The Civil War’s worst investment tip?

“Confederate prospects for victory seemed brightest during the months after the Emancipation Proclamation, partly because this measure divided the Northern people and intensified a morale crisis in Union armies.

“Slave prices rose even faster than the rate of inflation…. A number of soldiers wrote home advising relatives to invest in slaves….The famous ‘boy colonel’ of the Confederacy, the planter’s son Henry Burgwyn [of Northampton County], who became colonel of the 26th North Carolina at the age of 21, urged his father to put every dollar he had into slaves. ‘I would buy boys & girls from 15 to 20 years old & take care to have a majority of girls ….’ he wrote. ‘I would not be surprised to see negroes in 6 mos. after peace worth from 2 to 3000 dollars.’

“Gettysburg cut short his life before he could witness the collapse of his dreams.”

— From “For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War” (1997) by James M. McPherson

Lost and found: N.C.’s Civil War reputation

“In the Confederacy, North Carolina regiments endured a great deal of disdain from those of other states, especially Virginia. Union victories over small armies composed of North Carolina troops at Hatteras Inlet, Roanoke Island and New Bern early in the war rubbed salt in the psychological wounds of North Carolinians.

“One general from the Tar Heel State made the soldiers in his brigade promise  ‘not to visit wife, children or  business till we have done our full share in retrieving the reputation of our troops and our state.’

“When North Carolinians fought courageously in later battles with the Army of Northern Virginia… the conceited Virginians had been put in their place. ‘It was a proud day for the old state,’ a major in the 46th North Carolina wrote after Fredericksburg.”

— From “For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War” (1997) by James M. McPherson