Friday, November 7, 2008

Civil War Wagon Train

This picture was taken near Savage Station, Virginia, in 1862. I love these old Civil War photographs, but I don' post them much, as they never get many comments. I try to mostly post pictures that get lots of comments, as I think those are the ones people are the most interested in. I have always been fascinated by the Civil War, and I enjoy collecting original material from the war. Generations in my family are pretty spread out. My father is still living. His father was born in 1866. My Father's Grandfather was a Colonel for the Confederacy. My father grew up hearing the stories of the big battles of the war from the old veterans who were there. It is fascinating to me that there are still people alive who heard first hand accounts of the battles, and life in the war.


  1. It is amazing how little the boxcar has changed so little since then. Must be a really good design.

    OK, so I am a rail fan, but it is an interesting picture.

  2. Really nice picture.... Like civil war photos myself.... Do post more...

  3. I really like the civil war photos.
    I've been interested since I was a
    boy. Also, the old west characters.
    The young Jesse James you posted
    sometime ago was a gem.

  4. You said: "I try to mostly post pictures that get lots of comments, as I think those are the ones people are the most interested in."

    I enjoy ALL your photos and descriptions. I like the fact they are varied. I look at your site EVERY day!


  5. I actually found this blog while looking for Civil War photographs, so please keep posting them. But, I also agree that I love ALL the photos. Those of us who love the past may have a favorite time period, but it's all interesting. One thing I like about CW photographs is considering the amount of time spent on composition of the image. The set up was extremely important and treated as artistry. It was not just a casual image, but told a story. All photos tell a story, but these in particular can tell us a lot about the day in the life back then.

  6. Please keep posting Civil War photos! Yes, they don't generate as many comments, but then fewer people can relate to the Civil War than can relate to some photos from more recent memory.

    When I look at these photos, I'm always amazed that in our country's short history we have never had any significant period when we weren't undergoing profound changes. We went from revolution, to industrial revolution, to civil war, restoration, on to a long stretch of steadily increasing world power, an on to the information revolution.

    I am also a big fan of your recent color photos from WWII!

  7. I was looking for old pictures of children in Victorian time up to 1930's (for a school project) and although I never found any good enough pictures for my project; I stumbled upon your blog. I've been a daily visitor ever since - granted it has only been about a month or less though.
    But I can't imagine myself not paying you a daily visit as long as you are posting this fabulous pictures.
    I'm only 27 (going on 28) and I've always loved history and old photograpsh, so this is perfect for me. I've even browsed through your old posts ...

    Anyway, what I wanted to say is that I have always been very interested in the Civil War of USA, I even wrote my first (un-published of course) novel based on it ... granted it was a COMPLETE rip-off of Gone With The Wind .. although I did change the names! ;) That novel will obviously never see the light of day but I enjoyed sinking in all things regarding that time period.

    So, while I enjoy all your pictures; Civil War pictures remain some of my favorite. And now I really should keep looking for those pictures of children that I need ...

    Greetings from Iceland,

  8. I actually like the Civil War pictures best. That time in history fascinates me and the pictures humanize that era in a way no history book ever could.

  9. Okay, if I have to post to keep these wonderful Civil War photos coming, I’ll post. However, I must first echo the comments of so many before - I like the variety. The CW photos are part of that variety. Your website is part of my daily bookmarks. Love them all – many of your photos bring wonderful memories (e.g., your BB gun photo – I fondly remember mine), others make you think, all are worth contemplating.

    Your site is one of two old photograph sites I check out on a daily basis. The other is Shorpy ( ). He also peppers his old photos with a number of CW photos. Two recent ones that got me thinking were ( and ) both are from 1864, the first one is of Confederate POWs at Chattanooga, the second is of the Federal line at Nashville. What I like about both of these are the faces. I wonder what they were thinking. I wonder about their lives and homes and families. I wonder what became of them after the war.

    I’m a history teacher, so maybe this is naturally fascinating to me, but the Civil War is nearly incomprehensible to my thinking. Can you imagine leaving your farm and going off to war to defend your family from an army of Americans coming to kill and destroy? Can you imagine being in a war against people who speak your language, share your religion, and may even be related?

