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  • | Map

    Norfolk and Vicinity

    In the wake of the Battle of Hampton Roads, the New York Daily Tribune prints a map of the waterways and fortifications near Norfolk, Virginia.

  • | Map

    The Defenses of Yorktown

    In the wake of the Seige of Yorktown (April 5 - May 4, 1862), readers of the New York Daily Tribune are provided with a map and description of the city's defenses, even as they read about the retreat of rebel forces from Yorktown.

  • | Map

    Movements near Corinth, Mississippi

    Although small, this map illustrates the interconnection of railroads and battle lines in the South.

  • | Map

    The Seat of War in Eastern Virginia

    This map from the front page of the May 6, 1862, New York Daily Tribune helped Americans unfamiliar with the geography of eastern Virginia sort out the landscape and resources associated with the names of towns and railroad junctions coming from newspaper reports. The constant flow of war information and visual representations like this map kept Americans abreast of far-away developments.

  • | Map

    The Battle of Camden, North Carolina / Fort Macon and Vicinity

    Also known as the Battle of South Mills, the Battle of Camden depicted here took place April 19 and the seige of Fort Macon lasted from March 23 to April 26; both were part of General Ambrose Burnside's North Carolina Expedition. On May 6, 1862, these New York Daily Tribune maps provided readers with detailed images of fields of battle and transportation resources hundreds of miles of away - bringing images of warfare and the geography of an enemy region into their homes.

  • | Photograph

    Cumberland Landing, Federal encampment on the Pamunkey River, Virginia, May 1862

    Federal Encampment on the Pamunkey River, Va., May 1862. Union soldiers came into the South by steamer and train in the first year of the war. They closely observed the landscape, assessing and comparing it to their northern communities.

  • | Illustration

    Intersection of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad with the Manassas Gap Railroad

    This image from the March 29, 1862 issue of Harper's Weekly depicts a scene of destruction at Manassas Junction in Virginia during the American Civil War.

  • | Letter

    Letter from John R. Boyle to Samuel B. Reed, March 17, 1862

    In this letter from March 17, 1862, John R. Boyle writes to Samuel Reed discussing their shared opinion of the war as "unrational." Boyle states that he believes "we are decimating and depopulating the country" and expresses worry that there will not be enough work for all of the men once the war ends. He claims that agents from Australia and Canada are encouraging people to emigrate, and proposes that Reed work with him in a future venture.

  • | Map

    Field of Operations on the Potomac

    This map from the New York Daily Tribune is an example of the methods newspapers used to help Americans visualize the geography of warfare shaping their perceptions of the war and the landscapes on which it was fought. This map illustrates the position of Union forces along the Potomac just days before many of the troops headed south to begin the Peninsula Campaign.

  • Letter from Sally A. Kendrick to Jennie Reed, March 6, 1862

    In this letter from March 6, 1862, Sally A. Kendrick writes to Jennie Reed, wife of Samuel Reed, describing her work as a nurse for wounded soldiers at a hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. She expresses political beliefs similar to Samuel Reed as she discusses her hopes regarding the outcome of the war and as she laments the impending loss of her church's pastor due to offense he has given to a few "secessionists in the church."

  • | Photograph

    Ruins at Manassas Junction, March 1862

    Numerous railroad hubs in the Confederacy became sites of repeated fighting, both large- and small-scale. Here, the ruins were the work of the Confederate Army as it abandoned its forward position in northern Virginia to protect Richmond.

  • | Photograph

    Railroad construction workers hammer track as a third watches

    African American laborers, free and contraband, worked for the Union Army to build and repair rail lines across the South. Note the bent and broken rails scattered in the background, signs of earlier destruction.

  • | Illustration

    Alfred R. Waud, "A Guerrilla", 1862

    When guerrillas attacked Union forces, the northern public was outraged. Confederate guerrillas and partisan rangers attacked the railroad and telegraph systems, opening up the war to civilians and exposing the remorseless nature of the national conflict. Their activities played a central role in the war.

  • | Photograph

    African American Laborers on the U.S. Military Railroad in Northern Virginia, c. 1862 or 1863

    From the beginning of the Civil War, African Americans worked on the railroads, transferring their labor to the Union cause.

  • | Illustration

    "Repairing Railroad, etc"

    The U.S. Military Railroads rebuilt the South?s railroads in the closing months of the war. African American railroad workers cut timber, broke rock, and hauled gravel for the grading. Their experience on the railroads as trackmen and laborers, as well as firemen and brakemen, continued after the war. In 1880 over 50 percent of all railroad workers in Virginia were black; in Pennsylvania, by contrast, railroad workers were almost uniformly white.

  • | Photograph

    Harper's Ferry and The Maryland Heights

    Harper's Ferry, an important railroad terminus at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, changed hands eight times during the Civil War. In this photograph, the landscape and the significance of the river valleys are particularly obvious.

  • | Photograph

    'The ruse of the whistles - the guarded track, Corinth, Mississippi, 1862'

  • | Illustration

    Keywords appearing in all Union officers? correspondence in the 1862 Peninsular Campaign

    Keywords appearing in all Union officers? correspondence in the 1862 Peninsular Campaign; the larger the word, the more often it appeared in their writings. Compiled from U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Gettysburg, Pa.: National Historical Society, c. 1971?1972), Vol. 11 (Part III), 1?384. (Voyeur Tools [copyright 2009] Steffan Sinclair and Geoffrey Rockwell, v. 1.0; graph by Trevor Munoz and the author [September 2009]. This image was generated using Wordle, under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.)

  • | Photograph

    Savage?s Station, headquarters of General George B. McClellan, June 27, 1862

    McClellan used the Richmond & York River Railroad to position his massive Army of the Potomac just a few miles from Richmond.

  • | Photograph

    Contrabands at Cumberland Landing, Virginia, May 1862

    In the Peninsular Campaign, Federal forces encountered thousands former slaves who sought freedom and work in the Union army camps. Even if slaves fled slavery, their status was unclear in the first year of the war. In July 1862 Congress declared such refugees from slavery ?forever and henceforth free.?