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

  • Bulent Kilic / AFP / Getty

    Photos: Closing In on the Last ISIS Stronghold

    A U.S.-backed coalition now surrounds the last remaining ISIS holdout—the final vestige of a so-called caliphate that once controlled vast territories but that is now boxed in and desperate—in a tiny village under siege in eastern Syria.

  • Ozkan Bilgin / Anadolu Agency / Getty

    Photos of the Super Snow Moon

    Last night, skywatchers around the world were treated to views of the so-called super snow moon, and photographers across the globe captured the event.

  • Vincenzo Pinto / AFP / Getty

    Carnival in Venice 2019

    Colorful images from the opening days of the festival—“Tutta colpa della Luna!

  • Kevin Winter / Getty for The Recording Academy

    Photos of the Week: Lego Bugatti, Snowy Seattle, Cattle Dating

    Valentine’s Day among humans and animals, family reunions at an Indian border fence, an icy dinosaur in Latvia, snow kayaking in Estonia, International Condom Day in Mexico City, and much more