    Like yourself I was mesmerized when talking to people who knew these CW veterans first hand. My grandfather grew up in Western Tennessee. He ran the projection screen at the local theater and during breaks at work, he would go down to the park to listen to the old soldiers relive their exploits. Being from Tennessee, most were Confederates, but there were a few Yanks too. He said that most of the conversation was civil, but occasionally passions would still get the better of them and they’d still take sides. My grandfather recounted one old story where a Reb and Yank realized they were at the same place and the Yank was talking about sneaking into camp to spy on them. He said the old Johnny Reb got very angry and started waving his cane about and talking about “…if we had found you, we would have...," mostly in good fun, but sometimes the memories were still tender. I also remember my grandmother on the other side of the family recounting stories her grandmother told her about growing up in South Carolina and the time Sherman’s army came close, the smoke in the sky from the burning homes coming nearer and nearer and finally the order from her father to hide in the swamp for a couple days with siblings – everyone packed with food and blankets.

    Sadly, we’re loosing these memories too quickly. We have less time to hear and record these recollections. I also find it sad that we’re moving all too quickly away from a spirit of national reconciliation that these veterans later strove to achieve. In particular I’ve seen an increasing demonization of all things Southern. People are trying to reinvent, simplify, or pave over our past. Instead, I believe we should be making a concerted effort to try and study, educate about, and preserve our history.

    I’ll get off my soap box now, but I hope I’ve written enough to keep you posting photos from the Civil War.

  10. My family too is 'spread out'. My grandfather was born in 1861, my father in 1901. Father told me of sitting on his grandfather's lap and looking up at the black eyepatch he wore, covering up the eye he lost at Second Manassas.

    Keep up the good work. I often call my girls over to see one of your photos and read your commentary.

    Your horse in the kitchen story still had me laughing!

  11. Everyone, thank you for your kind comments. I will be sure to continue to post pictures from the Civil War. I will try and dig deep to find some maybe you have not seen before.

    Marie . . . your story sent chills down my spine. The Civil War, while it seems long ago, but a generation ago was recent memory.

    On the comments on experiences with family members who spoke personally to Civil War Veterans. It made me think of our rapidly disappearing WWII Veterans. I wish there was a nationwide effort to record the story of every living WWII Veteran.

  12. Civilian War pictures are my favourites. Although if I'm from Europe that part of US history fascinate me a lot. Probably because it was a "strange war" that today seems impossible to me or because it was really the first "modern" war even if it took place long time ago.
    As many others I check this blog daily and sometime I spend few hours in browsing your archive looking for very old war photos (crimean war, civil war, first world war...)
    So, thank you for your work and keep posting civil war photos!



  13. The Civil War is my absolute favorite period in US history, and I LOVE these photos and anything else on the subject for that matter.

    That's because the first antique photos I ever saw were some of those famous civil war photos by Matthew Brady, and they BLEW ME AWAY.

    I'll never forget it - I was about 10 years old, and I was playing around the house one Sunday afternoon, and I was bored. So I went nosing through a stack of old magazines in the hall closet, and I came across a copy of a little publication called "Coronet." It was something like Readers Digest and about the same size. I don't even know how old it was at the time, it was just in a pile of stuff.

    Anyway, they had a thing on the cover about Matthew Brady and and article inside with a bunch of those famous civil war photos.

    And I picked it up and opened it and found myself looking into the eyes of a young confederate soldier who had died a hundred years ago. And that was an epiphany. I couldn't believe that I was looking at an ACTUAL person who lived a long time ago. I got chills all over, and that was IT, I was hooked - on the Civil War and old photos, (especially 19th century) too.

    And that was 44 years ago, and I'm STILL hooked.

    Which is WHY, obviously, I visit at this website.

    This stuff gives me the chills.

  14. Wow a most wonderful photo never seen it before

  15. Cool site! I was browsing the net for photos of a whatsit wagon and I found myself here. I have never talked to anyone who even talked to a Civil War veteran, but on Youtube there's video footage of actual Civil War vets! That's amazing to me!

    I have been fortunate enough to become friends with a WW2 Vet from the 101st Airborne and heard a couple of first-hand accounts of Bastogne among other battles. My father told me to cherish those moments and I have. Walt has since passed on and I'll never forget him.

  16. I too am interested in Civil War pictures! Can't seem to get enough, so keep posting because I just discovered your site here. Thanks so much for sharing!

  17. sir thank you for your photos I'm from hazard ky and my two great uncles fought and died at Petersburg va. please keep sharing your photos I think they are amazeing..


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