The Blue & Gray Almanac

The Civil War in Facts & Figures, Recipes & Slang

Albert Nofi

A fascinating and entertaining anthology about the American Civil War, throwing new light on all aspects of the war, and how it affected America and Americans, then and down to the present.
Date Published :
April 2022
Publisher :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781636241258
Pages : 304
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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A fascinating and entertaining anthology about the American Civil War, throwing new light on all aspects of the war, and how it affected America and Americans, then and down to the present.

Albert Nofi tells the story of the American War through a range of insightful essays, anecdotes, and facts. Did you know...

• During the final days of the war, some Richmond citizens would throw “Starvation Parties,” at which elegantly attired guests would gather at soirees where the finest silver and crystal tableware was used, though there were usually no refreshments except water.
• Union Rear-Admiral Goldsborough was nicknamed “Old Guts”, not so much for his combativeness as for his heft, weighing about 300 pounds, and was described as “. . . a huge mass of inert matter.”
• 30.6 percent of the 425 Confederate generals, but only 21.6 percent of the 583 Union generals, had been lawyers before the war.
• In 1861, J. P. Morgan made a huge profit by buying 5,000 condemned US Army carbines and selling them back to another arsenal, taking the Army to court when they tried to refuse to pay for the faulty weapons.
• Major General Loring was reputed to have so rich a vocabulary than one of the men once remarked he could "curse a cannon up hill without horses."
• Many militia units had a favorite drink, the Charleston Light Dragoons’ punch took around a week to make while the Chatham Artillery required 1 pound of green tea leaves be steeped overnight.
• There were five living former presidents when the Civil War began, and seven veterans of the war (plus one draft dodger) went on to serve as President.

About The Author

Albert Nofi is a military historian, defense analyst and wargame designer. He has published over 30 books on a wide variety of topics. In parallel with three decades as a teacher and later administrator in New York public schools, he was associated editor of the journal Strategy and Tactics and produced a number of wargames. In 1999 Nofi became a research analyst with the Center for Naval Analyses, writing Recent Trends in Thinking About Warfare and several other analytical papers. He has lectured at a number of colleges, universities and other institutions including the University of Paris-Sorbonne, the Smithsonian, and the Air War College. For many years an Associate Fellow of the U.S. Civil War Center, he was a Director of the New York Military Affairs Symposium since its formation, and is a member of the Society for Military History and a number of other military and historical societies. From many years, Nofi contributed a regular column to North & South. In 1998, he became a contributing editor to StrategyPage. He splits his time between New York and Texas.


1. The "House Divided"
2. From Secession to Civil War
3. The Civil War in 11,000 Words
4. Armies Blue and Gray
5. Incidents and Anecdotes of War
6. The Naval War
7. War and Society
8. The Generals
9. Money, Graft, and Corruption
10. The Naughty Bits
11. The Troops
12. Civil War Medicine

Epilogue: The Civil War since the Civil War
Appendix: The Civil War and the Presidency
Further Reading
Onomastic Index


5 Stars “Nofi has clearly done a great deal of good, solid research to put together this compendium of information. His writing is clear, concise, and crisp. This attractive and fascinating book will be a welcome addition to the libraries of Civil War aficionados everywhere.”

- San Francisco Book Review

“It’ll certainly appeal to anyone who wants a rather quirky look at some unusual aspects of the American Civil War. 4 stars.”

- Army Rumour Service

“Almanacs are usually great fun, and this one is a cool way to learn about the American Civil War, and a unique opportunity to have a number of fantastic facts about it at your fingertips. Brilliant!”

- Books Monthly

"Written by notable military historian Nofi, this browsable book is not a traditional reference work, yet it is not a typical history book either. Twelve chapters are devoted to subjects like the naval war, generals, troops, medicine, and the attention-grabbing money, graft, and corruption. Through anecdotes, brief essays, and the unearthing of unusual and little-known details, Nofi relays an entertaining and illuminating story of the war. But his approach is not gimmicky; the unusual tidbits he uncovers are telling. For example, citizens of the Confederate capitol of Richmond threw "Starvation Parties" toward the end of the war, wherein the finest pieces of silver and crystal were used to serve nothing but water to finely dressed guests. Such a detail speaks volumes about Southern pride and refusal to capitulate. Despite the lighter tone and non-academic approach, there are over 30 pages of endnotes and further reading. The colloquial approach is absorbing yet informative. Although it could certainly be read cover-to-cover, this is also the type of book that could be dipped into and enjoyed at any point of the text. Includes introductory material, sidebars, and photographs throughout. Summing Up: Recommended. All public and academic levels/libraries."

- Choice

“Author of over thirty titles, Nofi wrote The Blue & Gray Almanac as a guide to the critical events of the pre-war era, the war itself, its aftermath and legacy, as well as armies, key facts, lists, profiles, and places. Each segment skillfully and briefly searches subjects with well investigated, straightforward frankness. The result is a solid introductory guide and consultation reference for newcomers to this important topic… The value of this volume is its conciseness, lucidity, readability, and numerous images.”

- Civil War News

“Such interesting anecdotes and stories are frequently retold about the American Civil War, and this new book collects a number of them together. It keeps the reader’s interest through a dozen well-written chapters, each covering a different facet of the war.”

- Military Heritage, May 2018

"A couple of hours with this text will be enough to convince a newcomer that this is a hugely rich theme to pursue, and it is recommended." - Winner of the 'Miniature Wargames Recommends' award for May 2018.”

- Miniature Wargames

“The title of this book struck my attention, as well as the different approach to the subject.
It’s fun to read and very informative about a range of topics, many of these are not covered elsewhere. Given its theme structured approach I dare to say it adds something new. The blue and gray almanac is an interesting read for Americans and non-Americans alike.”


“Binge-reading through this is like binge-watching a treasured TV show.”


“Simply stated, no personal, professional, community, college, or university library American Civil War collections should be without a copy of The Blue & Gray Almanac…”

- Midwest Book Review

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