Introduction to terms and definitions found throughout the encyclopedia.


Habeus Corpus

A writ, or legal action, that prevents governments from improperly imprisoning their citizens. In the United States, this means that citizens accused of  crimes have the right to appear before a court to determine if they have been properly detained. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln and other Union officials exercised unprecedented and questionable power by detaining people who vocally opposed the war, and by imposing martial law in non-combat areas.


A biscuit made from flour and water and flavored with strong coffee, which formed a staple of the Union and Confederate soldiers' diets.

Horse Artillery

Small but powerful cannon that could be disassembled and packed on horses for transportation. Horse artillery could be carried into rough terrain where ordinary artillery could not be transported.

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Ohio Civil War Central: An Encyclopedia of the American Civil War