Saturday, April 21, 2012

Reading, Writing, and (Confederate) Arithmetic

Greetings Cosmic Americans!

I had a little time on my hands yesterday so I wandered over to the Gettysburg Museum of History's Facebook page to have a look at a few historical artifacts.The museum has a little game where they ask followers to name whatever artifact is being displayed by "Vanessa the Intern" (this woman's name and position are always set off by quotation marks so I thought I would follow the tradition).

Yesterday I saw this image - "Vanessa the Intern" holding an 1864 math book printed in the Confederacy. There are few words to describe what is printed inside - maybe "damn" or "really?" would suffice. I'll let you add your own. And, if you want to brush up on your Confederate math skills, here are a few word problems from the book to get you started

1. If one Confederate soldier can kill 90 Yankees, how many Yankees can 10 Confederate soldiers kill?

2. If one Confederate soldier can whip 7 Yankees, how many soldiers can whip 49 Yankees?

3. 7 Confederate soldiers captured 21 Yankees and divided them equally between them. How many did each one have?

There will be a test later.




  1. Those same sentiments carried on in southern school textbooks long after the war too.

  2. There are several textbooks like that available through I didn't see any with problems about killin' Yankees, but there was a real attempt to make them practical problems, with a heavy emphasis on trade, investment and business, such as this one:Shipped to New Orleans 4,000 lbs of cotton, at 7 1/2 cts per lb., and 513 yards of muslin, at 62 1/2 cts per yard; in return for which, I have received 37cwt. 3 qr. of sugar, at 12 1/2 cents per pound., and 44 pounds of indigo, at 20 cents per pound. What remains due me?