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The Confederacy also tried their hand at military ballooning, although with considerably less success.

The South lacked the resources to make good balloons, and their one operational airship—reportedly made from a colorful patchwork of silk—was captured after the tugboat carrying it ran aground on the James River.

While they proved an intimidating method of psychological warfare, landmines were often viewed as an unethical form of combat. Mc Clellan denounced them as “barbarous,” and Confederate General James Longstreet briefly banned their use.

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You might think the Civil War was only fought with muskets, bayonets and cannons, but those weren’t the only deadly weapons to haunt the battlefields of the 1860s.

The war came in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, and both the Union and the Confederacy experimented with strange and often gruesome new combat technologies.

Rains first used the subterranean booby traps in 1862 during the Peninsula Campaign, and later buried thousands more around Richmond and in various parts of the Deep South.

In fact, some of these still-active landmines were only recovered in Alabama as recently as the 1960s.

Gillmore’s Union guns bombarded the fort day and night with the help of a strange invention: the calcium light.

Last modified 01-Jan-2017 08:24