Rebel yell! Was it the North or the South during the Civil War?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

Brothers fought brothers. Fathers killed sons. It's the goriest and most infamous armed conflict in the history of the United States. Can you match these events and people to the Union or the Confederacy?

Which side tried to secede from the United States during the American Civil War?

The Southern states wanted a different political and social environment, so they set out to secede from the United States. They declared secession in February 1861, and it was clear that armed conflict was inevitable.


Which side was known for wearing blue uniforms?

The long, muddy days of the war meant that the dark blue Union uniforms weren't blue for long. The Confederates often wore gray, but just as often, they showed up in whatever they had handy.


Which army won the Civil War?

Hopefully, you know this one. The Union put down the rebellion and made the republic whole.


Which side claimed it fought for states' rights?

The Confederacy recoiled at what it regarded as overbearing federal influence in its political and social matters. "States' rights" became a rallying cry of sorts for the men and women of the South, and many lost their lives trying to beat back the Union hordes.


Which army launched the first attack of the war?

The Confederacy fired the opening salvos in April 1861, when they attacked and captured Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Seizing the fort deprived the Union of one of its few Southern strongholds.


Which side fought to continue the practice of human slavery?

Slavery was common throughout America in colonial times, but it was the South that wanted to continue the practice. The North fought the war partly to put an end to slavery once and for all.


The Battle of Gettysburg was a nearly unimaginable apocalypse of blood and black powder smoke. Who won this great battle?

In early July 1863, Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson invaded Pennsylvania in the hopes of seizing momentum. The bloodiest battle of the war unfolded, and Union Gen. George Meade's men were battered ... but victorious.


Jefferson Davis was a hugely important leader for which side?

Jefferson Davis was a former U.S. senator and -- get this -- secretary of war under President Franklin Pierce. He was the president of the Confederate states during the rebellion.


Which side had to surrender the city of Vicksburg following a long and tortuous siege?

For about 47 days, the Confederates held Vicksburg under a withering assault. But they ran out of supplies and no reinforcements arrived, and the rebels had to give up their final real fort on the Mississippi River.


Who won the First Battle of Bull Run, the war's first full-fledged battle?

Inexperienced Union soldiers were in for a rude awakening at the First Battle of Bull Run. They were run off of the field by equally inexperienced Confederates. With thousands of men dead and many more wounded, both sides realized that the war would be harder and longer than anyone anticipated.


A general nicknamed "Stonewall" Jackson led soldiers for which army?

Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was one of the most famous Confederate generals of the war. During one battle, his own men accidentally shot him. He died days later, partly due to the effects of pneumonia. But you know, getting shot and then having his arm sawed off didn't help matters any.


Which side fielded the biggest army?

At full strength, there were more than two million men in Union uniforms. The Confederacy might have managed 1.5 million, but that number might be high depending on whom you ask.


Which side first implemented a draft in order to acquire more manpower?

In 1863, Congress passed the Enrollment Act, and it applied to all men between the ages of 20 and 45 in the Union. If you were wealthy, there was a loophole -- you could pay $300 and save your neck. Poor men, of course, got stuck carrying much of the load of the war's fighting.


Which side suffered more casualties during the conflict?

After all of the blood and agony, the numbers were roughly the same. Both sides suffered more than 800,000 total casualties. Altogether, more than 600,000 soldiers lost their lives, many of them due to diseases that ravaged the front lines.


Robert E. Lee was a significant military leader for which side?

Robert E. Lee is perhaps the best-known general of the entire war -- and he fought for the losing side. Once the conflict ended, he graciously worked to build the country in the days of Reconstruction.


At the 1862 Battle of Shiloh, more soldiers fell in two days than in all of America's previous wars combined. Who won?

The Battle of Shiloh happened in April 1862 in Tennessee. More than 100,000 soldiers clashed, and there were more than 23,000 total casualties, but the Union stood tall and repelled the Confederates.


Which side had a general with the creative and intimidating nickname of "Unconditional Surrender" Grant?

Ulysses S. Grant, or Unconditional Surrender Grant, proved his tactical and strategical smarts repeatedly during the war. He became a hero and, in 1869, he ascended to the presidency.


By the war's end, African-American soldiers made about 10 percent of which side's army?

Blacks constituted only a tiny percentage of the country's population. But by the war's end, they made up about 10 percent of Union forces. Black soldiers were often cast aside as inferior but wound up proving themselves, time and again, in the thick of battle.


Andersonville Prison was a terrifying, disease-ridden POW camp during the war. Which side was in charge of that nightmarish complex?

Andersonville Prison was located in Georgia and operated by the Confederacy. It was a regular house of horrors where 30,000 Union captives struggled (and often failed) to survive. The prison's leader, Capt. Henry Wirz, was executed after the war.


The Battle of Chancellorsville was one of the bloodiest fights of America's bloodiest war. Who won the battle?

In April 1863, Gen. Lee nabbed what would become his greatest victory by beating the Union at Chancellorsville. But the cost in blood was high. Altogether, there were around 30,000 casualties.


Which side had a decided advantage in war materiel (supplies)?

The South was at a huge disadvantage in both population and war materiel throughout the conflict. But to win the war, the Union had to invade the South, and going on the offensive was much more difficult than simply digging in for a fight.


Which side opted for a "scorched earth" policy that laid waste to each and every object that could have been useful to the enemy?

Union Gen. William T. Sherman gave no quarter to anything in his march across the South. He torched businesses, homes and infrastructure, anything he could do to punish the Confederacy and its supply lines.


When the war broke out, there were 34 states in the entire country. Which side had more states backing its cause?

Only seven (and later, 11) of the 34 states broke away as part of Southern secession. The North's states -- with their huge supply of men and goods -- were a vital reason the Union had a large advantage throughout the war.


Diseases were the No. 1 killer of soldiers on which side?

Forget bullets, what about bacteria? On both sides, for each man who died from battle, two more perished due to illnesses. What did we tell you about washing your hands after using the restroom, Jebediah?


The Battle of Cold Harbor is still regarded as one of the most lopsided (and horrifying) battles in American history. Which army was victorious?

In 1864, the Union Army decided on a frontal assault against entrenched Southern forces. What do they say about frontal assaults on entrenched forces? Don't. Do. It. Thousands and thousands of Union men were cut down -- many, in just the first 20 minutes of the fight.


A general named Nathan Bedford Forrest had 30 horses shot from under him during the war. He fought for which side?

Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest was wealthy when he enlisted in the army. He ascended from private to general and proved to be one of the most capable (and fortunate, unlike his horses) leaders on any battlefield.


During the Battle of Gettysburg, which army launched the ill-fated "Pickett’s Charge"?

On the last day of Gettysburg, Confederate Gen. Lee committed what might have been the biggest blunder of the war: he sent Confederate troops charging across an open field, where they were cut to pieces by Union fire. From that moment on, the Confederacy was all but doomed.


Illinois is a huge state that extends many miles into the North and South. For which side did Illinois fight?

There were plenty of Confederate influences in and around Illinois. But it was a blue state during the war, providing thousands of troops to the Northern cause.


Mary Lincoln, the wife of President Lincoln, called one general a "butcher," because of his uncompromising battlefield strategies. The "butcher" fought for which side?

Mary Lincoln was referring to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Grant's bold and sometimes merciless leadership cost countless gallons of blood -- blood that Mrs. Lincoln (and many others) thought was unnecessary.


Which side fired the final shot of the war?

This one is sometimes disputed, but many historians recognize a shot fired by the CSS Shenandoah (a Confederate ship) as the last of the war. It fired a cannon at a whaling ship off of the coast of Alaska.


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