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  • | 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

    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.

  • | 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

    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.

  • 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."

  • | 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

    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.

  • | 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.

  • | 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.

  • | 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.

  • | 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

    Movements near Corinth, Mississippi

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

  • | 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

    New York Daily Tribune, May 12, 1862

    This front page image illustrates the importance of maps of space and resources (including railroads) to readers of Civil War-era newspapers. Note the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad running up the center of the larger map; a number of other rail lines criss-cross the map.

  • | 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 Seat of War in Eastern Virginia

    During the Peninsula Campaign, the New York Daily Tribune provides readers with a detailed picture of the eastern Virginia; the Table of Distances at the bottom of the map further informs readers about the space and landscape being described in reports and dispatches. Note the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad running up the center of the image; a number of other rail lines criss-cross the map.

  • | Illustration

    Railroad Junction near Corinth

    Corinth was at the junction of two railroad lines, the Mobile & Ohio and the Memphis & Charleston, and so was strategically important to both sides. This image was published shortly after the Seige of Corinth, in which the city was taken by Union forces.

  • | Letter

    Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed, August, 10 1862

    In this letter from August 10, 1862, Samuel Reed writes to his wife from Center Township, Iowa stating that he feels like he is "on the extreme borders of civilization." He describes the excitement over the war in the area, speculating that if enlistment throughout Iowa were on par with that portion of the state "it will not be necessary to resort to [a] draft." Reed also offers an anecdote of his party's progress just before leaving Ottumwa, Iowa, and notes that a son of Mr. Thielsen, aged 13, has joined his party.

  • | Letter

    Letter from Jennie Reed to Samuel B. Reed, August 12, 1862

    In this letter from August 12, 1862, Jennie Reed writes to her husband, Samuel Reed, from their home in Joliet, Illinois regarding rumors of a "large guerilla force near Hanibal" [Illinois]. She worries that Samuel may be "captured or killed or carried away a prisoner" and asks him to write her more often to reassure her of his safety. She also discusses the possibility of a draft and the harvesting and sale of the crops on their farm.

  • | Letter

    Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed, August 24, 1862

    In this letter from August 24, 1862, Samuel Reed writes to his wife describing the difficulty of his party's work. He states that "the life we are now living would well fit us for army servis," and relates joking with his men about joining the army as engineers, admitting that he "would be the first to back out if a serious proposition of that kind was made to us." Reed also gives an account of where the men in his party are originally from.