Martin Van Buren Bates, known as the "Kentucky Giant", was the largest soldier in the Civil War. Though born an infant of normal size, he grew to 7'5''. His ferocity in battle, aided by his imposing figure, made him legendary, with Union soldiers telling tales of a "Confederate giant who's as big as five men and fights like fifty". After the war he married a giantess, Anna Swan, and they toured with various circuses.
Tear Catcher - During the American Civil War, soldiers on both sides often left their wives an ornate bottle in which to store their tears. If the man survived battle, the stored moisture was an indicator of his wife’s devotion and love. If he didn’t make it back, the bottle would be set in a place of honor.
Dec. 2, 1859: Abolitionist and owner of this rifle, John Brown, is hanged for his raid on Harpers Ferry. This Sharps rifle bears no maker’s mark; it was made especially for Brown. Brown carried this weapon on his Kansas campaign in 1856 and later presented it to Charles Blair of Collinsville, Connecticut. In 1857, Brown contracted Blair to forge pikes for the clandestine slave insurrection he was planning for Harpers Ferry.