The U.S. Civil War lasted from 1861-1865. It was between the Northern States (the Union) and the Southern States (the Confederacy).
Mathew Brady was a photographer during the U.S. Civil War. At that time cameras were very, very new. Beginning with the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861 and continuing throughout the entire Civil War, Brady photographed the long, bloody conflict. Matthew Brady Records the Civil War tells his story and shares his photographs that are a valuable historical record. You can look at many of his photographs online at: Library of Congress American Memory: Selected Civil War Photographs.
Looking at the photographs will give you an idea of the time and place. If you read Voices of the Civil War, Brady's photographs will come to life. In it you can read the diaries or letters of a Confederate soldier, a Union Marine, a Confederate doctor, a Union Colonel, a Confederate Ranger and a slave who was freed after the war.
By reading about an event from the perspective of different people, you can get a more well-rounded idea of what that event or time period was really like. You can do the same thing by reading books that tell you about the different people, customs and events of a certain time period. Listed below are books, websites & databases that will help you learn about the U.S. Civil War.
To give you a start looking at what a soldier's life was like during the Civil War, here is a Hardee Hat that was authorized for use in 1858, and nicknamed after the future Confederate general who sat on the board to choose the style. The light blue cord signified the wearer as a member of the infantry.
More U.S. Civil War Artifacts at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
U.S. History in Context: U.S. Civil Waris a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. It will show you biographies, magazines, videos and more about the U.S. Civil War.
NoveList K-8: Stories about the U.S. Civil Waris a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. Novelist will show you fiction chapter books and picture books you can read set in the time of the U.S. Civil War. Click on "Check the Library Catalog" to see if IndyPL has the book.
Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Click on a book jacket below to request a book or download it. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or text a librarian at 317 333-6877.
Edward Black's Drum This drum was carried by Edward Black (1853-1871) of Indianapolis. Edward is believed to have been the youngest Civil War soldier. He enlisted as a drummer boy on July 24, 1861 in the 1st Regiment, 21st Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was eight years and almost two months old. He is buried in Crown Hill cemetery in Indianapolis. Edward Black's Cemetery Marker & Biography