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[Detail] Group of Company G, 114th Pennsylvania Infantry

The Civil War Photographs collection presents strong visual information about the course and character of the Civil War. Many of these photographs are rich with visual data that documents an important period in the history of the United States.

1) The majority of the pictures are of soldiers and officers, well-known and unfamiliar, sitting for portraits and in the course of performing their duties. Soldiers are shown loading weapons, standing in units, playing games, attending meetings, attending to the sick and wounded, burying dead.

Search on the names of famous army leaders, such as Grant, Lee, and Sherman. Search on soldiers for photographs such as:
"Portraits of a group of Federal soldiers [between 1860 and 1865]"

2) There are pictures of battlefields throughout the collection.

Search on the word battlefield, or on specific battles such as Antietam, Bull Run, and Cold Harbor. Search on Gettysburg for photographs such as:
"Incidents of the War" [ca. 1865]

3) There are photographs from various War campaigns throughout the collection.

Search on the word campaign or on specific Civil War campaigns. For example, search on The Wilderness Campaign for photographs such as:
"Fredericksburg, Va. Soldiers filling canteens" [1864 May]

4) Women appear infrequently, but the photographs suggest that women played a role in an organization called the US Sanitary Commission, which may have operated something like the Red Cross.

Search on women for photographs such as:
"Fredericksburg, Va. Nurses and officers of the U.S. Sanitary Commission" [1864 May]

5) Some photographs highlight industrialization and the technology used during the Civil War.

Search on guns, artillery, railroads, and bridges. For example, search on railroad for photographs such as:
"Richmond, Va., Damaged locomotives" [1865]

6) The uncertain status of runaway slaves who escaped to the North is highlighted in a few pictures. In these photographs, the African-American subjects are captioned "contraband."

Search on black, colored, Negro, slavery, and contraband for photographs of African Americans. Search on contraband for photographs such as:
"Culpeper, Va., African-American contrabands at leisure" [1863 November]