Real War Photos
150 years ago our Nation's Civil War began with the heavy bombardment on Fort Sumter by Confederate soldiers that lasted 36 hours and resulted in Union troops surrendering.
"The firing upon that fort will inaugurate a civil war greater than any the world has yet seen." -Robert Toombs, Confederate Secretary of State. By the time it ended, the death toll was 600,000, slavery was abolished and the states united.
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Above photo courtesy of the National Archives, Washington, DC.
"Coffee tastes better if the latrines are dug downstream from an encampment.
- US Army Field Regulations, 1861"
CW22885B A regimental fife-and-drum corps during the Civil War. Photo courtesy of NARA.
Real War Photos takes you on the battlefields of our own land when Confederate and Union soldiers fought to change our history forever. RWP inventory includes actual battlefield recollections in negatives and the pnenominal and coveted photos of the Brady collection from the Civil War.
The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a civil war between the United States of America (the "Union") and the Southern slave states of the newly formed Confederate States of America under Jefferson Davis. The Union included all of the free states and the five slaveholding border states and was led by Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party. Republicans opposed the expansion of slavery into territories owned by the United States, and their victory in the presidential election of 1860 resulted in seven Southern states declaring their secession from the Union even before Lincoln took office. The Union rejected secession, regarding it as rebellion...
Hostilties began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked a U.S. military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Lincoln responded by calling for a large volunteer army, then four more Southern states declared their secession. In the war's first year, the Union assumed control of the border states and established a naval blockade as both sides massed armies and resources. In 1862, battles such as Shiloh and Antietam caused massive casualties unprecedented in U.S. military history. In September 1862, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation made ending slavery in the South a war goal, which complicated the Confederacy's manpower shortages.
In the East, Confederate commander Robert E. Lee won a series of victories over Union armies, but Lee's reverse at Gettysburg in early July, 1863 proved the turning point. The capture of Vicksburg and Port Hudson by Ulysses S. Grant completed Union control of the Mississippi River. Grant fought bloody battles of attrition with Lee in 1864, forcing Lee to defend the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia. Union general William Sherman captured Atlanta, Georgia, and began his famous March to the Sea, devastating a hundred-mile-wide swath of Georgia. Confederate resistance collapsed after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
The war, the deadliest in American history, caused 620,000 soldier deaths and an undetermined number of civilian casualties, ended slavery in the United States, restored the Union by settling the issues of nullification and secession and strengthened the role of the Federal government. The social, political, economic and racial issues of the war continue to shape contemporary American thought.
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"An army of asses led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by an ass." George Washington, Commander In Chief, who led the Continental Army to victory over the Kingdom of Great Britian during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783); 1st President of the United States of America (1789-1797).
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Check out the National Park Service, U.S. Dept of Interior,
The American Civil War website:
CW22895B - Maj. Gen. George G. Meade standing in front of his tent, June 1864. Photo Courtesy of NARA.