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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877) (x)
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Southern Newspapers Debate Secession

The Staunton, Virginia Spectator was a Whig newspaper that opposed Virginia's secession from the Union. In an effort to bolster support for its views, it published an excerpt from the Milledgeville, Georgia Recorder, a newspaper published in a state [...]

A "Southern Gentleman" Describes Problems in the Confederacy

The Staunton, Virginia Spectator was a Whig newspaper that opposed Virginia's secession from the Union. On March 19, 1861, the paper published the following anonymous letter that warned Virginians about the the rising prices, violence, and isolation [...]

A Virginia Newspaper Rallies to the Secessionist Cause

The Republican Vindicator was (despite its name) a Democratic newspaper in Augusta County, Virginia that generally supported the cause of secession from the Union. In this editorial published on January 4, 1861, the paper's editors respond to the [...]

Black Religious Leaders Who Participated in Meeting with Union Officers

On January 12, 1865, twenty African-American religious leaders met with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and Union Major-General William T. Sherman, who was then in the midst of conquering the southeastern portion of the Confederacy. Union officers [...]

Black Religious Leaders Meet with Union Officers during Sherman's March

At eight o'clock on the evening of January 12, 1865, a group of twenty African-American religious leaders gathered in Savannah, Georgia, to meet with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and Union Major-General William T. Sherman, who was then in the [...]

Before-and-After Photograph of an African-American Union Recruit

This Civil War photograph shows Private Hubbard Pryor, an escaped slave from Georgia, before and after his enlistment in the 44th U.S. Colored Troops, a Union Army regiment of African-American soldiers. Congress passed legislation allowing some [...]

A Souvenir Photograph Shows Civil War "Contraband"

This stereograph (an early form of the 3-D image) showing three Union soldiers with "contraband" was produced and sold by the E. & H. T. Anthony & Co. company of New York sometime between 1861 and 1865. "Contraband" was the term used to [...]

"James Hopkinson's Plantation. Planting Sweet Potatoes"

Early in the Civil War, on November 7, 1861, a fleet of Union gunboats bombarded the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina. Confederate planters left hastily, ordering their field hands and house servants to accompany them. Most ignored their [...]

President Lincoln Seeks to Reassure the South After His Election

Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as President during a time of national crisis. His election had prompted the secession of South Carolina and six other states, and Federal troops were surrounded at Fort Sumter. In his inaugural address, Lincoln sought [...]

The Gettysburg Address

The battle of Gettysburg, which took place in July, 1863, was the deadliest in the Civil War. After three sweltering days, Union forces were victorious but 51,000 soldiers were dead, wounded, or missing; 28,000 of them were Confederates. In [...]