Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Webb Black Garrison  

Pen Name: Webb Garrison


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1919 in Covington, Georgia

Died: July 20, 2000

-- Webb Black Garrison on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Mr. Garrison was president of McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois, 1957-60.

Biographical and Professional Information

Garrison, formerly associate dean of Emory University and president of McKendree College, wrote more than 55 books, including ''Civil War Curiosities'' and'' Civil War Trivia and Fact Book''. Before his death in 2000, Garrison lived in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Civil War Trivia and Fact Book: Unusual and Often Overlooked Facts About America's Civil War
ISBN: 1558531602

Thomas Nelson. 1992

Rare Book

Creative Minds in Desperate Times: The Civil War's Most Sensational Schemes and Plots
ISBN: 1558535446

Rutledge Hill Pr. 1997

When the Civil War broke out, leaders on both sides had to develop strategies for fighting the conflict and considered almost any suggestion. This book chronicles some of the most intriguing and unusual plans devised by these leaders.

The Amazing Civil War: A Fascinating Collection of Little-Known Facts of the Four-Year Conflict That Changed America
ISBN: 1567313043

Mjf Books. 1999

With three million soldiers scattered along a 10,000-mile front and more than 1,000 engagements, the Civil War was one in which fascinating anecdotes, colorful stories, humorous tales, and unusual coincidences were frequent. This is written in a style similar to Garrison's best-selling Civil War Curiosities. Illustrated and indexed.

True Tales of the Civil War: A Treasury of Unusual Stories During America's Most Turbulent Era
ISBN: 0517162660

Gramercy Books. 2000

With over 90 black and white photographs accompanying the text, this book contains 52 true stories of what ordinary people-not just soldiers-did in the conflict between the North and South, providing historical, informative, and often entertaining accounts of events during that time.

Amazing Women of the Civil War: Fascinating True Stories of Women Who Made a Difference
ISBN: 1558537910

Thomas Nelson. 1999

The Civil War is most often described as one in which brother fought against brother. But the most devastating war fought on American soil was also one in which women demonstrated heroic deeds, selfless acts, and courage beyond measure. Women mobilized soup kitchens and relief societies. Women cared for wounded soldiers. Women were effective spies. And it is estimated that 300 women fought on the battlefields, usually disguised as men. The most fascinating Civil War women include:

  • Harriet Tubman, a former slave, who led hundreds of fellow slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad
  • Four hundred women who were seized in Roswell, Georgia, deported to Indiana, and vanished without a trace
  • Belle Boyd, the "Siren of the Shenandoah," who at the age of seventeen killed a Union soldier
  • "Crazy" Elizabeth Van Lew, who deliberately fostered the impression that she was eccentric so that she could be an effective spy for the North

"The poor fellow sprang from my hands and fell back quivering in the agonies of death. A bullet had passed between my body and the right arm which supported him, cutting through my sleeve and passing through his chest from shoulder to shoulder." ?Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross

"We were all amused and disgusted at the sight of a thing that nothing but the debased and depraved Yankee nation could produce. [A woman] was dressed in the full uniform of a Federal surgeon. She was not good looking, and of course had tongue enough for a regiment of men." ?Captain Benedict J. Semmes, describing Mary Walker, M.D.

More Civil War Curiosities: Fascinating Tales, Infamous Characters, and Strange Coincidences
ISBN: 1558533664

Rutledge Hill Press. 2000

More Civil War Curiosities contains strange but true stories from the four-year conflict that raged across a one-thousand-mile battle front with more than three million men in uniform. Anything could and often did happen. Webb Garrison recounts instances of friendly fire casualties, the unperfected art of spying, banishments and deportings, grisly tales of missing limbs, name changes for both people and ships, disguises that worked (and some that did not), and many "firsts" and "lasts."

Fragging, or purposely killing a fellow soldier, was the probable cause of the death of Thomas Wilson, a tyrannical Federal general. He died in action at the battle of Baton Rouge when, according to one account, he was seized by a group of his own men who held him in front of a cannon before it was fired at the enemy.

When Confederate Gen. Jubal Early marched on Frederick, Maryland, he offered not to torch the town for a payment of $200,000. It took the townspeople a day to borrow the money?and 87 years to pay it back. When Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, failed to raise a ransom of $500,000, Early's subordinate, Gen. John McCausland, burned the town to the ground.

The arm of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson was amputated when he was wounded at the battle of Chancellorsville. Following the operation, Jackson's corps chaplain gave the arm a respectful burial?complete with a gravestone?in his family's cemetery. When the general died a week later, the rest of him was buried in Lexington, Virginia.

Hiram Ulysses Grant was mistakenly listed as Ulysses Simpson Grant by the congressman appointing him to West Point. Grant did not protest, and the name stayed with him all the way to the presidency of the United States.

