Photo of Confederate civilian Mary Boykin Chesnut

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 material goods. Unfortunately, due to scarcity of resources and devastation caused by the Union armies, the Confederate government failed almost completely to care for the families of its soldiers

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