The American Civil War, arguably the most traumatic event in the history of the United States, was fought from 1861 to 1865, the culmination of sectional issues which deeply divided the country between a pro-Federal government North and a pro-states rights, pro-slavery South, whose eleven states formed a breakaway government called the Confederate States of America. The costliest war in terms of human lives, the American Civil War claimed in excess of 620,000 battle or disease-related deaths - roughly two percent of the country's total population at that time, and nearly more deaths than all other American wars combined.
This house is named for Mary Virginia Wade, who is popularly nicknamed "Jennie" of "Ginnie". A statue of Jennie is located on the west side of the house. However, Jennie did not live in this home. Just 20 years old at the time of the Battle, Jennie was kneading dough in the kitchen when a rifle bullet pierced two doors and claimed her life.
Like the famed Gun Club of Jules Verne's "Journey from the Earth to the Moon and Around It," Rodman wanted an even bigger gun to test, and proposed building one as soon as the first 15-inch Rodman had been accepted by the War Department. In his report of April 17, 1861, he expressed no doubt that a reliable gun of almost any size could be made with complete success using his casting process.
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