Rare Civil War photos found (27 photos)

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  • Admiral Ackbar

    Don't understand the Ole Miss reference, Lee was a Virginian.

    This was a dark time in our Nation's history, no doubt about it. But vilifying Lee is pointless and irrelevant. The Civil war was not solely about slavery, it was more about the Government/President having the power to tell each individual state what it could and couldn't do. You have to understand that this Nation was built on the idea of Freedom and Independence and the reason most states seceded from the Union was because they felt like the President and this country was moving towards a King/Monarchy.

    Did you know that Lee was asked by Lincoln to lead the Union Army? He was a graduate of West point and a well respected Military Officer of the Union and distinguished officer of the Union for more than 30 years before he followed his home State of Virginia when they seceded from the Union.

    End of the free history lesson but I recommend taking a few minutes away from "teh internets' to pick up an actual book and read about your Nation's history, both good and bad.

    • dub

      Well said, guys. You all made me proud today. I thought everyone thought it was just about slavery.

      It's hard getting past that with some of my boneheaded friends.

    • Mike

      #1 Lee was a traitor; he took up arms against his country, and there is no bigger act of treason than that.
      #2 The Civil War was overwhelmingly about slavery. The thing they didn't want the Government/President to have the power to do is tell the South it can't have slavery. They left the union because they believed Lincoln would end slavery. If they thought we were headed toward King/Monarchy, there's that "legitimately won the election" thing that causes a bit of a problem.
      #3 If Lincoln offered Lee the opportunity to lead the union, he should have accepted. The fact that he could have fought for his country and chose to fight against it makes him that much more a traitor.
      #4 You might want to read a history book (or 2 or 1000) yourself.

      • Admiral Ackbar

        Wikipedia does not count as a history book.

        This country was built by "Traitors". Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, all traitors in the eyes of many people at the time. In the 1860's America wasn't the America we have today. It was a collection of states and there were only 34 at the beginning of the civil war. The growing Federal government was "new" and it's size and power and the loss of local state power was a concern for many states. You also have to understand that the Economic base of this country at the time was in the south with Cotton production and tobacco farms, two of this country's largest economic exports. So you have the economic base losing it's voice and turning back into the same issue that caused this country to 'secede' from British rule, i.e. Taxation without representation.
        Slavery was an issue, no doubt about it, but it was one of many issues that had to do with the perceived loss of freedom. Back then it was the State you were from that was important, not the country as it is today. It was more like the United Kingdom is today with smaller countries within a larger Nation. Different times, different mindset.

        • Mike

          How exactly was this country any less a country then than it is now? The Federal government was not "new", as it had existed for 72 years (as did our constitution, the Bill of Rights, and each branch of the federal govt). A ridiculous excuse.
          There was no "taxation without representation". The South could vote. They lost. In fact, their votes were overweighted, because their votes were weighted by an additional 3/5 for every slave-but of course, these slaves were not allowed to vote at all.
          Losing an election and getting taxed is not "taxation without representation". Unreal.

          • Admiral Ackbar

            Well for starters when you only have 34 states then and 50 now, mathematically it is less of a country but that's not what I was referring to. The Virginia Colony was established in the early 1600's as were many of the original 13 colonies. These colonies became states and the Continental Congress established in 1774 was made up of representatives from these colonies. The Continental Congress eventually became the governing body of the US but the colonies/states had been around for quite a while. That's why I put the word new in quotations when referring to the government.
            The taxation without representation was also in quotations to imply that it is not the same thing but represents a similar issue. The South had the economic power and they had the government dictating to them what they could and couldn't do and in their eyes impeding the freedom.
            Nice spin attempt but too much fail.

      • dub

        By your own definition in #1, all of the founding fathers and all of the Original Americans were traitors who "took up arms against [their] country, and there is no bigger act of treason than that."

        Damn it people! It's a nation FOUNDED BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE. The Government IS NOT THE PEOPLE. Fighting against the government is not fighting against America. If there is a revolt or a civil war, it's the will of the people, and thus the will of the Nation.

        This used to be a lot more powerful when you could say, "It's the will of the people, therefore it's the will of the state" – but Lincoln fucked that up.

        • Mike

          ""It's a nation FOUNDED BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE. The Government IS NOT THE PEOPLE.""

          Wrong. Government is the people. It is made up of employees (who are people) who are paid by taxpayers (who are people). Inane.