The Unknown Civil War
ISBN: 1581821220

Cumberland House. 2000

In the 135 years that have passed since the Civil War, almost every significant event has been discussed, detailed, or described in one way or another. Indeed, so much has been written that very little of what happened remains unknown.

Many unusual stories are attached to the people and events of the Civil War. This is a collection of stories that still raise questions today, revealing subtle ironies and neglected insights about the war.

However, many odd, peculiar, and unusual stories attached themselves to the people and events of the war. The Unknown Civil War is a collection of such stories, many of them about fascinating, little-known aspects of larger stories that have been ignored in the rush to stake out new scholarly insights about the war. The result is a genuine human-interest book about the war that does not ignore the political and military aspects but highlights a wealth of interesting facts that make for entertaining reading:

  • How Abraham Lincoln prevented Maryland from seceding from the Union by sending Ben Butler into Baltimore to arrest pro-Southern legislators before they could vote.
  • Draft dodgers shooting off toes or cutting off trigger fingers to avoid combat.
  • Seamstress Elizabeth Keckly, who worked for both Varina Davis, wife of the future Confederate President, and Mary Todd Lincoln.
  • Pro-slavery Unionist Parson Brownlow of Tennessee, one of many who adopted the slogan "The Union and Slavery."
  • Union soldiers mistakenly bombarded by their own warships because army and naval signalmen were not taught the same code "language."
  • A Union officer who ordered a slave hanged for not finding a safe passage across a rain-swollen river.
  • The story behind the first battlefield reconnaissance photographs taken from the air.
  • A cold-blooded killer who later won a Medal of Honor.
  • The role of "life closers," men who marched behind the infantry lines and whose job was to shoot any man who quit when he was supposed to be on the move.

A Treasury of Civil War Tales
ISBN: 1558537163

Rutledge Hill Pr. 1999

Tells the stories of individuals involved with the American Civil War, including slaves, journalists, nurses, doctors, spies, artists, and military and political leaders

Strange Battles of the Civil War
ISBN: 158182226X

Cumberland House. 2002

Experience the Civil War like never before....

Strange Battles of the Civil War is a captivating look at 23 battles from the War Between the States that did not unfold as anticipated. From unexpected victories to devastating tactical blunders, from mistaken marching orders to unlikely participants (including animals!), this collection of surprising but true stories offers an unusual perspective on one of the bloodiest conflicts in United States history.

Discover extraordinary Civil War battle stories like the following:

  • December 20, 1861: In Dranesville Virginia, hungry horses trigger a skirmish when their Union and Confederate handlers fight over hard-to-find fodder for their animals, resulting in 250 casualties.
  • May 15, 1862: At Drewry's Bluff, Virginia, the Confederate capital of Richmond is saved when Union navy guns cannot be elevated high enough to fire upon the city on the bluff
  • September 8, 1863: At Sabine Pass, vastly outnumbered Confederate soldiers manage to thwart the advance on Texas and deliver an astounding defeat to Union forces
  • December 23-27, 1864: At Fort Fisher, a gun powder plot fizzles and the career of a Union general is ended after a two-day bombardment

Featuring fascinating Civil War facts, anecdotes, photos, and illustrations, this is a must-have addition to any Civil War collection, and makes the perfect gift for students, scholars, and history enthusiasts everywhere.

The Encyclopedia of Civil War Usage: An Illustrated Compendium of the Everyday Language of Soldiers and Civilians
ISBN: 1581822804

Cumberland House Publishing. 2002

There are few systematic guides to the language used by the generation that fought the American Civil War. In the 150 years since the great conflict, our language has changed, and as meanings have become obscure or lost, links with this vibrant past have dissolved and much of that which had meaning to our forefathers no longer has the same meaning to us.

What did it mean to cross the bar""? What did it mean ""to see the elephant"" or ""to go South""? Why did the armies have so-called ninety-day men and hundred-day men? What were soldiers supposed to do when their commander shouted, ""Let her go, Gallagher""? How did one ""pay tribute to Neptune""? What was a ""picket pin""? Could one make a passable meal of ""possum beer"" and ""secession bread""? How did one ""vibrate the lines, "" and why would anyone want to attempt such a maneuver?

To address this need, Webb Garrison has pored over his notes from more than thirty years of research and study to produce this dictionary and encyclopedia of words and phrases (including nicknames and slang) commonly used during the war. Where appropriate, examples and anecdotes are included to illustrate meanings. Often overlooked naval terms and esoteric formal and informal military expressions are addressed as well as short descriptions of oceangoing vessels and river craft.

More than 2,500 entries and 250 illustrations cover the terms, equipment, and organization of the three million soldiers who fought in the war.