the first shots of the American Civil War were fired at Ft. Sumter, SC, beginning the bloodiest war in American history. Between 1861 and 1865, 625,000 Americans died, with an additional 412,200 wounded.
While photography was not a new phenomenon, it was with the photos of Mathew Brady that the world beyond the solder saw what war was like. His images of the battlefield were the some of the first taken of war, documenting the war, the soldiers, and the battlefields, earning him the title of the father of photojournalism.
Images tell the tale of the American Civil War. Photographs showed for the first time, those who died in the fight. Photographs captured the average soldier between battles. Photographs reminded soldiers of the loved ones they were fighting for and reminded loved ones of soldiers gone to war. And photographs preserved the memory of this War Between the States for generations to come.
On this day of the 150th anniversary of the first shots, take a moment to reflect on the images that allow us access to a time that many of us have a hard time comprehending.