63 results in English
Unidentified Girl in Mourning Dress Holding Framed Photograph of Her Father
This photograph shows a girl holding a framed image of her father. Judging from her necklace, mourning ribbons, and dress, it is likely that her father was killed in the war. The man in the portrait is recognizable as a Union cavalryman with a sword, wearing a Hardee hat (the regulation hat for enlisted men). The photograph is from the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs at the Library of Congress. The collection includes more than 1,000 special portrait photographs, called ambrotypes and tintypes, representing both Union and ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Private Henry Augustus Moore of Company F, 15th Mississippi Infantry Regiment
This photograph shows a Confederate soldier during the American Civil War (1861−65). He is identified as Private Henry Augustus Moore of Company F, 15th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. Moore is wearing a grey coat with short, one-inch wide bars across the chest, a uniform based in part on regulations prescribed by the state of Mississippi. He holds a short artillery sword and a sign that reads “Jeff Davis and the South!” Jefferson Davis was a former senator from Mississippi who was inaugurated president of the Confederate States of America on ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Varina Howell Davis
Varina Howell Davis (1826‒1906) was the second wife of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, and thus the only first lady of the Confederacy. Born in rural Louisiana to a family with roots in both the North and the South, she was educated at a boarding school in Philadelphia. She married Davis, a widower, in 1845. She is known to have been skeptical about the South’s ability to win a war with the North and about her husband’s suitability as a national leader, but ...
Brigadier General Henry Washington Benham
Henry Washington Benham (1813–84) was a Union general in the American Civil War. Born in Connecticut, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1837. Benham served in the Army Corps of Engineers developing fortifications along the Eastern seaboard and was wounded in the Mexican War (1846–48). During the Civil War, he led the troops which defeated Confederate General Robert S. Garnett at Corrick’s Ford, resulting in the death of the first general officer of the war and his own promotion to brigadier ...
Brigadier General George Washington Cullum
George Washington Cullum (1809–92) was a Union general in the American Civil War. Born in New York City, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1833 and served in the Army Corps of Engineers developing fortifications along the New England coast and in the Mexican War (1846–48). Prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and aide-de-camp to Commanding General of the Army Winfield Scott. In 1861 he became a member of the U.S. Sanitation Commission ...
Major General William Rosecrans
William Rosecrans (1819‒98) was a general on the Union side in the American Civil War. Born in Kingston, Ohio, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1842. After serving in the Engineer Corps and as assistant professor at West Point, he left the army in 1854 to take up a career in architecture and civil engineering. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, he rejoined the army, commanded the Department of Western Virginia, and later commanded the Army of the Mississippi and the Army ...
Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, Confederate States of America
Alexander H. Stephens (1812‒83) was vice president of the Confederate States of America. Born on a small farm in the Georgia Piedmont, he studied law, was admitted to the bar, and soon was elected to the Georgia state assembly. In 1843 he was elected to the U.S. Congress as a member of the Whig Party. Unusually for a southern politician, he had reservations about the annexation of Texas and opposed the Mexican War and President James K. Polk’s vast program of territorial expansion, all of which he ...
President George Washington
George Washington (1732‒99) was the first president of the United States, a founding father and national hero revered by both North and South during the American Civil War. He had limited formal education, but he learned surveying and served in the French and Indian War with the Virginia militia under General Edward Braddock of the British army. He rose to the rank of colonel, and was the logical choice to command the Continental Army in the American War of Independence. Washington wished to return to private life after the ...
William H. Seward
William H. Seward (1801‒72) was a prominent New York politician who served as secretary of state to Abraham Lincoln and emerged as Lincoln’s closest cabinet adviser. A graduate of Union College, he studied law and was admitted to the bar but soon entered politics, serving first in the New York state senate. A member of the Whig Party, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, in which he served 1849‒61. By the late 1850s, he was the most prominent figure in the newly formed Republican Party ...
Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase
Salmon P. Chase (1808‒73) was secretary of the treasury in the administration of President Abraham Lincoln. Born in New Hampshire, as a child he was sent to live with an uncle in Ohio after the death of his father. Chase was a deeply religious man who throughout his life sought to reconcile his personal and political ambitions with his faith and sense of obligation to society. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1826, he studied law in Washington, DC, but then returned to Ohio where he developed a successful ...
Secretary of War Edwin Stanton
Edwin McMasters Stanton (1814‒69) was secretary of war from 1862 to 1868. Born in Steubenville, Ohio, he completed one year at Kenyon College before being forced to leave for financial reasons. He studied law with a local attorney and became a successful lawyer, practicing in Steubenville, Pittsburgh, and eventually Washington, DC, where he served for a time as attorney general in the administration of President James Buchanan. Following the resignation of Lincoln’s first secretary of war, Simon Cameron, Stanton was appointed to the post. He proved to be ...
