Did you know that the Gettysburg Address was panned as "silly, flat and dish-watery" by the Chicago Times? How about the role of nuns on the battlefield? ("They were the only group of women experienced in both nursing and hospital management.") Or that the trousers-wearing feminist surgeon Mary Edwards Walker was rumored to be a spy?
You'll find out these Civil War tidbits and much more — such as the story of "Taps," the snowball battle of 1862 and all about Confederate postage stamps — in Strange But True Facts of the Civil War by Patrick M. Reynolds (Taylor Trade Publishing, 144 pages, $18.95).
These illustrated stories are a great way to learn something about history without reading a textbook. (Meaning, for all you parents out there who maybe didn't pay attention in history class, this will be a nice way to learn a few things while paging through with your kids.)