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Civil War and Reconstruction
Civil War Soldiers' Stories
Photographs of Civil War Soldiers

Soldiering in the Federal and Confederate armies entailed much more than fighting battles with the enemy. Civil War soldiers had to deal with long periods of boredom, especially when the armies went into winter quarters. Soldiers played cards and dominoes and found many other ways to amuse themselves. Civil War soldiers also had to deal with sometimes meager and always boring army rations. Soldiers could supplement their army fare by buying food stuffs and other goods--including tobacco and alcohol--from the many sutlers [peddlers] who followed the armies. When their units finally went into action, soldiers experienced extremely high rates of casualties. This was so despite the great improvements in the care of wounded soldiers, partly the work of the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

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winter quarters

Officers' Winter Quarters, 1864

lady at winter quarters

Lady Seated Before Log Cabin, Winter Quarters, 1864

officer's mess

Noncommissioned Officers' Mess, 1863

sutler's tent

Sutler's Tent, near Petersburg, Virginia, November 1864

officers playing cards

Officers Playing Cards, 1864

nurses

Nurses and Officers of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, near Fredericksburg, Virginia, May 1864

Zoave ambulance driver

Zoave Ambulance Driver Demonstrating Removal of Wounded Soldiers

bodies gathered for burial

Bodies of Confederate Dead Gathered for Burial, Antietam, 1862


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For a larger version of the images above, click on the photographs. Click on the text to view bibliographical records. View additional images from Civil War. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.