Secretary of the Interior Caleb B. Smith
Caleb B. Smith (1808‒64) was President Abraham Lincoln’s first secretary of the interior. He was born in Boston but at a young age moved with his parents to Cincinnati. After studying law in Ohio, as a young man he left the state for Indiana, where he was admitted to the bar, practiced law, and became active in politics. He was elected to five terms in the Indiana House of Representatives (1833‒42), followed by four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (1843‒49). A member of ...
Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles
Gideon Welles (1802‒78) was secretary of the navy in the cabinet of President Abraham Lincoln.  Born in Glastonbury, Connecticut, the son of a merchant and shipbuilder, Welles studied law but never practiced.  He worked as a journalist for the Hartford Times and Weekly Advertizer and in 1825 he was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly. A longtime Democrat, he broke with his party over the issue of slavery and helped to found the Hartford Evening Press to promote the Republican Party and its principles.  When Welles took office in ...
Postmaster General Montgomery Blair
Montgomery Blair (1813‒83) was postmaster general in the cabinet of President Abraham Lincoln. Born and educated in Kentucky, he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1836 but soon left the army to study law. He moved to Saint Louis, Missouri, where he practiced law with his brother and where his father was an influential newspaper editor. In 1842‒43 he served as the mayor of Saint Louis. In 1853 he moved to Washington, DC, where he and his large family lived for a time ...
President Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore (1800‒74) was the 13th president of the United States. The son of a poor tenant farmer from western New York, Fillmore received only a very limited education. After being apprenticed to a clothier, he read law with a local judge and was admitted to the New York state bar in 1823. A member of the Whig Party, he served three terms in the New York state legislature and four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before being chosen as the vice-presidential running mate of Zachary ...
William H. Prescott
William Hickling Prescott (1796‒1859) was a prominent American historian, best known for his major works History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843) and History of the Conquest of Peru (1847). From a prosperous New England family, he graduated from Harvard in 1814. He suffered poor health, including near-blindness, throughout his life, but he was able to carry out his research with the help of his wife, Susan Amory Prescott, and others who read for him. For his meticulous use of archival documents and rare books as original sources, he ...
Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois
Stephen A. Douglas (1813‒61) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1843 and to the Senate in 1846, where he emerged as a nationally prominent spokesman for the Democratic Party. He is best known for the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. Running for his third term in the Senate, Douglas was challenged by Abraham Lincoln, a lawyer from Springfield who had served one term in the House. Between August 21 and October 15 the two men debated seven times before audiences in different cities and towns in ...
William Cullen Bryant
William Cullen Bryant (1794‒1878) was an American poet and journalist. Born in western Massachusetts of New England Puritan stock, he practiced law in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, for a short time before achieving literary fame with the publication in 1817 of “Thanatopsis,” his best known poem. Bryant’s poems of nature, in which he found moral lessons in the natural beauties of the local landscape, earned him the appellation the “American Wordsworth,” after the English poet William Wordsworth (1770‒1850). He also worked as a journalist, editing The New York ...
George Bancroft
George Bancroft (1800‒91) was one of the most important American historians of the 19th century. After graduating from Harvard, he became one of the first Americans to gain a doctorate in Germany, where he studied at the University of Göttingen. The first volume of his monumental History of the United States of America was published in 1834; the tenth and final volume appeared in 1874. Bancroft was also active in politics and diplomacy. A Jacksonian Democrat, he served as secretary of the navy in 1845‒46 under President James ...
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803‒82) was the most prominent American essayist and philosopher of the 19th century. Born in Boston, he was educated at the Boston Latin School and at Harvard College. He studied divinity and served for a time as a Unitarian minister but left the ministry in 1832, after the death of his first wife. He then settled in Concord, Massachusetts, and spent the remainder of his life writing and lecturing. He made several trips to Europe, where he met such poets and thinkers as Walter Savage Landor ...
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807‒82) was an American poet, translator, and educator, whose poems were immensely popular with the reading public of his day. A graduate of Bowdoin College in his native Maine, he served as professor of modern European languages first at Bowdoin and later at Harvard. In his long career he managed to combine the writing of poems on American subjects with translation of works by many of the great European poets. His narrative poems on American historical subjects include Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847), The Song ...
