I hate getting those “chain e-mails” that give warnings demanding some form of country-wide outrage. I usually trash such e-mails without opening them, but in some cases, they are sent by a “friend.” In this case, I might open the e-mail and I might even read over the contents (and, most of the time, I can quickly tell if the material is a myth-in-the-making). However, before pronouncing judgment on the content, I take a little time to go to one of my favorite mythbuster websites (snopes.com being one of those) to conduct some quick research. In about 9 times out of 10, a myth is realized. Relishing the opportunity to pronounce the “chain e-mail” myth, I forward the link proclaiming the truth to all recipients.
As satisfying as this is, I take even greater satisfaction in debunking historical myths. Just as a quick example, I loved proving myself wrong (shame on me for believing the person who originally told me and then for me telling another person about it) when I believed the story about German almost becoming the official language of the United States (yes, it’s a myth).
So, all of this being said, in the process of surfing the Web this evening, I ran across a site (from 2005) that addressed myths from the Civil War. It sounds like good kindling for discussion, so please take a look at it in buzzle.com.