Beauregard and McClellan keep an eye on each other in "24 Weeks on the Potomac," published in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, Feb 1, 1862
After the First Battle of Bull Run, which ended with disastrous results for the Union
when their forces were pushed back to Washington, General McDowell was replaced by General
McClellan. What followed were many months of virtual stalemate along the Potomac.
Soldiers from both North and South had themselves photographed, sometimes individually
or often with the regiment with which they served, as is the case with these Confederate
cavalrymen who were led by John S. Mosby.
Poignant tales emerged, of brother fighting brother, or cousins on opposing sides. For
the officers who had been educated at West Point it was often the case that they faced former
Francis H. Schell, "The Pursuit of the Rebels in Maryland, 1862." Inscriptions on the drawing read in part, "Rebel cavalry
under Stuart burning the bridge over the Catoctin creek under pretense of checking the pursuit, but in reality to destroy
the [? ] near barn & property of Adam Coogle a Union Maryland farmer." The drawing was published in Frank Leslie's
Illustrated Newspaper, October 4, 1862
In April 1861, Lincoln ordered a blockade of southern ports to prevent equipment and supplies
from overseas from reaching the Confederate armies, and to prevent the export of the south's
agricultural products. The U.S.S. "Wabash" was the flagship of the South Atlantic Blockading
Squadron, her service climaxing in the assaults on Fort Fisher in North Carolina in late
1864 and early 1865.
In March of 1863, a conscription act was passed in the North, due to difficulties in attracting
recruits. The recruiting posters of the time emphasize the advantages of volunteering over
When it finally came, the reaction to the draft was violent and deadly in New York. Workers,
many of them poor Irish immigrants, attacked recruiting stations, the police, and African
American neighborhoods, and looted homes of the more well-to-do. Between July 13 and 16,
105 people were killed, and extensive destruction took place, much of it targeted against
Because of the riots, Union troops had to be dispatched to New York. Many of them had
served at Gettysburg, where an intense battle had just concluded. In all, over 50,000
men from both sides had been killed, wounded, or captured.
Even in the middle of war, social ties were maintained, and opportunities were taken for
social interaction. For instance, the Masons established lodges for their members in the
In September 1, 1864, General Hood surrendered Atlanta to General Sherman, boosting the
morale of the North. Sherman spent time in the city resting with his troops. Before the
Federal troops left the city they destroyed much of the infrastructure.
From Atlanta, Sherman launched the famous March to the Sea, a particularly destructive
campaign. As the troops cut a swath toward Savannah the Union forces destroyed much more
than strategic targets such as bridges and railroads.
"Genl. Sherman's Troops killing bloodhounds." An inscription on the back of the drawing reads: "Gen. Sherman's men invariably killed all the bloodhounds and dogs of most every description by the order of the commanding general."
Thousands of men on both sides of the conflict were incarcerated in dozens of prisons
during the war. Conditions at the prisons were generally difficult, but prisoners found
ways to entertain themselves. At the North's most notorious prison, Fort Delaware, the prisoners
produced a newspaper, Prison Times.
The end of the bloody war came in a prosaic setting, McLean's farm house in Appomattox,
Virginia, April 9, 1865.
"Moseby [John Singleton Mosby] and his gang of guerillas," photographed
by John W. Davies, of the Lee Photographic Gallery