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804‒64) was an American novelist and short-story writer. Descended from an early Puritan family, he was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and educated at Bowdoin College. His works, many of which are set in colonial New England, explore moral and spiritual conflicts and the power of the past over the present. His best-known works include Twice-Told Tales (1837), Mosses from an Old Manse (1846), The Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of the Seven Gables (1851), and The Blithedale Romance (1852). He served as American consul at Liverpool in ...
John James Audubon
John-James Audubon (1785‒1851) was a self-taught artist and ornithologist known for his magnificent Birds in America, with its 435 folio engravings. The illegitimate son of a French sea captain, Audubon was born in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) and grew up in France, where he learned to draw local birds. He immigrated to the United States at age 18. He published Birds of America by subscription over an 11-year period, beginning in 1827. About 175 sets of the work were sold in Europe and the United States. In 1840‒44 he ...
Elisha Kane
Elisha Kent Kane (1820–57) was an American Arctic explorer. He studied medicine in his native Philadelphia and in 1843 entered the U.S. Navy as a surgeon. In 1850 he sailed as the senior medical officer and naturalist on an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin (1786–1847), the British naval officer and explorer who had been missing in the Canadian Arctic since 1845. Funded by New York merchant Henry Grinnell and carried out by the U.S. Navy, the expedition explored Lancaster Sound and Wellington Channel and ...
Major General Francis Preston Blair, Jr.
Francis Preston Blair, Junior (1821‒75) was a member of prominent political family with ties to the border states of Missouri and Maryland but which opposed slavery and stood with Lincoln during the Civil War. After serving two terms in the Missouri Senate, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1856 as a Free Soil Democrat, an opponent of the expansion of slavery to the territories. He switched his affiliation to the Republican Party in 1860. During the secession crisis that followed Lincoln’s election, he ...
Thurlow Weed
Thurlow Weed (1797‒1882) was an editor, publisher, and party politician who exercised great influence in New York State and national politics, in large part through the Albany Evening Journal, a newspaper that he edited for more than 30 years. Weed disliked slavery and the Democratic Party, which he warred against first as a member of the Anti-Masons, then the Whigs, and finally the Republican Party. He was a friend of Secretary of State William Henry Seward and helped to launch the young Horace Greeley on his journalistic career. He ...
John Ericsson
John Ericsson (1803‒89) was an inventor and engineer whose innovations revolutionized naval warfare. In 1826 he emigrated from his native Sweden to Great Britain, where in 1836 he made significant improvements to the screw propeller. He moved to the United States in 1839. He designed the USS Princeton, the first steam-powered ship with engines and boilers entirely below the waterline. His most famous ship design was for the ironclad USS Monitor, which was completed in 1861 and fought the ironclad Merrimack (sunk April 1861, raised, reconstructed, and recommissioned as ...
Henry and Lucretia Clay
Henry Clay (1777‒1852) was an American statesman, orator, and politician, known as the “Great Pacificator” and the “Great Compromiser” for his efforts to hold together the Union at a time of growing sectional strife. He was born in Hanover County, Virginia, the son of a Baptist minister who died when he was only four. He studied law in Virginia, but moved to Kentucky where he opened a law office in Lexington. In 1803 he was elected to the Kentucky legislature and in 1806 to the U.S. Senate, even ...
Major General George B. McClellan
George McClellan (1826‒85) was one of four generals during the American Civil War to hold the post of general in chief of the armies of the United States, the others being Winfield Scott, Henry Halleck, and Ulysses S. Grant. McClellan was born in Philadelphia, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1846, and served in the engineer corps during the Mexican War (1846‒48). He left the army in 1857 to work in the railroad industry, but returned when the Civil War broke out. After ...
Major General Henry Halleck
Henry Halleck (1815−72) was born in Waterville, New York. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1839, and served in the Mexican War of 1846−48. He retired from the army in 1854 to practice law, but after the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 he reentered the service with the rank of major general. He commanded the Department of the Missouri from November 19, 1861, to July 11, 1862, when he became general in chief of all the Union armies, a position ...
Major General Irvin McDowell
Irvin McDowell (1818−85) was a Union general in the American Civil War. Born in Columbus, Ohio, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1838 and fought in the Mexican War of 1846−48. Early in the Civil War he was a brigadier general at the head of the Department of Northeastern Virginia, and thus was in command of the Union army at the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861. He held several other commands during the war, and was promoted to major ...
Major General Nathaniel P. Banks
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks (1816−94) was a lawyer who served as a member of Congress from 1853 to 1857 and was governor of Massachusetts from 1858 to 1861. When the Civil War broke out, he offered his services to the government and was made major general of volunteers. He commanded the Department of the Shenandoah in 1862 and the Department of the Gulf in 1863−64.  In the latter capacity, Banks led the Union forces at the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana (May 22−July 9, 1863), which ended with ...