          Ben Franklin acknowledged that we were "traitors" to England in his famous quip "We shall all hang together, or we shall hang separately". But the point about patriotism is that THERE IS SOMETHING IMPORTANT ABOUT **THIS** COUNTRY. The Founding Fathers fought for it; Robert E. Lee betrayed it.

          • Terry

            I think something is mentally wrong with you Mike. Im kinda feel sad for you. Hmmm keep fighting the good fight, dont let this disability to understand things get you down.

    • USM


      • Admiral Ackbar

        That's a shame, you might have actually learned something.

    • haterade

      you are good at skirting the issue. Here's the point – state's right v. fed control only became an issue because of attempts to abolish slavery. You're argument is like saying the holocaust wasn't about hating jews, it was about saving the german economy. I know southerners have to have something to feel good about, but lets call ducks ducks for a change.

      • Admiral Ackbar

        Not skirting at all, slavery was an issue but the root of that issue was in state's rights among other things. Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation but did he free the slaves in the border states? No. All the slaves in Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland or Delaware, which were Union states, weren't suddenly freed. The Emancipation Proclamation didn't make slavery illegal, that didn't happen until the 13th amendment was ratified in late 1865. Some historians argue that the emancipation proclamation was more for boosting the Union army's numbers than anything else as it only addressed slaves that were freed as a result of Union army occupation and allowed them to join the Union army.

        In summary, no one is saying slavery was a good thing but to boil this bloody conflict down to one issue is wrong and more people should take the time to learn about our nation's history and the cause of the struggles and issues that led to this dark time in our history.

        • ODB

          The Emancipation Proclamation's introduction was additionally motivated to apply a moral argument to the war and prevent European nations from formally supporting the South. Not to diminish the purity of it's idea, just the recognition that politics are still involved even in the correcting of great injustices.

        • Obvious troll


          try again.

        • Haterade
      • Mike

        Well put!

  • Guy

    Must have been crazy living in that time, in a country torn in half.

    • Stan

      Unlike now???

  • Josephus

    these photos were all in Ken Burns' 'The Civil War' which was produced 1990. Fail headline, Chive.


      guess how many actual chivers were born before 1990…. now guess how many after…. now do you get it???

  • ClariseStarling

    Great stuff, Chive.

    Ken Burns' series was excellent, and I definitely recommend this clip of an abridged version of Sullivan Ballou's letter to his wife set to the tune of Ashokan Farewell.

  • Jusnel Gonzalez

    From a blank point of view… amazing detail in most of those pictures, very good quality… even if they were restored. They are gruesome, most of the models were dead :( but this is the true reality of war, the part that doesn't always get seen. Salute to the men and women of service, of all ages.

  • femtrooper

    #18 made me Awwwwww

  • dub

    I disagree. The civil war took away the majority of the principles of states rights that this nation was founded on.

    It's like saying 9/11 was a dark time in our history that made this a better nation, what with all the airport security, PATRIOT Act, and internationalism… better, right?

    You didn't know America before the Civil war.

    • haterade

      damn, dub, you old as shit.

      can you tell us what it was like to have slaves?

    • His Story

      And neither do you. All you know is what you have read in books written by people that determine the perspective they want to publish. Before the Civil War the states rights were still limited by the federal government.

      • Makes Sense

        Hey, I think that might just be one of the causes to the states wanting to secede.

      • TheDarkKnight


        What books have YOU been reading? This is completely backward… the Federal Gov't is the one that is limited (or at least should, and used to be)

        Federalist Papers ring a bell?

    • TheDarkKnight


      .. and the Wilson administration drove the nail deeper with a few deft moves and amendments to the U.S. Constitution

  • dub

    lol. I snorted my coffee through my nose.

    • Christian Lander

      Stuff White People Like # 1, Coffee

      There is no doubt that white people love coffee. Yes, it’s true that asians like iced coffee and people of all races enjoy it. But I promise you that the first person at your school to drink coffee was a white person. You could kind of tell they didn’t enjoy it, but they did it anyways until they liked it – like cigarettes.

      White people all need Starbucks, Second Cup or Coffee Bean. They are also fond of saying “you do NOT want to see me before I get my morning coffee.” White guys will also call it anything but coffee: “rocket fuel,” “java,” “joe,” “black gold,” and so forth. It’s pretty garbage all around.

      If you want to go for extra points – white people really love FAIR TRADE coffee, because paying the extra $2 means they are making a difference.

