The Civil War, Part 1: The Places

Last year marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War, a milestone commemorated by The Atlantic in a special issue (now available online). Although photography was still in its infancy, war correspondents produced thousands of images, bringing the harsh realities of the frontlines to those on the home front in a new and visceral way. As brother fought brother and the nation's future grew uncertain, the public appetite for information was fed by these images from the trenches, rivers, farms, and cities that became fields of battle. Today's collection is part 1 of 3, covering the places of the Civil War: the battleships, prisons, hospitals, urban centers, and rural pastures where history was made. Tomorrow's installment features some of the people involved in the conflict, and on Friday I'll be sharing some of the amazing three-dimensional stereographs of the war. Keep in mind, as you view these photographs, that they were taken 150 years ago -- providing a glimpse of a United States that was only 85 years old at the time.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Joseph Eid / AFP / Getty

    Newlyweds in the Ruins: A Syrian Wedding Photo Shoot

    In Homs, Syria, where entire city blocks have been reduced to rubble by years of civil war, a Syrian wedding photographer thought of using the destruction of the city as a backdrop for pictures of newlywed couples to show that life is stronger than death.

  • Brittany Greeson / The Ground Truth Project

    'We Fear the Water'

    Photographs of life in Flint, Michigan, where lead, copper, and bacteria have been contaminating the drinking supply

  • Aris Messinis / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 1/30-2/5

    Revelers in Brazil prepare for Carnival, Dutch police train an eagle to capture drones in midair, a captured monkey menace in Mumbai, Russian infantry training with reindeer, a mock zebra escape in a Tokyo zoo, and much more.

  • © Google, Inc.

    The Looting of Syria's Archaeological Treasures

    In contested areas of Syria, thousands of archaeological sites are being systematically looted by unknown parties, the treasures sold off, disappearing into the black market.

Join the Discussion