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[Detail] Battle [drawing], Hillen

Historical Analysis and Interpretation

The Civil War Treasures collection includes numerous posters designed to attract military recruits. Scan the complete list of posters or conduct a Keyword search using the terms poster and recruitment. Use the Gallery View to select posters directed to different groups and using different arguments for enlisting. You will find posters directed at Germans, Irish, other European immigrants, and African Americans. Analyze posters that called for enlistment to avoid conscription, appealed for substitutes, and promised bounties for enlistment.

  • How did recruitment posters appeal to different groups of people?
  • How did posters use patriotic imagery to attract recruits?
  • What do the varying appeals used tell you about the perspectives of different groups of Americans during the Civil War era?
  • From the recruitment posters, what can you discern about the effectiveness of the Union’s conscription policy during the Civil War?