The Civil War could definitely be considered one of the most extreme wars to ever occur in the history of the United States. The war resulted in the incredible 1 million victims who were badly affected. The war had over 5,000 battles and lasted from 1861 till 1865 in over 20 states. Since the war happened just 20 years after photography was conceptualized, the thought of documenting the incidents during the war was not really prioritized. So, whatever photographs that had been taken during the war can be looked upon as a one of the first ever attempts at photojournalism. Back in the year 1943, the Library of Congress collected more than 7,000 rare pictures taken during back during the wartime, for the sake of being archived. Only recently these photos had become digitized. Here are some of them…
Ruins of Haxall’s Mills
Have you ever imagined that the locality you stay in or the neighborhood you live in could one day be destroyed with the single use of a bomb? This photo shows us that even the most innocent places can sometimes fall victim to attacks during a war. Here is a look at the ruins of Richmond, Virginia following the attacks made by the Confederate army that demolished the area using explosives and fire. These photos, as you may have guessed, are the Haxall’s Mills. These were one of the most popular and quite possibly the largest flour mills in the world during that time. The owner of this mill was Bolling W. Haxall. He was one of Richmond’s most successful businessmen during that time. Some even claim that he was the richest man there before the Civil War broke out.
Here we see a photo taken during the time of war where some kids are standing nearby a group of men, all geared up riding on horses. It was taken in the Sudley Springs Ford in Virginia. The picture looks to be of very bad quality but still manages to bring out the tension in the air at that exact moment. Recently, the photographer for The Guardian, David Levene decided to take some Civil War images that he planned to shoot from the exact vantage point they were taken back then. He even shot this location hoping to help see what all changes have the site undergone in all these years. Just below, you can see the modern state in which the Sudley Springs Ford in Virginia is in. Sudley Springs is known to be one of the first places where the land battles took place during the Civil War.
Lincoln Visiting Antietam
We all know that Abraham Lincoln is one of the most iconic presidents that America has ever had. He is given credit for ending slavery and has gone down in history as a memorable leader of the U.S. Because he was elected as president during the time of the Civil War, there are not so many photographs to be seen of this president. However, here is one very infrequent photograph of the late, great President Abraham Lincoln. He is exploring the location used as battlefield at Antietam, Maryland. Antietam became one of the main locations where some of the most important battles took place during the Civil War. It even ended the Northern Virginia Confederate Army from pulling through with their first attempt to take over the North. Lincoln also wrote the first letter of Emancipation Proclamation after the battles.
Antietam Dunker Church
Would you ever consider the place where a church resides as a good place to start a battle? During the Civil War, there was one truly memorable battle that took place at a particular church. This was a very weird practice as one would think to refrain from battling near or around a place of worship. The Battle of Antietam had taken place in the premises of the Dunker Church near Sharpsburg, Maryland. This location became one of the main places of a battle for the Union territory. It is also good to note that, this battle that took place here became one of the most intense blood-baths in the United States history of wars. However, the original church was demolished because of a heavy storm. But then, the church got rebuilt in the year 1962 for the 100th anniversary of the battle.
Council of War
Here is one very important photo that was taken during the heat of the Civil War. This photograph here was actually taken in Ringgold, Georgia. In the photo, we see the council of war that had actually been led by none other than General George Thomas. So ‘what does a council of did?’, you may be asking. Well, these councils would occasionally hold a meeting while the battles are going on. They were set up so at to plan and work around what would be the best approach to win the battle. It was a good strategy but then to actually meet up in the middle of a battle is truly strange. After deliberating on the issues, the last and final call is headed by the commanding officers. The council of war would disintegrate after the subordinates gave their opinions and advice to the commander followed by a vote.
Ulysses S. Grant
As the Civil War become one of the most important wars that helped shape what America is today, obviously there were bound to be some people that became notable. This man we see here is called Ulysses S. Grant. He became one of the popular people during the Civil War. The tent that this man is standing in front of is located in Cold Harbor, Virginia in June 1864. One thing that is worthy of knowing is the fact that this mans actual birth name was Hiram Ulysses Grant. But then years later, he came to be known as Ulysses S. Grant solely due to a clerical error. He became very well known after he was nominated for a United States Military Academy at West Point. So when his name was printed, it was written as Ulysses S. Grant which stuck with him his whole life.