The Civil War, Part 2: The People

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. Today's collection is part 2 of 3, covering the people of the Civil War: the generals, slaves, civilians, politicians, and soldiers that lived through those turbulent years. Tomorrow, in part three I'll be sharing some of the amazing three-dimensional stereographs of the war. (Be sure to see part 1 as well.) 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

  • John Minchillo / AP

    Fire and Protests in the Twin Cities

    A third day of protests took place yesterday in Minneapolis and St. Paul, over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, after an officer kneeled on his neck and ignored his pleas that he couldn’t breathe.

  • Francesco Prandoni / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Aerial Straps, Gliding Club, Durdle Door

    Recovering from COVID-19 in Mexico City, a midday cannon in St. Petersburg, protests in Minneapolis, tennis training in France, giraffes in Nairobi, sunrise at the Grand Canyon, and much more

  • Al Bello / Getty

    Socializing in a Pandemic, Protected by Plastic

    Schools, restaurants, workplaces, and shops have installed plexiglass shields and plastic curtains, tents, and screens as measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, leading to a new social landscape of clear-plastic barriers.

  • CSNafzger / Shutterstock

    Idaho: Images of the Gem State

    A few glimpses of Idaho’s landscape, and some of the animals and people calling it home