The Language of the Civil War

By John D. Wright | Go to book overview

E

eagle The name of a U.S. gold coin worth $10. Modern gold coins called eagles are still authorized by Congress.

the earlier Revolution A southern term for the American Revolution.

ebonic A humorous slang name for a black person, used in both the North and South.

echelon attack A type of attack, used especially by Confederates, that sent one flank against the enemy and withheld the other flank to reinforce the attack. When the attacked part of the enemy position collapsed, the rest of his line could be rolled back. The technique did not have a good success rate. For instance, at Gettysburg in 1863, the Confederates attacked “in echelon” with unfortunate results. The maneuver was also called the oblique order of attack and the progressive order of attack.

Eddie The nickname of Edward Baker Lincoln, the second of President Abraham Lincoln’s four sons. He was named for Union Colonel Edward D. Baker, a close family friend and former congressman, who was killed in 1861 at Balls Bluff, Virginia. Eddie Lincoln died when he was nearly four, 11 years before Lincoln became president in 1861. The boy’s death brought his parents closer together and Mrs. Lincoln joined the Presbyterian Church, although her husband never became a member of any church.

educated soldier A soldier, usually a career officer, trained in military tactics.

effective A soldier or sailor fit enough for combat. In June 1863, near the end of the Union siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, fewer than half of the defending Confederate troops were listed as “effectives.”

effective range The range of fire that best reached enemy troops. Some soldiers, especially new ones, tended to fire too high at a long distance or too soon as the enemy advanced. Officers recommended that they hold their fire until their more experienced comrades began firing.

egg-nog This thick drink, already a tradition during the war, consisted of beaten eggs, milk or cream, sugar, nutmeg, and alcohol (“nog” was strong ale). The festive drink was served on southern plantations, with a former slave, Josiah Henson, recalling “dances before old massa’s door for the first drink of egg-nog.”

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The Language of the Civil War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Guide to Related Topics xv
  • A 1
  • B 19
  • C 50
  • D 81
  • E 100
  • F 107
  • G 122
  • H 138
  • I 154
  • J 161
  • K 166
  • L 172
  • M 184
  • N 202
  • O 208
  • P 221
  • Q 242
  • R 245
  • S 259
  • T 293
  • U 308
  • V 314
  • W 318
  • Y 329
  • Z 332
  • Bibliography 335
  • Index 337
  • About the Author 378
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