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

  • Denis Balibouse / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 12/2–12/10

    California wildfires, the Sankta Lucia Festival of Light in England, a snowy football game in New York, Glasgow's annual Santa Dash, and much more.

  • Susana Vera / Reuters

    Hopeful Images From 2017

    After another year of news stories that produced photos which can often be difficult or disturbing to view, I’ve made it a tradition to compose an essay of uplifting images from the past year.

  • KCNA / Reuters

    2017 in Photos: Wrapping Up the Year

    Time to take a look back at some of the most memorable events and images of 2017. Among the events covered in this essay, part 3 of 3: California wildfires, Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico, a farewell to the Cassini spacecraft, and much more.

  • Omar Sobhani / Reuters

    2017 in Photos: A Look at the Middle Months

    Time to take a look back at some of the most memorable events and images of 2017. Among the events covered in this essay, part 2 of 3: Hurricane Harvey hits Texas, France elects a new president, a total solar eclipse crosses the U.S., and much more.

Join the Discussion