These words from President John F. Kennedy,”Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind,” stands completely true for the American Civil War which took place between 1861-1865, across more than twenty states. The war broke out twenty years after photography was introduced, so the concept of using photos to document events didn’t yet exist. The images you are going to see are believed to be the first attempt at photojournalism. These images are fully capable of narrating the condition and the state of the people or the building in it. You will be left amazed to see the complete transformation that some of the most famous places in the United States have gone through till now since the period of the war in the images present at the bottom half of the article. We have managed to compile a list of images comparing the state of some of the famous places from now to that at the time of war that you will surely regret missing. So, don’t wait, stay strong and go ahead!!
Lincoln Visiting Antietam
President Abraham Lincoln is one among the greatest souls to glorify the United States and the world with his presence. Though he was an extremely popular figure in his time, his photographs are very rare to witness. This photo that you are seeing is among the few ones sighting him. The place is a battlefield at Antietam, Maryland that Lincoln visited. The battle of Antietam is of historical significance when talking about the Civil War. The reason is that the battle was responsible for barring the Northern Virginia Confederate Army into the North. Thus, it led to their very first invasion ending in vain. Lincoln wrote the primary version of the Emancipation Proclamation after this battle.
The American Civil War forced more than 200,000 people living in the South to run for shelter after abandoning their homes. Among the numerous groups that had to face this difficult situation, the largest one was that of the people coming from Virginia. The image in front of you is of one such family who is trying to escape by loading themselves onto a cart after leaving their house. Some of the Southerners fled with the motive of fighting with the Northners for which they had to cross over to Union territory. The rest were those who didn’t participate in the war, but, were against the Union and were called Confederates. It was a test of their will to live at that time.
A Dead Soldier
If you have even the slightest idea of the devastation and huge loss of human life that the Civil War caused then you will surely not be shocked after witnessing the above picture. The battle resulted in innumerable casualties from both the Union and the Confederate. This image is of a deceased soldier which was shot on May 3, 1863. The place is Fredericksburg, Virginia where the soldier is lying on the roadside. One of the major demerits of the American Civil War is evident from this picture, which is that it led to the nation losing many strong and brave soldiers like the one in this picture. In the end, it was the United States that had to bear the brunt of everything that happened.
Dead Confederate Sharpshooter
Though the Civil War made the world witnessed some of the terrifying weapons, it is an obvious fact that they were not that technologically advanced and accurate as they are today. With the advent of repeating rifles and the first telescopic sights, the importance of sharpshooters heightened during the Civil War. Every troop wanted a good sharpshooter to be among their ranks. The sharpshooters could effectively shoot officers and NCO’s in order to weaken the enemy force. In this image, you can see a sharpshooter who died in the war fighting for the Confederate.
This image was clicked in the year 1862. It displays an incident which took place at the Battle of Antietam near Sharpsburg, Md. Precisely, the photo was clicked at dawn of September 17, 1862, in the Antietam Creek. It was here that cannon volleys initiated the Civil War battle which ended in 23,000 casualties. It went down in the history of the United States as one of the terrifying bloodbaths. The image itself is quite eerie!
Ruins of Haxall’s Mills
This photo is sure to give goosebumps to anyone watching it closely. One can just get an idea of the large-scale destruction of property that was done during the war. This one displays the remains of Richmond, Virginia which was devastated by the Confederate Army who set it on fire completely. Before the war, these buildings used to be one among the largest flour mills in the world and were called Haxall’s Mills. The building got its name from Mr. Bolling W. Haxall who was the owner of the mill and one of the richest businessman in all of Richmond. Sadly, these things remained true till the war started. As the aftermath of it is in front of your eyes in the form of this eerie image.