  • dub

    Well – in America at least…

    Well…. on paper, at least.

  • Phondo

    "rare photos found" You guys are tooooooo easy.

  • JPC217

    Ah yes. The War of Northern Agression. Not too 'rare' though, I'm afraid……..

  • moeshere Foxdale

    #14 got a town named after him Robert lee Texas…LOL

  • Urban

    Something eerie about this photo. Great gallery.

  • Alex

    #26 its a diversity, an old wooden ship used in the civil war

    • Admiral Ackbar

      This is actually a picture of the Confederate iron clad warship the Merrimac. The Union had the Monitor and those two ships got into a pretty famous naval battle in the Battle of Hampton Roads.

      • Chris Scharff

        Also of note is that this battle was the first meeting of two ironclad ships in battle. There is now a bridge-tunnel near the site of the battle named after the Monitor and Merrimac.

  • I am Name

    #14, a Badass General, and my relative.

  • jkmcd

    # is Lincoln talking with Genral George MacClellan just beofer firing his lazy useless ass.

    • Sn can

      Little Napoleon wasn't necessarily lazy, he just felt his army was never quite ready and ALWAYS overestimated the size of the army he was up against – thereby never taking the initiative in battle and constantly asking his superiors for more men. At any rate, I also think Lincoln left him in command far too long

  • Sn can

    The one lady co-conspirator (far left) supposedly asked the "handler" to, "make sure I don't fall," and they built those gallows specifically for this sentencing.

  • haterade

    Rethink becoming a lawyer Briggs. you might be a big enough douchebag, but you are clearly not smart enough

  • Nicnac

    time to watch Glory again, and cry like a girl again :(

  • Mike

    There are only four being hanged. The taller of the four stabbed Sec. of State William Seward.

  • Lauren Gentile

    Dude, you're an idiot. I created my wordpress blog because people on this site asked me to and I've shoot TONS of pictures with a written sign with both my name and Chive written on it. I have submitted pictures to Chive, had them posted, and then posted the rest of the exact same set on my blog. ….How am I am dude because of this? I'm real, I love the Civil War, I love the Chive, why is that hard to believe?? If you need further proof, I made a video a while ago for you guys to see which i posted in the comments section on one of the chivette posts: http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/5020/z6f.mp4

    I don't appreciate how unbelievably disrespectful your comment was. Thanks for being so close-minded!

    • Admiral Ackbar

      Don't feed the troll Lauren, douche bag is not worth your time or attention.

      • Lauren Gentile

        You are so right! No use in arguing with someone who is just simply trying to get me fired up. A troll filter would be nice!

        • LonelyAirman

          Eh, but controversy makes reading the responses that much more fun, and we do have thumbs down buttons, of course! His incredulity I can understand–you are ALMOST too awesome to be real…but I believe =) Thanks for braving the idiocy/hate/etc. and bringing your perspective (and beauty!) to the Chive with such regularity!

  • TrollFaceKillah

    Thanks to the comments you can see the hidden racism in america today, especially considering this site's commenters are overwhelmingly liberal… Imagine if the chive was mostly "tea-baggers"

    • ClariseStarling

      *tea bags trollfacekillah*

    • TheDarkKnight

      I'm ok with you calling me a 'tea bagger' as long as you and your mom are still ok with me dipping my ball sack in your mouths…

    • K-Mac

      Don't interpret pride in one's heritage of desiring freedom as racism. I don't condone slavery at all and it is a blight on the history of man, not just on those who owned them in the south. I think that those who have researched the history share the same frustration as I that history has not told the complete story and given the general public a mindset that is based on misleading facts. I'd like to point out as well that your comment referring to us as "tea-baggers" could be as easily construed to be racist as well if we're all playing by the same rules. We can disagree without resorting to derogatory labels.

      • Admiral Ackbar

        Thank you K-Mac! Very well said. The birth and growth of this nation had many chapters, not all of them good, but all of them worth knowing about.

        • ClariseStarling

          Nice, subtle D.W. Griffith trolling.

  • Ruby_Tuesday

    "What's this guy supposed to be…the ultimate badass?"

  • Anonymous

    Nice post its good to see how GREAT we have it now a days!!! Thank you for a look at the past. I must say keep it up!!!! Chive your awsome Dont change a thing ( Keep up the AWSOMENISS!!!!!!!!)

  • Anonymous

    #14 Pretty sure I’ve seen this one before.

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