The American Civil War: Families


Figure 1.-- Here we have a Civil War officer with him family. Unfortuntely we do not know his name. Nor do we know where the portrait was taken. The ladies voluminous dresses were standard for the age. Notice the child who seems to be a little girl.

The massive size of Civil Wararmies mean that many men were separated from their families. The United States had fought war before, but never on sych a scale and on continental basis. Before the Civil War, most of th populaton lived their entire lives wuthin about 50 miles of here they were born. Husbands and sons enlised or were drafted and thus separated from their families, often over substantial distances. A huge photographic record exists of the family members back home. Most of the portraits are, however, are of individuals, in some cases all the children or the mother and children. The most famous portrait of a soldier's childen is an Ambrotype of the Humiston children of a Federal soldier killed at Gettysburg. But these are relatively rare compared to the number of individual portrait. We are archiving family fortraits when we find them as they give such a wonderful view of the folks back home with all kinds of historical abd soiologial information can be gleaned as well as fashion trends. The cost of photographs was coming down with innovaion of the CDV, thus we see an increasing wide soxial spectrum in the photograhic record. Full family portraits, especially thise taken outside the studio are, however, are mostly of well-to-do families. Thus we are archiving the family image that we have been able to find.







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Created: 6:05 AM 2/27/2014
Last updated: 6:06 AM 2/27/2014