Capturing everything from battlefields to camp life, from enlisted men to generals, photographs from the Civil War document an era that continues to fascinate us 150 years later. The best known of the Civil War photographers was Mathew Brady. While Brady is practically synonymous with Civil War photography, many of the photographs attributed to him were actually taken by his employees. In addition to Brady and his crew, there were other photographers who—like Brady’s men—took their bulky cameras and equipment on the road to document many aspects of the war, making it the first conflict to be so widely photographed.
Fold3 has three collections of these invaluable glimpses into the past: the Brady Civil War Photos (courtesy of the National Archives); the U.S. Civil War Photos (via the Library of Congress); and the New York State Military Museum Photos (Fold3’s newest addition to its collection of Civil War images). These collections document a vast array of military and non-military subjects, including army and navy life; generals in the field; hospitals; battle sites; prisoners and prisons; railroads; cities; and military equipment. And of course there are multitudes of portraits: of groups and individuals; soldiers and civilians; officers and enlisted men; government officials and women; and many others.