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Civil War Illustrations

Civil War Illustrations from News Magazines

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the New York State Library posted a series of online exhibits related to the war. They focused on some of the earlier battles, particularly those that included New York State regiments.

The black-and-white illustrations in these exhibits originally appeared in three contemporary publications:

  • Harper's Weekly,
  • New York Illustrated News and
  • Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. (Note: For Leslie's, the NYS Library's holdings don't begin until 1862.)

These magazines would have significantly influenced the way readers perceived the ongoing conflict; like television or internet news programs today, these images and the accompanying articles fed the appetites of those eager for details about the battles, the major players involved, and even the clothes they wore.