Major General Benjamin Butler
Benjamin F. Butler (1818−93) was a Massachusetts politician and Union army general in the American Civil War. Appointed an officer largely for political reasons, he had a mixed record as a military commander. He earned an important place in history, however, for his actions during the war toward the people and territory of the South. In 1861, while serving as commander of Fort Monroe, Virginia, he made the decision, on his own authority, not to return to the Confederacy slaves fleeing into Union lines on the grounds that they ...
Major General Ambrose Burnside
Ambrose Burnside (1824−81) was a Union general in the American Civil War. Born in Liberty, Indiana, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1847. Unlike many generals from both the North and the South, he did not see action in the Mexican War of 1846−48. He resigned his commission in 1853 to manufacture a breech-loading rifle that he had invented, and then worked in the railroad industry. With the outbreak of the Civil War he returned to the army, and commanded troops in ...
Brigadier General John Pope
John Pope (1822−92) was a Union general in the American Civil War. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1842 and served in the Mexican War of 1846−48 and in the Army engineering corps in connection with the development of the American West. When the Civil War broke out, he initially commanded troops in the western theater of the war, where he scored his most notable military achievement, the capture, on April 8, 1862, of Island Number Ten in ...
Caleb Cushing
Caleb Cushing (1800‒1879) was born in Salisbury, Massachusetts, the son of a shipmaster and merchant. In 1802 he moved with his family to Newburyport, Massachusetts, a town with which he had a lifelong association. He was educated at Harvard College and Harvard Law School, practiced law, wrote several books, and became a close associate of Daniel Webster, a prominent lawyer and future secretary of state. After several unsuccessful tries, Cushing was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1834, where he served four terms. In 1843‒44 he undertook ...
Senator John Slidell of Louisiana
John Slidell (1793-1871) was a United States senator and a Confederate diplomat, best remembered for his involvement in the Trent affair, which in 1861 nearly brought war between the United States and Great Britain. Slidell was born in New York City into a wealthy merchant family and graduated from Columbia College. He worked for a time in Europe and then as a lawyer in New York. In 1819 he moved to New Orleans, where he married Marie Mathilde Deslonde, from a distinguished French family. Slidell served in the U.S ...
Secretary of War Simon Cameron
Simon Cameron (1799‒1889) was a Pennsylvania newspaper editor and politician who served as the first secretary of war in the cabinet of President Abraham Lincoln. He was born in Maytown, Pennsylvania and orphaned at age nine. Despite limited education, he gained a position as an apprentice printer and gradually rose to become editor of the Bucks County Messenger. Using his position in the press as a springboard, he became active in Pennsylvania state politics and served in the United States Senate from 1845 to 1849. Originally a Democrat, he ...
Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts
Charles Sumner (1811−74) was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1851 as a member of the Free-Soil Party, which he had helped to found to oppose the extension of slavery into newly acquired U.S. territories. A forceful orator, Sumner campaigned tirelessly for the abolition of slavery. He gained particular fame in May 1856 when he was assaulted on the floor of the Senate by Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina, whose cousin, Senator Andrew P. Butler of South Carolina, Sumner had lambasted over southern efforts to extend ...
Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia
Robert Toombs (1810‒85) was a U.S. senator, Confederate cabinet member, and Confederate general in the American Civil War. Born in Georgia, he studied law in Georgia, New York, and Virginia, and in 1829 opened a law practice in Georgia. He was elected to the Georgia legislature in 1836, to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1844, and to the U.S. Senate in 1852. The son of a planter who had amassed a large fortune in land and slaves, Toombs supported the secession of Georgia from the ...
Secretary of the Navy Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate States of America
Judah P. Benjamin (1811−84) was a wealthy lawyer who served as attorney general, secretary of war, and secretary of state in the cabinet of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy. (In this photograph he is misidentified as secretary of the navy). Born in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands, he was raised in Charleston, South Carolina, and attended law school at Yale. He practiced law in New Orleans and became a planter who at one point owned 140 slaves. Benjamin was elected to the U.S. Senate from Louisiana in 1852 ...
Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard, Confederate States of America
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (1818‒93) was a Confederate general in the American Civil War. Born near New Orleans, Louisiana, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1838. He served with distinction in the Mexican War (1846‒48). With the outbreak of the Civil War, he resigned his commission in the United States Army and entered the Confederate army. In June 1861 he was given command of the Army of the Potomac and led Confederate forces at the first Battle of Bull Run. At the ...