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The Civil War in Pictures by Deborah Hoeflinger, Butler High School The Civil War was a war of innovation. Many refer to it as the first modern war. One of the most interesting innovations was the use of photography.

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the civil war in pictures by deborah hoeflinger butler high school
The Civil War in Picturesby Deborah Hoeflinger, Butler High School
  • The Civil War was a war of innovation.
  • Many refer to it as the first modern war.
  • One of the most interesting innovations was the use of photography.
  • For the first time, photographers followed the armies, recording the war for history in a way never seen before.
the photographers
The Photographers
  • Matthew Brady soon acquired a reputation as one of America's greatest photographers -- producer of portraits of the famous. In 1856, he opened a studio in Washington, D.C., the better to photograph the nation's leaders and foreign dignitaries. As he himself said, "From the first, I regarded myself as under obligation to my country to preserve the faces of its historic men and mothers." He became one of the first photographers to use photography to chronicle national history.

At the peak of his success as a portrait photographer, Brady turned his attention to the Civil War.

Planning to document the war on a grand scale, he organized a corps of photographers to follow the troops in the field. Friends tried to discourage him, citing battlefield dangers and financial risks, but Brady persisted. He later said, "I had to go. A spirit in my feet said 'Go,' and I went."

Mathew Brady did not actually shoot many of the Civil War photographs attributed to him. More of a project manager, he spent most of his time supervising his corps of traveling photographers, preserving their negatives and buying others from private photographers freshly returned from the battlefield, so that his collection would be as comprehensive as possible. When photographs from his collection were published, whether printed by Brady or adapted as engravings in publications, they were credited "Photograph by Brady," although they were actually the work of many people.

In 1862, Brady shocked America by displaying his photographs of battlefield corpses from Antietam, posting a sign on the door of his New York gallery that read, "The Dead of Antietam." This exhibition marked the first time most people witnessed the carnage of war. The New York Times said that Brady had brought "home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war."

the equipment
The Equipment
  • Brady and his men went right to the battlefield to get their pictures and developed them in the wagon called the “What is it wagon” by the soldiers. The photos were taken on glass plates – a fragile medium on a battlefield. The colors were carefully recorded to be tinted later by hand.
the army
The Army
  • The army was divided into several sections, each with its own duties..
  • The major parts were
  • A. the infantry
  • B. the artillery
  • C. the cavalry
  • D. the engineering corps
  • E. the signal corps
  • F. the support services
the infantry
The infantry
  • The infantry was the heart of the army.
  • The infantry marched, drilled, walked sentry posts, carried their gear and of course, fought.
  • A soldier's home in camp was a rectangular piece of canvas buttoned to another to form a small two-man tent.
  • Marching and fighting drill was part of the daily routine for the Civil War soldier.
  • Veterans of the war often remarked how they could recite the steps of loading and priming for many years after the war, thanks to the continual drill.

Drums were used to announce daily activities, from sunrise to sunset.

  • The soldier of 1863 wore a wool uniform, a belt set that included a cartridge box, cap box, bayonet and scabbard, a haversack for rations, a canteen, and a blanket roll or knapsack which contained a wool blanket, a shelter half and perhaps a rubber blanket or poncho. Inside was a change of socks, writing paper, stamps and envelopes, ink and pen, razor, toothbrush, comb and other personal items. A private's salary amounted to $13.00 per month in 1863.
infantry hard crackers hard crackers come again no more
Infantry…"Hard crackers, hard crackers, come again no more!"
  • The food issue, or ration, was usually meant to last three days while on active campaign and was based on the general staples of meat and bread. Meat usually came in the form of salted pork or, on rare occasions, fresh beef. Rations of pork or beef were boiled, broiled or fried over open campfires. Army bread was a flour biscuit called hardtack, re-named "tooth- dullers", "worm castles", and "sheet iron crackers" by the soldiers who ate them. Hardtack could be eaten plain though most men preferred to toast them over a fire, crumble them into soups, or crumble and fry them with their pork and bacon fat in a dish called skillygalee.
  • Only about six percent of the soldiers in the American Civil War were enrolled in the artillery branch of the service, yet the artillery played a pivotal role in almost every major engagement of the War. From the massed Union batteries at Stones River and Malvern Hill to the intrepid field work of Pelham's horse artillery at Fredericksburg, the big guns were always a factor, and often the decisive one.
Artillery refers to powerful guns: large-caliber guns, e.g. cannons, howitzers, missile launchers, and mortars.

Types of Ammunition

Solid ShotFor smoothbores, cast-iron solid shot is the familiar spherical cannonball; for rifles, the elongated projectile is called a "bolt". Both were useful for counter-battery fire or attacking fortifications; the superior power of the rifle bolt was the technological development that made masonry fortifications obsolete, a fact graphically demonstrated by the ease with which the walls of Fort Pulaski were breached early in the War.

ShellShell, as its name implies, is a hollow iron projectile filled with a bursting charge of black powder. All round shell, and some rifle shell, used a time fuse to ignite the bursting charge; Rifle shells could also use percussion fuses.

Case ShotAlso called shrapnel or shrapnel shell after its inventor, British artilleryman Henry Shrapnel, case shot was an improvement on the simple shell by the addition of small lead or iron balls to the interior of a thinner-walled projectile. The balls were embedded in a matrix of sulphur or coal-tar. Case shot was designed to explode in the air, so nearly always used time fuses.

CanisterCanister is simply a tinned-iron can full of iron or lead balls packed in sawdust. When fired, the effect is that of a giant shotgun blast. Canister is essentially short-range anti-personnel ammunition.

Grape ShotGrape Shot is similar in concept to canister, but has fewer and larger balls, held together with iron rings or trussed up with fabric and twine. (The latter is "quilted grape shot", sometimes referred to as "quilted grape" or "quilted shot".) It is often erroneously stated that this was purely naval ammunition, but grape was at least occasionally issued to field and foot artillery.

the navy
The Navy

The navy consisted of many types of ships and boats.

It was the only part of the services that was integrated.

The ships had many duties; blockading the coastline; supporting the army and patrolling the rivers.

One of the new innovations of the navy was the Monitor – made famous by its battle with the Merrimac.

What many people don’t realize is that the Monitor inspired the building of many copies; some with double turrets.

The monitors were used primarily on rivers as they were easily swamped in ocean waters.

  • The engineers had the job of building structures that the troops needed.
  • These structures included bridges, roads, and camps.
pontoon bridges
Pontoon bridges
  • One unique type of bridge was a pontoon bridge.
  • These bridges were portable.
  • They came in pieces on wagons, were set up to cross rivers and then taken down and moved to the next location.
support services
Support Services
  • The support services of the military covered many areas.
  • They included :
  • A. the quartermaster corps whose job was to supply the troops.
  • B. the medical corps – including the first use of field hospitals and ambulances.
  • C. the burial units.
  • D. the information gathering units – including observation balloons and spies.
  • E. Prisons.
new sights
New Sights
  • Photography allowed pictures of people and events never before seen.
  • It brought the war into the homes of Americans and left information for generations to come.
  • The war was experienced by all Americans, north and south.
  • 3 Million men fought--600,000 men died.
  • It was the only war fought on American soil.
  • The individual soldiers and their families were affected the most--Men such as Captain James May of the Hardy County Rangers and the 11th Virginia Cavalry.
  • Captain May’s experience was like that of many others– he saw action, spent time in a military hospital and survived to return home – but home had changed – his home was in the part of Virginia that seceded –West Virginia.
  • Captain May returned to his life – his family– his eleven children –one of whom was Joseph Daniel – seen here with his wife, Lydia Ann Dove –
  • My grandparents ---