American Civil War Collection

Description

Following the November 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) as President of the United States, seven states in which slavery was legal individually seceded from the Union. They did so because of Lincoln’s opposition to the expansion of slavery in the western United States. South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas declared themselves the Confederate States of America (C.S.A.), and established a capital first in Montgomery, Alabama and then in Richmond, Virginia.

War broke out in March 1861 with the Battle of Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina. Waged between 1861 and 1865, the American Civil War caused at least 1,030,000 casualties, including about 620,000 soldier deaths.

The items in this collection are a selection of documents and ephemera created during, and often about, the American Civil War.

View the items in the American Civil War Collection.

Pictured above: detail of Traitor. Patriot, 1861-1865, A1985/012/0563.

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Collection Items

Jeff. Davis going to war : Jeff. Davis returning from war an [ass], 1861
Jeff. Davis going to war, Jeff. Davis returning from war an [ass]. Dated 1861. This wood engraving created by E. Rogers depicts a metamorphic image of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. Imprint at the bottom of the document reads, "Entered,…

Our company in the Sunday school army petition, between 1861 and 1865
Our company in the Sunday school army petition. Dated between 1861 and 1865. This document from a Sunday school petitions readers to contribute money to provide Union soldiers with religious literature. During the Civil War, Sunday schools and the…

You are respectfully invited to accompany the Peace Makers on an excursion : to a quiet retreat on a salt marsh : near the Atlantic, 1863
You are respectfully invited to accompany the Peace Makers on an excursion to a quiet retreat on a salt marsh, near the Atlantic. Dated 1863. This satirical invitation to a fictitious political gathering invites Peace Democrats or “Copperheads” to a…
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