Photographs from the American Civil War

Below is selection of photographs and links to other materials that were created during the Civil War years. Most of the photos in Part I are among those included in the Library of Congress' outstanding collection of original photographs. (Some photos are digitally restored.)

Since I am very much a "people photographer", I lean towards those examples of Civil War photography in which the actual participants appear. These are the faces of the people who experienced the War Between the States firsthand. This very modest collection by no means tells the complete story of the War, but it is an attempt to present key images of several different aspects of the conflict.

As it was with so many items, photographic materials were in short supply in the South and thus were reserved primarily for portraiture. The North had no such shortage, but the cumbersome wet plate processes of the day (and long exposures) prevented the photographers from doing the kind of war photojournalism that became so common during the twentieth century. Fortunately for us, they were willing to record everything else in a very thorough manner so that future generations would know the places and people of The War Between the States.

Click on a thumbnail for a larger photo. (A new browser window will open.)

First published in 1852,
Harriet Beecher Stowe's
novel greatly helped the
aniti-slavery movement.

Campaign poster for
the Republican party's
1860 Presidential ticket.
(Library of Congress)

The South
announces its
independence from
Washington.

The Confederate flag
flies over Fort Sumter
near Charleston Harbor
on April 14, 1861.

Abraham Lincoln
President of the U.S.A.
Brady National
Photographic Art
Gallery (1864)
(Library of Congress)

Jefferson Davis
President of
Confederate States
of America

Robert E. Lee
Officer of the
Confederate Army
Photographer:
Julian Vannerson
(Library of Congress)

Ulysses S. Grant
Officer of the
Federal Army
Brady National
Photographic Art Gallery
Wash., D.C.
(Library of Congress)

Pvt William S. Askew
Company A,
(Newman Guards)
1st Georgia Infantry, C.S.A.
(Library of Congress)

Pvt. George A. Stryker
New York Regiment,
U.S.A.
(Library of Congress)

Drum Corps,
93rd New York Infantry
Photographer: Timothy O'Sullivan
(Library of Congress)

Company H, 114th
Pennsylvania
Infantry (Zouaves)
(Library of Congress)

The 1st Virginia Militia
or the
"Richmond Grays"

9th Mississippi Infantry
Photographed in 1861
at Pensacola, Florida

Officers of the
114th Pennsylvania
Infantry playing cards.
(Library of Congress)

Co. D, 93d
New York Infantry's
Noncommissioned
Officer Mess
Photographer:
Timothy O'Sullivan
(Library of Congress)

Northern
Recruitment Poster

Singing and performing
music was important
to the soldiers and
to those waiting at home.

50th Pennsylvania
Infantry in parade formation
(Feb 1862)
Photographer:
Timothy O'Sullivan
(Library of Congress)

A Zouave ambulance crew
shows how it removes
wounded soldiers from the
field of battle.
(Library of Congress)

Fort Corcoran,
Arlington, Va.
24pdr. siege gun on
wooden barbette carriage.
(Library of Congress)

Company E, 4th US.
Colored Infantry
Fort Lincoln,
District of Columbia
African Americans
served with distinction
in the Federal Army.
(Library of Congress)

Chickahominy River,Va.
Grapevine bride built
May 27-28, 1862 by
5th New Hampshire Infantry
Photographer:
D.B. Woodbury
(Library of Congress)

Antietam bridge.
Battle of Antietam, Md.
Sept - Oct, 1862
Photographer:
Alexander Gardner
(Library of Congress)

Allan Pinkerton,
President Lincoln
and Maj. General John. Mclernand
(Battle of Antietam)
Photographer: Alexander Gardner
(Library of Congress)

Ruins of
Harper's Ferry, W.Va.
(Battle of Antietam)
Photographer:
S.A. Holmes
(Library of Congress)

Company F, 2d
New York Artillery
at Fort C.F. Smith
Arlington, Va.
Photographer:
W.M. Smith
(Library of Congress)

William T. Sherman
on horseback at
Federal Fort No.7
Atlanta, Ga.
Sept-Nov, 1864
Photographer:
George N. Barnard
(Library of Congress)

Confederate prisoners
Gettysburg, Pa.
July 1863
(Library of Congress)

Dead Confederate
soldier with rifle.
April 1865
Siege of Petersburg
(Library of Congress)

Savage Station, Va.
field hospital after
battle of
June 27,1862
Photographer: James Gibson
(Library of Congress)

Richmond, Va.
Graves of Confederate
soldiers in Hollywood Cemetery.
April-June 1865
(Library of Congress)

A company of
6th Maine Infantry
after the battle of
Fredericksburg
(NARA)

Massaponax Church, Va.
General Grant examining
map held by General Meade.
Grant's Wilderness Campaign
May-June 1864
Photographer: Timothy O'Sullivan
(Library of Congress)

Union Navy
Recruitment Poster

"Powder monkey" by gun
of U.S.S. New Hampshire
off Charleston, S.C.
(Library of Congress)

Steam Frigate Pensacola.
Alexandria, Va.
(1861)
Photographer: James Gibson
(Library of Congress)

Sailors on deck of
U.S.S. Monitor,
cookstove on left.
James River, Va
July, 1862
Photographer: James Gibson
(Library of Congress)

Deck & turret of
U.S.S. Monitor
James River, Va.
July, 1862
Photographer: James Gibson
(Library of Congress)

Ex-Confederate
iron-clad ram Stonewall
at anchor, U.S. Capitol
in background.
(Library of Congress)

Parapet of Fort Sumter
with stacks of ammunition.
Charleston, Va.
1963-1865
(Library of Congress)

Battery of Confederate
Fort Johnson.
Fort Sumter in distance.
1863-1865
(Library of Congress)

Gettysburg, Pa.
View of Little Round Top
June-July 1863
(Library of Congress)

Gettysburg, Pa.
Center of the
Federal position viewed
from Little Round Top.
June-July 1863
Photographer: Alexander Gardner
(Library of Congress)

Gettysburg Address
in
President Lincoln's handwriting.

Crippled locomotive
Richmond & Petersburg
Railroad Depot
Richmond, Va
April-June 1865
(Library of Congress)

Richmond, Va.
General View.
April-June 1865
Photographer:
Alexander Gardner
(Library of Congress)

Ruins of
paper mill.
Richmond, Va.
April-June 1865
(Library of Congress)

Another view
of ruined
paper mill.
Richmond, Va.
April-June 1865
(Library of Congress)

Ruined buildings
in burned district.
Richmond, Va.
April-June 1865
(Library of Congress)

View of Richmond, Va.
from Belle Isle.
April-June 1865
(Library of Congress)

Richmond, Va.
Barges with
African Americans
on the canal.
Ruined buildings beyond.
April-June 1865
Photographer:
Alexander Gardner
(Library of Congress)

Richmond, Va.
Street in the
burned district.
April-June 1865
(Library of Congress)

General Lee's
Farewell Order.

The North announces
Lee's
surrender.

Infantry units passing
on Pennsylvania Avenue
near the Treasury.
Grand Review of the Army.
Washington, DC
May 1865
Photographer:
Mathew Brady
(Library of Congress)

Civil War Pictures Part II

Main
Fresno
2000
Fremont
2001
2000
Felton
2001
2000
1999
Lee
Meets
Grant
Fort
Point
Fashion
Shows
NCWA
ACWA
Period
Look
Original
Civil War
Photos
Civil War
Movies
&
Books
Civil War
Links
Great
C.W.
Music