• Photo of cannon at Antietam National Battlefield

    The Civil War

Civilians

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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  • Eli Whitney

    Photo of Eli Whitney

    Little did New England tinkerer and inventor Eli Whitney know what ramifications his invention would have...Before his cotton gin, cotton had to be deseeded and cleaned by hand, so laborious a task that even with slave labor, its production was limited. After his invention in 1794, cotton was on the way to being crowned king of the Deep South. Read more