The American Civil War Spawned Many Firsts

General William T. Sherman is credited with making the statement: "War is Hell" during the American Civil War. While there is certainly truth to this statement, usually the rate of techology improvements arise out of war. The American Civil War is responsible for many firsts in American warfare and history. Some examples include:
  • Railroad artillery
  • A successful submarine
  • A "snorkel" breathing device
  • The periscope for trench warfare
  • Land-mine fields
  • Field trenches on a grand scale
  • Flame throwers
  • Wire entrapments
  • Military telegraph
  • Naval torpedoes
  • Aerial reconnaissance
  • Antiaircraft fire
  • Repating rifles
  • Telescopic sights for rifles
  • Long-range rifles for general use
  • Fixed ammunition
  • Ironclad navies
  • A steel ship
  • Revolving gun turrets
  • Military railroads
  • Organized medical and nursing corps
  • Hospital ships
  • Army ambulance corps
  • A workable machine gun
  • Legal voting for servicemen
  • U. S. Secret Service
  • The income tax
  • Withholding tax
  • Toabcco tax
  • Cigarette tax
  • American conscription
  • American bread lines
  • The Medal of Honor
  • A wide-ranging corps fo press correspondents in battle areas
  • Photography of battles
  • The bugle call "Taps"
  • First Negro U. S. Army officer (Major M. R. Delany)
  • American president assassinated
  • Department of Justice (Confederate)
  • Commissioned American Army chaplains
  • U. S. Navy admiral
  • Electrically exploded bombs and torpedoes
  • The wigwag signal code in battle
  • Wide-scale use of anesthetics for wounded
  • Organized aerial psychological warfare (Dropping of Lincoln's Amnesty Proclamation behind Southern lines.)
  • Camouflage outfits
  • Smoke screen for warfare
  • "Aircraft" carrier (for transporting balloons)
  • Flares
I Get Emails

As a Web site owner, I receive many emails each day. A few make me chuckle in how nieve some people can be. Below are two such emails I recently received.


"I just seen the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre. More people were killed in the real story, right?"


"Send me details about the War."

An invasion on September 11
First Invasion: The War of 1812
World Premiere Special on The History Channel
Sunday, September 12 at 9pm ET/PT

On September 11, the United States faced attack. The invasion was launched not by a group of international terrorists, but rather by the greatest military power of the day, the British. On September 11, 1814, the British threatened America’s sovereignty and the independence of its former colonies. Outnumbered, outclassed and out-armed, with the capital in flames and the president on the run, the young nation was pushed to disaster. The two-hour world premiere FIRST INVASION: THE WAR OF 1812 recounts this key turning point in the history of America. FIRST INVASION: THE WAR OF 1812 airs Sunday, September 12 at 9pm ET/PT on The History Channel.

FIRST INVASION: THE WAR OF 1812 features commentary from historians and authors including Christopher George, one of the foremost experts on the War of 1812; Washington D.C. historian Anthony Pitch; Timothy Pickles, expert on the British military; Ralph Ketcham, one of the leading authorities on President James Madison; Martin O’Malley, Mayor of Baltimore; Scott Sheads, ranger/historian, Ft. McHenry; Jackson historian Robert V. Remini; and historians Steven Abolt, James L. Kochan; Larry L. Nelson and Libby O’Connell.

FIRST INVASION: THE WAR OF 1812 is produced by Native Sun Productions for The History Channel®. Executive Producer for The History Channel is Dolores Gavin. Director/Executive Producer is Gary L. Foreman. Narrator is Edward Herrmann.

For more information visit: www.historychannel.com/1812


Web site of Interest to HistoryBuffs
    While surfing the Internet, as usual, I ended up finding a site I wasn't looking for. The Urban Legends Reference site is filled with well over 100 urban legends and whether they are true or not, or partially true. The URL for this site is http://www.snopes.com/.

POLL RESULTS -- 3783 VOTES CAST
In the current Presidential campaign which of the following issues concerns you the most?
The War in Iraq 24%
Homeland Security 23.2%
The Economy 16.3%
Loss of Jobs to Overseas 9.2%
Crime in the Streets 9.2%
Taxes 6.2%

August Contest

QUESTION: Who was the first American president to appear on television and where was he when it happened?

ANSWER: Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the 1939 Worlds Fair beld in New York City.

Fifty six people entered the August contest. Nine were disqualified because they did not have the correct subject heading in their email entry. One was disqualified because their entry was sent two weeks late. Five people had the incorrect answer. All three of the historic newspapers were awarded.


This Month's Question:

1) What famous dictator was the British fighting simultaneously to fighting America in the War of 1812? (Hint: The answer can be found by watching the documentary FIRST INVASION: THE WAR OF 1812 on the History Channel, Sunday September 12, 2004 Eastern Time/Pacific Time.)

2) Indicate which special DVD you would like to win. (Only one of each DVD is available to win.)

Contest Rules

  • Contest entry deadline is Wednesday, September 14, 2004. Later entries will be disqualified.

  • Only one entry per subscriber.

  • To enter, email your answer to help@historybuff.com with the subject heading "Contest Entry". From subscribers submitting the correct answer and correct subject heading, three will be selected to win the DVD of their choice from the list below. These are not just "ordinary" DVD's that can be bought "anywhere". These are special editions produced to be sent to Emmy officials for voting.

  • Subscribers to this newsletter that won a prize in 2004 are ineligible to win.

The Prizes
(Select one DVD you would like to win.)

Wild West Tech: On the American frontier, most anything could happen... And often did. Wild West Tech looks at the technology of that era -- The contraptions and inventions that often made the difference between life and death.
Failure is Not an Option Offers an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at the early years of NASA, highlighting defining moments such as John Glenn's first space flight, the Moon landing, and the "successful failure" of Apollo 13.
Remember the Alamo: As preserved in popular culture, the Alamo represents a battle of good verses evil and freedom verses tyranny. But when the myth is stripped away from the battle, a different history emerges. Remember the Alamo: examines the real story behind this memorable event.
Lady by the Sea: The Statue of Liberty: As part of an effort to re-open the doors of one of our most revered naitonal symbols for the first time since September 11, 2001, acclaimed film director Martin Scorsese produces and narrates the original documentary. His film follows the history of the Statue from its conception to present day.
The Barbarians Are Coming: There's a name for the once-dreaded forces on the fringe of civilization... The bloodthirsty warriors who defied the Roman legions... The Fierce cohabatants who terrorized Europe with cruelty and chaos: The Vikings and Goths.
JFK: A Presidency Revealed focuses of John F. Kennedy's hidden personal foibles and fallibilities, which impacted his political decisions. The film draws upon an extraordinary array of never-before-released source material, including JFK's White House audio tapes, footage of the Cuban Missle Crisis deliberations, and Soviet footage from the Vienna Summit with Kruschchev.

That's it for this issue.

Rick Brown

Popular Pages