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Cold Mountain (book): any historical inaccuracies?

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  • Tony Gunter
    My son was tasked with writing a report on the historical accuracy of an historical fiction novel of his choice. Without getting my input, he chose Cold
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2005
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      My son was tasked with writing a report on the historical accuracy of
      an historical fiction novel of his choice. Without getting my input,
      he chose Cold Mountain, which is really difficult because the book is
      so accurate.

      Can anyone think of any inaccuracies in the book? I gave away my
      copy, so I don't have the actual text to refresh my memory... but
      here's a few ideas:

      1) Teague's Home Guard was represented as young men who rode around
      robbing and stealing in the name of the Confederate government.
      However, under the conscription laws in effect at that point in the
      war, weren't most of the Home Guard under the age of 17, led by an
      officer of the state militia? So realistically, Teague would have
      been a graybeard and his "men" would have been saplings.

      2) If I remember correctly, the chapter that covers the Battle of the
      Crater begins with men milling about in the trenches. However, the
      mine under the crater was actually detonated just before dawn and
      most of the men posted to the area were still in the camps behind the
      lines.

      3) For some reason, I remember the book describing Esco as a 40-
      something. This could very well be wrong, but if so, he would have
      been hiding from the home guard along with the others by this point
      in the war.

      4) I can't remember, but how did Inman come across his LeMat? Only
      2,500 of these made their way through the blockade, and I believe it
      was mostly a cavalry weapon. How many infantrymen carried sidearms?
      I would imagine very few. Between the extra weight and the
      difficulty of finding the 44 cal. ammo, it would be difficult for an
      infantryman to maintain a LeMat. For hand-to-hand situations, a
      bayonet would suffice almost as well at no extra bulk and almost no
      extra weight.
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