Photo Essays

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

Published 6/30/2013

Gettysburg in Color

By: Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

Edwin Forbes is best known today for his work during the Civil War as a special correspondent for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, to which he supplied a multitude of illustrations based upon his first-hand observances while embedded with the Union army. Between 1862 and 1864, Forbes' skilled hand captured some of the war's major battles, including Second Manassas, Antietam, Chancellorsville...

Published 5/28/2013

The Struggle for Vicksburg

By: Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

Vicksburg, Mississippi, strategically sits along the Mississippi River between Memphis and New Orleans. Incorporated in 1825, she became a vibrant river town, pivotal railroad center, and thriving commercial port. Given her prime location, both the Union and the Confederacy considered Vicksburg “key” to their war effort and essential to controlling “the father of waters.” The Rebels rushed...

Published 3/12/2013

Civil War Envelopes

By: Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

For many Civil War soldiers, mail call was the highlight of the day. Handwritten letters from home served as a valuable lifeline to loved ones, maintaining morale and alleviating boredom. While the movements of the armies often disrupted delivery times, the U.S. postal service remained relatively effective—often allowing troops to send letters marked "Soldier's Letter" for free (postage was...

Published 4/5/2012

"Life Studies of the Great Army"

By: Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

At the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibit of 1876, Edwin Forbes, renowned for his work during the Civil War as a "special artist" for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, displayed a collection of copper etchings based on his wartime illustrations of the Army of the Potomac. Forbes had spent the immediate postwar years completing the drawings and transferring them to copper plates. The resulting...

Published 8/3/2011

The War Begins

By: Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

In a nineteenth-century world free from blogs, social networking sites, television, and cell phones, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper thrived. Part picture, part story, Leslie's publications combined visually stimulating engravings with journalistic articles to create one of the most popular illustrated newspapers of the 1860s. Leslie's Illustrated invited its audience not just to read,...