Newspaper Reporting the Civil War
The primary way for the public to get news of campaigns, battles and
other events during the Civil War was through newspapers. Newspaper
companies printed stories sent to them from reporters who accompanied
the armies or from letters sent to them by soldiers. A reporter with
the army was called a correspondent
and it was his job to stay close to headquarters and get reports from
the officers in command or one of their staff. Correspondents wrote
their stories based on a number of sources and sometimes added opinions
on how they thought things were going, opinions that were not always
favorable to the commanding generals. Once the story was written, it
was transmitted to the newspaper office or a central news agency by telegraph.
If the telegraph was not available, then it had to be transported by
courier. Most of the correspondents with the Army of the Potomac worked
for newspapers in New York, Boston, Chicago, and other major northern
cities, or for a news "bureau" or agency that employed many different
reporters and sold their stories to newspaper companies. The stories
they submitted were the first news the public received of a battle.
Southern correspondents did not have the luxuries that Northern
correspondents did and only a few ever accompanied the Confederate
armies in the field. Many Southern reporters remained in Richmond where
they got information from the Confederate War Department offices and
then wrote their stories.|
There were thousands of newspapers in business throughout the
country, and some of the smaller newspapers relied on the larger papers
to get the story to its readers. Newspaper companies that had a large
circulation could afford to employ artists to illustrate the battles
and draw portraits of officers for the paper. One of the more famous
battlefield artists was Alfred R. Waud, the man seated on the
boulder in the photo above. This photograph of Mr. Waud at work was
taken near Devil's Den at Gettysburg soon after the battle.
This scene of the fighting at Devil's Den was drawn by an Waud who was a special artist for Harper's Weekly,
a New York-based newspaper. Mr. Waud followed the Union Army during its
most crucial campaigns, including Gettysburg. He sketched this scene
after visiting Devil's Den on July 5 or 6, 1863 and interviews with
several veterans of the battle. The name Devil's Den was given
to this area long before the battle. The large rocks and smooth
boulders were pushed into this location thousands of years ago by
massive glaciers in North America. Local legend had it that a small
cave or den within the rocky area was the "devil's home", thus
giving it the name which is now famous. Devil's Den is adjacent to Plum
Run and is just west of Big Round Top. The fighting which swept around
the den on July 2nd was very bloody and so many men were killed in this
area that the soldiers renamed it "The Slaughter Pen".
Devil's Den by Alfred R. Waud
Battles and Leaders
Alfred Waud was one of several correspondents and artists who
traveled with the army and made true to life sketches to document
battles and campaigns. Edwin Forbes, James E. Taylor, and Theodore
Davis were some of the other artists. Each man was sponsored by a
newspaper or news service, eager to supply the American public with the
latest illustrated news from the front.
Illustrating the War
After the close of the Civil War, many war veterans
were eager to write about their experiences, stories that were
submitted to newspapers and journals. These became so popular that
almost every large newspaper in the country was soon featuring articles
and stories of the war written by former officers and even the soldiers
in the ranks. In the 1880's, a number of magazines and journals sprung
up, dedicated solely for the purpose of printing soldier memoirs and
accounts. Some of these magazines, such as the Century Magazine
in New York, added fine illustrations and drawings to enhance the drama
and help the reader understand what the writer was describing. The
drawing at left is by Walton Taber, an artist who drew illustrations
for Century Magazine and a handful of newspapers. The magazine later
published a four volume set containing some of the better articles
written by former Civil War officers, entitled Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Mr. Taber's drawings appear throughout the set and help illustrate the fascinating stories. Tabor used his imagination and pen and ink
to make drawings like this one to illustrate a battle scene, but he
also made drawings based on battlefield photographs taken during the
war. Taber was one of over forty artists and illustrators who worked
for Century Magazine during its existence.
Battles and Leaders
Charles Reed, who had served as a member of the 9th
Massachusetts Battery, was also an illustrator. Reed drew for fun
during the war, highlighting his experiences as a bugler with the
battery, drawing the battles he was in, and sketching the places he had
been. Reed was employed as an artist after the war and provided
illustrations for one of the best books ever written about soldier life
called Hardtack and Coffee, or the Unwritten Story of Army Life, written by John Billings and published in 1887. Reed's southern counterpart was Allen C. Redwood,
who served in the 55th Virginia Infantry. Trained as an artist before
the war broke out, Redwood sketched scenes of camp life that he sent
home to illustrate his life as a soldier. A serious wound to his elbow
at Gettysburg nearly cost him his artistic career, but he recovered.
After the war, Redwood settled in Baltimore and then moved to New York
where he drew and painted realistic portraits of Confederate soldier
life based on his experiences in the 55th Virginia. Many of Redwood's
paintings are on display in the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond.
It's hard to imagine today, but in the 1860's, newspapers and book
publishers used artists and their drawings to illustrate publications.
Photography was still in its infancy at that time and the process to
transfer photographs to newsprint had not yet been developed. These old
sketches and illustrations are as much relics of the Civil War period
as are the old bullets and rusting canteens of that era.
Many of America's finest illustrators and artists worked for 19th
Century newspapers before they became well known for their art.
