General Gillmore's success at Fort Pulaski earned him a much more difficult undertaking: the reduction of the defenses of Charleston Harbor, with the aid of a squadron under Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren. Operations began early in July 1863; by October hard work and heavy losses had reduced Fort Wagner and Battery Gregg (renamed Fort Putnam by the federals) on Morris Island, and had silenced Fort Sumter. But no further progress was made until February 18, 1865, when General William T. Sherman's approach overland brought about the evacuation of Charleston. The photographers who came to record the flag-raising ceremony at Fort Sumter on April 14, 1865, just four years after the surrender with which the Civil War opened, thoroughly documented the forts, federal and Confederate, and the lovely old city, which fortunately had suffered only limited damage. Present-day addresses for the Charleston buildings are added where possible; the movement is in general inland from the Battery along Market Street, with excursions down side streets as they are reached, and left to the Arsenal at what were then the city limits.
As the war lengthened, Washington became the center of the increasingly complex prosecution of the war, as well as a vast depot and medical center for the Eastern armies. Although the local photographers realized early that there was much worth recording on their own doorsteps, most of these views are from the last year of the war or even after its close. Locations employing present-day directions are given where possible.
These views show Alexandria, under federal occupation since May 24, 1861, when Colonel E. E. Ellsworth of the New York Fire Zouaves met his death at the Marshall House (No. 752) -- the first conspicuous casualty of the war.
These are interior and exterior views of five hospitals out of several dozen, both in town and on the outskirts (although completely in the urban area today). They were all overflowing from the nearly continuous fighting that Grant began in May 1864.
The government-appointed Sanitary Commission and its large staff channeled and guided the efforts of more than 7,000 local societies for the maintenance of military health and the relief of wounded and sick soldiers. The Christian Commission, arising out of a convention of Y.M.C.A.'s, focused primarily on the spiritual health of the soldiers, but was naturally drawn into a the administration of material relief. The Sanitary Commission transferred its central office to Washington; the Christian Commission maintained only a branch there, with its central office in New York.
These five views are without place or date.
These six views are without place or date.
These portraits were all taken by the Brady Gallery.
In this section the officer's rank given in the caption is that of the insignia or uniform visible in the portrait. Further information is added in brackets in two cases: (1) when the officer achieved, during his active Civil War service, a higher rank than the one shown, this higher rank and its date are inserted; and (2) when the rank shown was bestowed at or after the end of the war (often as a brevet), the date of such rank is added. Such information serves to some degree to date the portrait, as well as to give a truer idea of the officer's actual wartime rank.
Portraits of enlisted men (and one officer) not included in the earlier microfilm edition of this set of selected photographs.
Portraits of Mathew Brady, his studio, a facsimile of a letter he wrote to Lincoln, and a photograph of Alexander Gardner's darkroom on wheels.