The Civilian Experience

of Gettysburg resident looking at Lutheran Theological Seminary.

After being mere spectators at the war's early battles, civilians in the war zone later would become unwilling participants and victims of the war's expanding scope and horror.

In response to the hardships imposed upon their fellow citizens by the war, governments and civilians on both sides mobilized to provide comfort, encouragement, and materiel goods. On the other hand, the Confederate government failed almost completely to care for the families of its soldiers.

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  • Petersburg National Battlefield

    Women at City Point

    Photo of U.S. Sanitary Commission office  Photo of U.S. Sanitary Commission office.  Photo of U.S. Sanitary Commission office.

    With more than 4 million men serving in the Union and Confederate armies during the course of the war, women during had opportunities to contribute to both the military and society in general in ways never before imagined. At the Union supply base at City Point, Virginia, as throughout the country, women served important roles as caregivers, laborers, hospital managers and more. Read more