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

  • George Frey / Getty

    Inside the Dugway Proving Ground

    George Frey, Getty images photographer, recently had the opportunity to visit the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground, a sprawling top-secret military facility in the Utah desert.

  • Tauseef Mustafa / AFP / Getty

    Photos: One Week in India

    India celebrated its 70th Independence Day on August 15, during a busy week across the nation.

  • Scott Olson / Getty

    Vigils, Marches, and Memorials After Charlottesville

    In squares and streets across the United States, vigils and marches were held this weekend in response to the hatred and violence on display during a rally in Charlottesville on Saturday.

  • Roberto Schmidt / AFP / Getty

    World Elephant Day

    Since 2011, August 12 has been set aside as World Elephant Day, supported by numerous conservation agencies as a day to “spread awareness, share knowledge, and provide solutions for better care and management of both captive and wild elephants.”

Join the Discussion