CIVIL WAR SOLDIER VOCABULARY

1. ARTILLERY--cannon and other large weapons.

2. BAYONET--weapon like a knife attached to front end of a musket or rifle.

3. BEDROLL--blankets rolled and carried by soldiers, also contained personal belongings.

4. BUMMER--soldier that would take needed items from farmers and townspeople.

5. CANTEEN--tin or wood container on a strap, used to carry liquid.

6. CAP--a small device used to explode powder in a musket barrel.

7. CAP BOX--small box of leather attached to the belt to hold caps used to fire muskets.

8. CARTRIDGE--paper tube which held a bullet and gun powder.

9. CARTRIDGE BOX--box made of leather used to hold cartridges.

10. CAVALRY--group of men fighting from horseback.

11. CORPS BADGE--badge showing which unit or corps a soldier belonged to.

12. FORAGING--roving the countryside in search of food, sometimes taking from farmers.

13. HARDTACK--hard biscuit made of flour, salt, and water.

14. HAVERSACK--small canvas sack used by soldiers to carry their food.

15. HOUSEWIFE--small sewing kit.

16. INFANTRY--group of men fighting on foot.

17. JACKET--four-button woolen or cotton coat worn by Civil War Soldiers.

18. KEPI--cap or hat worn by Civil War Soldiers, part of uniform.

19. KNAPSACK--canvas container strapped to a soldier s back which held personal belongings.

20. RIFLED-MUSKET--musket loading gun, fired with cartridge and cap.

21. SHOES--made of leather, when available, a necessity and often scarce in the South

22. SLOUCH HAT--wide brimmed hat, sometmes worn instead of Kepi.

23. SUSPENDERS--cloth or leather used to hold up pants.

24. TIN CUP--cup used to hold water and to cook with

Courtesy of U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service

CIVIL WAR MEDICINE VOCABULARY

1. AMPUTATION--a surgical operation used to remove an hand, arm, foot

or leg.

2. ANESTHESIA--a drug used to make patients unconscious before

surgery.

3. CHLOROFORM--the most common anesthesia used in the Civil War.

4. DYSENTERY--a disease of the intestines which caused severe

diarrhea.

5. LIGATURE--tying ends of blood vessels in the body to stop

bleeding.

6. MINNIE BALL--bullet fired from rifles during the Civil War.

7. MORPHINE--a very powerful pain-killing drug used during the Civil

War.

8. SCALPEL--a small, sharp knife used by surgeons to cut through skin

and other soft tissue.

9. STYPTICS--drugs which absorb blood and stop bleeding.

10. SUTURES--silk thread stitches used to sew up wounds.

11. TOURNIQUET--a device which wraps around an arm or leg and is

tightened to stop bleeding.

12. TYPHOID FEVER--a very deadly disease caused by bad food and water.

Courtesy of U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service

CIVIL WAR SLANG

1. CHIEF COOK AND BOTTLE WASHER--person able to do many things

2. SHEET IRON CRACKERS--hardtack

3. SARDINE BOX--cap box

4. BREAD BASKET--stomach

5. GREENBACKS--money

6. GRAYBACKS--lice or Southern Soldiers

7. ARKANSAS TOOTHPICK--a large knife

8. PEPPERBOX--pistol

9. FIT TO BE TIED--angry

10. HORSE SENSE--on the ball or being smart

11. TOP RAIL #1--first class

12. HUNKEY DOREY--great!, fabulous!

13. GREENHORN, BUGGER, SKUNK--officers

14. SNUG AS A BUG--cozy or comfortable

15. SAWBONES--surgeons

16. SKEDADDLE--scatter or run

17. HORNETS--bullets

18. BULLY--yeah! hurrah!

19. POSSUM--a pal, friend, or buddy

20. FIT AS A FIDDLE--healthy or in great shape

21. UPPITY--conceited

22. SCARCE AS HEN S TEETH--rare or scarce

23. GRAB A ROOT--potato or have dinner

24. TIGHT, WALLPAPERED--drunk

25. BARK JUICE, TAR WATER, NOKUM STIFF, JOY JUICE--liquor

26. HARD CASE--tough

27. BLUFF--cheater

28. JAILBIRD--criminal or prisoner

29. HARD KNOCKS--beaten up

30. BEEN THROUGH THE MILL--done a lot

31. QUICK-STEP--diarrhea

32. PLAYED OUT--worn out

33. TOEING THE MARK--doing the job

34. GOOBERS--peanuts

35. SUNDAY SOLDIERS, KID GLOVE BOYS, PARLOR SOLDIERS

--insulting words for soldiers

36. FRESH FISH--raw recruits

37. WHIPPED--beaten

SOURCES: The Life of Johnny Reb by Bell Irwin Wiley

The Life of Billy Yank by Bell Irwin Wiley

Courtesy of U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service


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