Why Some Civil War Soldiers Glowed in the Dark

Civil WarMatt Soniak writes on Mental Floss:

By the spring of 1862, a year into the American Civil War, Major General Ulysses S. Grant had pushed deep into Confederate territory along the Tennessee River. In early April, he was camped at Pittsburg Landing, near Shiloh, Tennessee, waiting for Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s army to meet up with him.

On the morning of April 6, Confederate troops based out of nearby Corinth, Mississippi, launched a surprise offensive against Grant’s troops, hoping to defeat them before the second army arrived. Grant’s men, augmented by the first arrivals from the Ohio, managed to hold some ground, though, and establish a battle line anchored with artillery. Fighting continued until after dark, and by the next morning, the full force of the Ohio had arrived and the Union outnumbered the Confederates by more than 10,000.

The Union troops began forcing the Confederates back, and while a counterattack stopped their advance it did not break their line. Eventually, the Southern commanders realized they could not win and fell back to Corinth until another offensive in August. All told, the fighting at the Battle of Shiloh left more than 16,000 soldiers wounded and more 3,000 dead, and neither federal or Confederate medics were prepared for the carnage…

Read More: Mental Floss

4 Comments on "Why Some Civil War Soldiers Glowed in the Dark"

  1. Very interesting.

  2. eyeoftheaxis | Apr 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

    So it wasn’t Jesus after all. — We’ve seen blue glow on rotting wood.
    I thought it was a fungus but really couldn’t tell just what was glowing. We
    decided not to use it in the fire. Some people actually did think it was spirits
    of long dead NDN’s, ( I’ll admit, I let them think that for the lulz ) others
    thought it toxic or even of alien origin, blown in on the solar winds. When told
    it is a natural phenomenon they were relieved. When we couldn’t say for certain
    just what it was, they went back to wild speculations.

    • eyeoftheaxis | Apr 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

      Of course people will believe anything. I once put a radio on the outside
      of a window AC unit and had the boss convinced it was suddenly playing Spanish
      music on it’s own, and wouldn’t stop even when it was unplugged.

    • Calypso_1 | Apr 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm |

      If Christ was a mushroom, I suppose he could be the glowing emesis of nematode gut bacteria as well.

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