Kids Zone Exhibits
Battle of Gettysburg
Civil War Timeline
Civil War Cooking
Civil War Exhibits
Women in the War
Young Reader Books
Allen Jay and the Underground Railroad
Allen Jay and the Underground Railroad is the retelling of a man's recollections of his first experience helping an escaped slave. The book brings the underground railroad down to the level primary students can comprehend. This book makes for wonderful discussions regarding overcoming one's fears, going against the norm and doing what you believe to be morally correct.
The Glory Cloak: A Novel of Louisa May Alcott and Clara Barton
From childhood, Susan Gray and her cousin Louisa May Alcott have shared a safe, insular world of outdoor adventures and grand amateur theater -- a world that begins to evaporate with the outbreak of the Civil War. Frustrated with sewing uniforms and wrapping bandages, the two women journey to Washington, D.C.'s Union Hospital to volunteer as nurses.
Clara Barton Founder of the American Red Cross
Young Clara Barton is shy and lonely in her early days at boarding school. She is snubbed by the other girls because she doesn't know how to talk to them. But when she gets an opportunity to assist the local doctor, her shyness disappears, and Clara begins to discover her true calling as a nurse.
Civil War Days: Discover the Past with Exciting Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes
Dozens of projects and activities that will take you back to the days of the American Civil War Travel back to 1862 and spend a year with the Wheelers, an African American family in New York City, and the Parkhursts, a white family in Charleston, South Carolina, Eleven-year-old Emily Parkhurst and twelve-year-old Timothy Wheeler are eager to share the fun, adventure, and hard work of their daily lives. Along the way, they'll show you how to play the games they play and make the toys and crafts they make.
Civil War on Sunday
Mary Pope Osborne's tremendously popular Magic Tree House series launches into a new realm, as Jack and Annie are challenged to save Camelot. Young readers will effortlessly learn the basics of Civil War history, while losing themselves in another gripping tale that has turned many a nonreader into a bookworm. (Ages 5 to 8)
Clara Barton: Spirit of the American Red Cross
Ready To Read - Level Three
Clara Barton was very shy and sensitive, and not always sure of herself. But her fighting spirit and desire to help others drove her to become one of the world's most famous humanitarians. Learn all about the life of the woman who formed the American Red Cross.
You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton?
Grade 3-6. Fritz applies her gift for creating engaging, thorough historical literature to a larger-than-life historical figure. Stanton was a radical among radicals, and this objective depiction of her life and times, as well as her work for women's rights, makes readers feel invested in her struggle. An appealing, full-page black-and-white drawing illustrates each chapter. For students who need a biography, this title should fly off the shelves with a minimum of booktalking. And it is so lively that it is equally suitable for leisure reading.?
Eye Witness Civil War
Eyewitness Civil War includes everything from the issues that divided the country, to the battles that shaped the conflict, to the birth of the reunited states. Rich, full-color photographs of rare documents, powerful weapons, and priceless artifacts plus stunning images of legendary commanders, unsung heroes, and memorable heroines
12 to 26 piece soldier play sets. Ages 6 and Up
Civil War Musket
Wood & Steel Frontier Rifle Designed After The Original Rifle,
This Civil War Musket replica has been designed after the original rifle of its era. Measures approximately 37 inches long. Each is constructed with a solid one-piece wood stock, painted steel barrel and die-cast parts.
12 Inch Action Figures |
Civil War Historic 1000-piece Puzzle
The famous faces and fearsome facts of the Civil War are captured in this 1,000-piece cardboard puzzle for Civil War buffs and serious puzzle fans.
Civil War Cannon
Collectible Models and childrens playsets
Miniature Collectible Civil War Cannon12 pound Civil War field cannon replica weapon collectible is a detailed 1/12th scale military caisson replica weapon collectible as used throughout the Civil War
Childrens Cannon Set. Includes 6 gray cannon with black wheels that measure 4.5 inches long
Professor Noggin's Civil War Trivia Game
- The History Card Game Thats Won a Dozen Awards
- 32 sturdy cards with trivia, true/false and multiple-choice questions
- Memory retention
- A teachers favorite
Civil War Soldier 102 Piece Playset
- 25 Union and 25 Confederate Soldier Figures, 18 Horses, 10 Cannon
- 2 Covered Wagons, 2 Tents, 2 Canoes, 2 Flags, 16 Fences
- Size: Figures Stand up to 2-1/8 inches tall
- Scale: 1/32nd, Wagons and Horses slightly smaller
Civil War Nurse Barbie
Part of the American Stories Collection.
This fine replica is 39 inches overall and features a highly polished 33 inch carbon steel blade. Its leather wrapped handle fits the hand perfectly and sports decorative brass accents and a shiny brass pommel.
Civil War Model 1851 Naval Pistol
Engraved Silver Tone / Gold Tone Finish and Wooden Grips - Replica of Revolver Used by Both USA / Union and CSA / Confederate Forces
1860 Enfield Civil War Musketoon
This piece is a full-size non-firing reproduction of the rifle used in the Civil War. The body is made of European hardwood
National Park Service
Gettysburg National Military Park
97 Taneytown Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325