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.

Showing results 6-10 of 22

  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

    Frederick Roeder

    Wartime photograph of Harpers Ferry

    Because of its strategic military importance, Harpers Ferry was the object of Union and Confederate attention throughout the war. The town's residents, including Frederick Roeder, were often caught in the crossfire. Read more

  • Painting of the Battle of Glorieta Pass

    The Civil War was an American epic and an American tragedy. The bloodiest war in United States history claimed the lives of more than 620,000 Americans. Hispanics were very much a part of this conflict. They knew hardship, fear, death, and destruction. They experienced victory and defeat. Some performed acts of spectacular gallantry. Others provided steady service that attracted little comment or notice. Read more

  • Modern photograph of Civil War medicine bottles

    The story of Civil War medicine is a complex one. Through the dedication, innovation and devotion of surgeons and medical support staff, the foundation for today's modern military medicine was laid. Read more

  • Clara Barton National Historic Site

    Organization is Key

    Photograph of Clara Barton

    Some civilians, like Clara Barton, took supporting the war into their own hands, while other formed and medical support organizations. Read more

  • Photograph of a Union family at a military camp

    The Civil War affected more than the soldiers on the battlefield. An entire generation was shaped by their perception of events during this critical chapter of American history and the weight of war was borne on little shoulders as well as large. Whether they snuck into the army, served as drummer boys, helped tend the wounded, or faced every day as a struggle to stay alive, the perspectives of children offer unique insight into the effects of the Civil War. "The great objects in life were Read more

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