Photo Essays

Stories of the Civil War as told through series of captivating images

Published 7/21/2022

First Bull Run

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

On July 21, 1861, Union and Confederae forces clashed just north of Manassas, Virginia, in the war's first major land battle. The engagment brought together inexperienced northern and southern volunteers, most of whom expected a quick, relatively bloodless, and decisive victory. The result was a battle whose outcome remained up in the air until a late Confederate push that broke the Union army's...

Published 4/14/2022

Assassination Artifacts

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

“That is the last speech he will ever make.” So remarked John Wilkes Booth on April 11, 1865, after listening to President Abraham Lincoln deliver remarks outside the White House. Speaking to a crowd of thousands only two days after Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, Lincoln had mentioned

Published 1/14/2022

The Emancipation Proclamation

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation—which declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free"—went into effect. Drafted the previous summer, and announced shortly after the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam, the proclamation—an executive order issued by Abraham Lincoln—changed the legal status of enslaved people...

Published 10/15/2021

The Mountain Campaigns in Georgia

By: Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

Published in 1890, "The Mountain Campaigns in Georgia"--a slim volume devoted to telling the story of the battles fought along the Western & Atlantic Railroad--boasted a number of detailed illustrations by leading artists of the day, including Alfred R. Waud and Thure de Thulstrup. Waud, boasted the book's author, had "personally visited all of the battlefields depicted," and all of the sketches...

Published 7/18/2021

The 54th Massachusetts at Fort Wagner

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

On July 18, 1863, Union troops commanded by Brigadier General Quincy Gillmore launched an attack on Fort Wagner, the Confederate bastion that protected Morris Island, located south of Charleston Harbor—part of the larger Federal attempt to capture the city of Charleston. While the assault failed, the men of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the African-Americann regiment commanded by Colonel ...

Published 3/17/2021

St. Patrick's Day, 1863

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

Artist Edwin Forbes was present to sketch the elaborate St. Patrick's Day festivities that were held in the camp of the Irish Brigade in 1863.

Published 10/16/2020

John Brown's Raid

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

In October 1859, abolitionist John Brown led a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in hopes of obtaining the necessary weapons to arm a successful slave insurrection throughout the region. The raid failed, and by year's end Brown was dead, hanged after being convicted of treason and inciting slave insurrection. The impact of his actions would live on, however; Brown remained a...

Published 8/7/2020

Road Trip: Petersburg to Appomattox

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

Few regions offer a denser concentration of Civil War history than Central Virginia. The historical significance of the region is reason enough to visit, but the fact that you can retrace the conflict’s final major campaigns within the span of 24 hours makes it too good to miss.

Published 7/16/2020

U.S. Army Surgical Kit

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

A look at the contents of a typical U.S. Army Surgical Kit...

Published 2/21/2020

Jefferson Davis, Rebel President

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

A look, through images, at Confederate president Jefferson Davis ...

Published 12/20/2019

The March to the Sea

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

A look at Sherman's March to the Sea through images...

Published 10/7/2019

The Overland Campaign

By: Garry Adelman Category: Photo Essays

An illustrated look at the clashes between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee during the Overland Campaign

Published 8/19/2019

Winslow Homer's Civil War

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

A look at the Civil War artwork of Winslow Homer

Published 6/29/2019

The Seven Days Battles

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

Between July 25 and July 1, 1862, George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac and Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia battled on the outskirts of Richmond. The fate of the Confederacy lay in the balance. Here are images that help tell the story of the Seven Days Battles.

Published 5/23/2019

The American Civil War Museum: A Photo Tour

By: Zethyn McKinley Category: Photo Essays

Take a mini tour of the newly opened American Civil War Museum in Richmond, Virginia.

Published 2/19/2019

Feeding the Troops

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

"An army marches on its stomach." Variations of this statement have been attributed to great historical leaders, including Frederick the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte, over the last 150 years. The sentiment certainly held true during the Civil War, during which hundreds of thousands of hungry Union and Confederate soldiers required sustenance on any given day. Below are images that reflect the...

Published 10/19/2018

Currier and Ives on Lincoln

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

During the Civil War, the prominent lithography firm Currier and Ives produced inexpensive prints of the conflict and its participants based on original drawings by some of the country’s leading artists.

Published 5/2/2018

Chancellorsville

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

“My plans are perfect, and when I start to carry them out, may God have mercy on General Lee, for I will have none.” So said Major General Joseph Hooker in mid-April 1863 to a group of Union officers about his strategy for defeating Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. Hooker,

Published 12/15/2017

Winter is Coming

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

With the winter season nearly upon us, we thought it the perfect time to compile Civil War scenes—in photos and sketches—that invoke the chilly temperatures and inclement weather to come. Bundle up ... and enjoy.

Published 7/3/2017

Gettysburg in Art

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

Americans have long been fascinated by the Battle of Gettysburg, the epic struggle fought between the forces of generals Robert E. Lee and George G. Meade over three days in July 1863. Hardly had the fighting—in which the opposing sides suffered a total of between 46,000 and 51,000 casualties—ended before many of the country's prominent artists began producing renditions of the battle. Some...