Collection: Civil War

On April 12, 1861, the first shots were fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, beginning the American Civil War, a conflagration which raged for almost exactly four years before, on April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. The Civil War, as much as the American Revolution, was a defining event in American history, and this conflict has always figured large in the awareness of the American public. More than 150 years after the end of the war, there remains avid interest in the conflict.  

The Civil War took place at a time when two significant historical trends combined to make the relevance of prints particularly important. First was the development, in the nineteenth century, of a growing percentage of the American population which both was literate and had an interest in and the wealth to afford books, magazines, newspapers, and prints for the home. The other trend was the development of printmaking processes that allowed for the relatively inexpensive production of large numbers of printed pictures and maps.

We believe the study of contemporary printed images of the Civil War is crucial to gain insight into that traumatic event in our nation's history. Not only do these pictures show us today what those people, places and events looked like (although not by any means always accurately), but it is only through an awareness of these prints that we can gain any true understanding as to how Americans of the time saw the war.

40 Items
  • Unattributed "Major Genl. McClellan."
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  • Harper’s Weekly "Map of the Southern States."
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  • Currier & Ives "The Soldiers Home, The Vision"
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  • Currier & Ives "The Soldiers Dream of Home"
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  • Currier & Ives "Death of General Robert E. Lee, at Lexington, Va., October 12th 1870. Aged 62 years, 8 months and 6 days"
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  • Currier & Ives "The Battle Of Pittsburg, Tenn. April 7th, 1862." (Battle of Shiloh)
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  • Currier & Ives "Battle of Mill Spring, Ky. Jan. 19th. 1862. Terrific bayonet charge of the 9th Ohio Volunteers (Col. McCook) and total defeat of the Rebel army under Genl. Zollicofer"
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  • Giles, J.E. “President Grant & Family.”
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  • Currier & Ives. "Lieut. Genl. U.S. Grant. General in Chief of the Armies of the United States."
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  • Unattributed "Lieut.-Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, U. S. A."
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  • Ehrgott & Forbriger "Andy Johnson. Military Gov. of Tenn."
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  • Rothermel, Peter F. “The Battle of Gettysburg.”
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  • After a photograph “Geo. B. McClellan, U.S.A. Late Commander In Chief”
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  • Rosenthal, Louis N. “The Soldier’s Dream of Home.”
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  • Young, Hugh. “Graves of the Highlanders. Soldiers Cemetery Knoxville, Tenn.”
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  • Traver, George A. [Charging the Guns]
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  • de Thulstrup, Thure. “Battle of Chattanooga, November 25, 1863.”
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  • de Thulstrup, Thure. “Battle of Atlanta.” or “Siege of Atlanta, an Artillery Review.”
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  • de Thulstrup, Thure. "Battle of Shiloh."
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  • Kurz & Allison. “Battle of Fort Donelson.” [Tennessee]
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  • Kurz & Allison. “Fall of Petersburg.” [Virginia]
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  • Mathews, A.E. "Shiloh Spring."
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  • Philadelphia Print Shop Gift Card
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  • Sachse, Edward [Camp Wool, Baltimore, MD. (Stewart’s Grove). Seventh Regiment, (National Guard), N.Y.S. Marshall Lefferts, Col, Comdg.]
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