The most surprising find I have (I started to say recently, but maybe I should state ever) made in my family history research, especially as it relates to the Civil War, is a distant tie to a (rightly or wrongly) infamous person of the era, Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was convicted for helping John Wilkes Booth after the actor had assassinated President Lincoln. Mudd escaped the death penalty by one vote and some of his descendants are still fighting to clear his name today, believing he was not part of the conspiracy to kill Lincoln.
When looking back at my family tree, I found an Eleanor Mudd, from Maryland, as one of my great-grandmothers, so I decided to explore that a bit more and found the connection to the doctor. A relationship this distant is not easy to explain, but I've tried to list it below as straight-forward as I can. "X," of course, means "times," and some of the birth dates may be approximate as different sources show different years, especially farther back in years, decades, and centuries.