The Language of the Civil War

By John D. Wright | Go to book overview

L

“la belle Rebelle” “The beautiful rebel,” the French nickname given in the U.S. to the Confederate spy, Belle Boyd. After being caught and imprisoned twice in northern jails, she fled to London, England, where on August 25, 1864, she married a Confederate BLOCKADE RUNNER who had followed her. She became an actress and published her memoir, Belle Boyd: In Camp and Prison. After the war, Belle returned to the U.S. to act and give public talks about her spying days.

Ladies Defense Association An organization formed in March 1862 by women in Williamsburg, Virginia, to raise money to build an IRONCLAD warship that would patrol the James River and defend Richmond. Women throughout Virginia raised money by selling their personal jewelry, silver plate, and other heirlooms. They also helped collect the iron by donating iron railings, broken plows, and scrap iron. Within four months, the Richmond was completed, modeled on the Virginia. It served actively in the James River squadron, and was burned with the other ships of the squadron on April 3, 1865, as the Confederate government was vacating the city. See also“Merrimac No. 2.”

lager Beer was considered the poor relation of stronger spirits during the war, and soldiers were strangely unimpressed with lager. Confederate soldier Allen C.Redwood of Virginia recalled after the war that “Whisky was, of course, at a high premium, but a keg of ‘lager’—a drink less popular then than now—went begging in our company.”

lamp-post 1. A nickname for a gunboat’s elongated shell, such as the 10-inch shell. The term was especially used by Confederates. 2. A nickname for an artillery shell in flight, because the eye preceived it as a hazy pole-like blur that reminded soldiers of a lamppost. 3. A Confederate nickname for a stand that held grape shot. It was a cylinder attached to a cast-iron base, resembling a lampstick in a bowl. The Union ship Brooklyn even fired them at Fort St. Philip on the lower Mississippi River. After surrendering, the Confederates complained that the fort was full of “infernal lamp-posts,” which were worse than the grape shot.

The Lancers A fashionable dance that was a type of QUADRILLE in which four couples danced different figures from a square formation.

“Land of Legree and the Home of the Slave” The New York Tribune’s description of the southern states. This reword-

-172-

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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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