The crisis dividing North and South in the United States coincided with the evolution of the photographic process. The result, the most documented human experience in history until the advent of the moving picture.
From the Inside Flap
In a rare conjunction in history, the sectional crisis dividing North from South in the United States and the evolution of the photographic process came of age together in 1861. The result was that the American Civil War which followed would be the most thoroughly documented human experience in history until the advent of the moving picture. More than 2000 photographers plied their varying processes from 1861 to 1865, covering almost every aspect of the war in every theater.
The Civil in Photographs sifts through this mass of imagery to present over 300 of the best images, capturing the soldiers in camp, the look of the battlefields with the smoke of battle still lingering, the ships and navies, the dashing cavalrymen, the big guns of the artillery, as well as the people at home, the impact of the war on two societies and on the slaves it was being fought over. The great leaders like Lincoln and Less are here, alongside the obscure unknown privates who bore the brunt of the fighting. Here are the prison camps that became living hells for captured men in blue and gray alike. Here are the hospitals where they bled and suffered, and endured the ignorance and quakery of pre-modern medicine. Here are the cities like Richmond and Charleston, ravaged by the fire of war. Most of all, here are the faces of two peoples of one blood, scarred by a whilrwind they had created but could not control.