civil war photos 1

The Best Civil War Photos

The End of the Civil War

Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, at the Appomattox Court House (pictured), ending what remains the deadliest war in American history, claiming the lives of over 600,000 soldiers and an undetermined number of additional civilians. Known as one of the first industrial wars due to the use of technology (like railroads and upgraded weapons), the Civil War was also one of the first to be photographed extensively. What follows are some of the most compelling — if tragic and heartbreaking — pictures made between 1861 and 1865, while battles raged between the North and the South.

Photo: MPI/Getty Images

Apr 01, 1865

The Photographer’s Whatisit Wagon

The Civil War was the fourth in history to be caught on camera, after the Mexican-American War (1846–1848), the Crimean War (1854–1856), and the 1857 Indian Rebellion. Best remembered are the shots by war photographer Mathew Brady and his team, who were spread across the nation to capture the action. Brady also kept travel journals, which have been invaluable to historians studying the period. Here, a shot of Brady’s buggy, nicknamed the “Whatisit Wagon” by soldiers, which was used as a mobile darkroom and travelling studio during the war.

Photo: Mathew Brady/Getty Images

Jan 01, 1865

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