The Myriopticon, A Historical Panorama of the Rebellion. Springfield, Massachusetts: Milton Bradley Company, [before 1890]. Alfred Whital Stern Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (212.00.00)

The Civil War in America assembles more than 200 unique items, many of which have never been seen by the public, to commemorate the sesquicentennial of this nation's greatest military and political upheaval. Drawing from hundreds of thousands of items from across many collections of the Library of Congress, the materials included in this exhibition attest to the valor, sacrifices, emotions, and accomplishments of those in both the North and South whose lives were affected by the bitter conflict of 1861–1865.

The Civil War in America unfolds between two opposing ideologies forged by ardent secessionists determined that the time had come to form a confederacy of slaveholding states true to their own interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and dedicated Unionists, who viewed secession as the death knell of the great American experiment in representative democracy. The exhibition concludes with a display of emblematic materials that suggest the postwar changes and challenges brought about by this devastating war.  

Throughout the exhibition original documents that chart the course of the war are interwoven with personal eyewitness accounts and recollections that place the war in a human perspective. A graphic timeline, adapted from the companion volume to this exhibition, provides a chronological framework of wartime and postwar events. The Civil War in America strives to shed new light on the many ways that this terrible conflict helped shape the American people and the nation.

The Library of Congress gratefully acknowledges the generosity of the James Madison Council for making The Civil War in America exhibition and this online presentation possible.

The Library also thanks Union Pacific Corporation, the Liljenquist family, and AARP for their support of this exhibition.