The Military Experience
The battles and campaigns of the Civil War were waged over four years across a front spanning 2,000 miles. Leaders on both sides improvised and innovated, trying to achieve a decisive battlefield victory. New technologies forced changes in tactics that evolved warfare and transformed the experience of soldiers in the field and navies on the waters.
Despite the massive military effort and the innovations on both sides, ultimately it became clear that the Civil War would not be settled on the battlefield alone. Military victories could not resolve a conflict between two sides mobilized against one another politically, socially, philosophically, economically, and emotionally.
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Petersburg, Virginia was a major supply hub for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Interestingly, half the population of this city, whose rail lines would prove so essential to the survival of Richmond, was comprised of both free African Americans and slaves. As the war closed in on this community, these individuals would play a critical role. Read more
Fort Davis National Historic Site
Following the Civil War, permanent African American regiments were constructed in the United States Army. Although segregated due to race, these regiments served with honor and distinction, and helped to tame the Wild West. Read more
Andersonville National Historic Site
As the war dragged on, both sides faced the challenge of how to adequately feed, clothe and house enemy prisoners. Although conditions were bad in both Southern and Northern prison camps, the Confederacy's Andersonville prison became the most notorious of all Civil War prison camps. Read more
Gettysburg National Military Park
In 1863, invading Confederates occupied Gettysburg, Pennsylvania before and during the Battle of Gettysburg. A few citizens of the town joined the fight, while others fled. As the battle intensified, many found themselves tending the wounded and dying. Many first-person accounts of this harrowing experience survive. Read more