On page 152, of "Across Five Aprils," we read about the battle of Gettysburg. Jethro tells us that he didn't even know were Gettysburg was before reading about the battle.
"The news of the battle was confused at first, incoherent, sometimes contradictory, but one thing was certain: there was a clash that roared with violence and terror such as the country had never known." (152)
The probable reason for the confusion and mixed information was because it took so long for information to filter across the country at that time. Newspapers were becoming harder and harder to obtain, and when people could get one, it was weeks, maybe months old. People had to learn details of a battle by word of mouth and letters from soldiers in the field. This meant a lot of different versions of the same story and that would automatically lead to confusion.