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

People from Civilians

Showing results 21-25 of 32

  • Ford's Theatre National Historic Site

    John Wilkes Booth

    Photo of John Wilkes Booth

    Hailing from a famous acting family, John Wilkes Booth served as a Confederate secret agent and in 1864, began to plan to kidnap Abraham Lincoln. After the fall of Richmond in 1865, his plan changed from kidnapping to assassination. On April 14th, he shot the president at Ford's Theatre. Read more

  • Gulf Islands National Seashore

    Jonathan Walker

    Photo of Captain Jonathan Walker's branded left hand

    Jonathan Walker was an abolitionist, shipwright and sea captain who undertook a number of hazardous voyages in the 1840s to assist escaped slaves. He was captured in Florida in 1844 and branded with the double-"S" of a slave stealer, a mark he considered "...the seal, the coat of arms of the United States." Read more

  • Shiloh National Military Park

    Kate Cumming

    Photos of Kate Cumming

    Kate Cumming was a resident of Mobile when the war began. Inspired by Florence Nightingale, she volunteered as a nurse, and was later an official Confederate Army nurse in Tennessee and Georgia. She wrote her memoirs, A Journal of Hospital Life in the Confederate Army of Tennessee from the Battle of Shiloh to the End of the War in 1866. Read more

  • Kitty Payne

    Kitty Payne was a black woman who struggled to keep herself and her family free after a Virginia slave-holder violently objected to their emancipation. Read more

  • Fort Sumter National Monument

    Mary Boykin Chesnut

    Photo of Mary Boykin

    Mary Boykin Chesnut kept a famous diary that captured the struggles people experienced during the American Civil War. Her journal of the war years, first published in 1905, gave readers an in-depth view of what life was like for Southerners, especially women, during the war. Read more

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