 2014 at the home of Mrs. Howard Sloan. Upon arrival the guests were served a delicious dessert course of caramel cake, nuts and assorted candies along with a refreshing fruit punch.
The meeting was called to order by Mrs. Mattie Strickland who led the members in the club ritual with the prayer being given by Mrs. Phyllis Hagan. The minutes of the May meeting were read and approved, and the treasurer’s report was given by Mrs. Sloan. Everyone was reminded of the South Carolina Division Convention which will be held in Columbia, October 9-11.
The program chairman for the afternoon was Chris Harris who presented some interesting and unusual little-known facts about the War Between the States. The first fact had to do with the characteristics of the common soldier. Most of those who enlisted in 1861 were approximately 25 years of age, and they felt that the war would last only a few months. As the war continued on, the average age grew as older men began enlisting to strengthen the ranks. The average weight was 145 pounds. Most were of the Protestant faith and listed farming as their occupation. The state of Virginia had the highest number of recruits. Twenty-two percent of the entire Confederate volunteers were denied enlistment due to health reasons.
Another little-known fact had to do with the number of women who disguised themselves as men in order to enlist in the Confederate Army. Many of these women were able to serve completely undetected. Among these women were Laura J. Williams who raised a company of Texans under the guise of Lt. Henry Benford. Others were Mary and Molly Bell who served as Tom Parker and Bob Martin and served for two years before being detected. Malinda Blalock enlisted with her husband in the 26th North Carolina under the name Sam Blalock and served for two months. Women like Belle Boyd and Rose O’Neal Greenhow served as Confederate spies, carrying critical information regarding Union troop movement through the Confederate lines. Information about these unique women is extremely scarce. A woman enlisting in the army disguised herself as a man by cutting her hair short, wearing men’s clothing, binding her chest and taking a man’s name. She did her best to act like a man, and those who were successful and died in combat were known only by their male identity. Most of their real names are lost to history.
In conclusion, little-known facts were given concerning the number of those of foreign nationalities who fought for the Confederacy. This group was represented by German, English, French, Irish, Canadian, Cuban, Spanish and Swedish volunteers. Soldiers like Heros von Borcke, a Prussian staff officer obtained permission to go to America and join the Confederate Army under J.E.B Stuart. There were also those of the Jewish faith who served the Confederacy. Colonel Abraham C. Myers, a West Point graduate served as Quartermaster General. General Judah P. Benjamin served as Attorney General, Secretary of War and Secretary of State.
Even though many books have been written and much information has been obtained, there is still a great deal which can be learned about the War Between States. There are still obscure facts which were known only to a few and, if known, could tell a story by themselves.
At the conclusion of the program, the meeting was adjourned.