Lieutenant Nathan Huntley Edgerton, Sgt. Maj. Thomas R. Hawkins, and Sergeant Alexander Kelly of the 6th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops carry forward the regiment's colors as it presses its attack at Chaffin's Farm in a painting titled "Three Medals of Honor" by artist Don Troiani.

Civil War

Warfare History Network is your best source for military history online. This is where we bring you our coverage on all aspects of the American Civil War—from the first shots fired at Fort Sumter to Antietam to the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. In addition to substantial military coverage, we also examine the political climate of the 1860s and how the war influenced civilian life in the North and South. A trove of Civil War photos, maps, and color illustrations complement our written contributions from a team of established writers, including William Welsh, Pedro Garcia, and acclaimed author-historian Roy Morris Jr.

“Battle of Cedar Creek,” chromolithograph by Kurz & Allison of Chicago, December 12, 1890.

Civil War

‘A Bad Place for a Fight’

By Mike Phifer

In the early hours of October 19, 1864, fog blanketed the hills and fields along the meandering Cedar Creek in the northern Shenandoah Valley. Read more

Civil War

Johnston Goes After Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh

By Earl Echelberry

By the end of the winter campaign of 1861-1862, Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant had shattered the Confederate defenses in northwest Tennessee with a combined land and water attack on Forts Henry and Donelson, forcing General Albert Sidney Johnston to abandon his bastion at Nashville and retreat southward. Read more

Soldiers construct log huts from nearby trees. One soldier takes a drink (center) while others split timbers (left) as a mounted officer looks on.

Civil War

Union Soldiers in the Civil War: Camping Along the Potomac

Photo Essay By Kevin M. Hymel

Before the fighting even began, before the first impassioned chorus of “On to Richmond!” was raised by the men in blue, the soldiers comprising the Union Army of the Potomac during the Civil War had to create their own precarious living quarters in the forested wilderness of the eastern seaboard. Read more

Civil War

First Rhode Island Detached Militia, 1861

By Paul Loane Artwork by Don Troiani

In the days following the outbreak of war, Northern states scrambled to assemble small militia groups into regiment-size units, recruit additional volunteers and uniform them all in a cohesive manner. Read more

Colonel Harrison Jeffords retakes the regimental colors of the 4th Michigan Infantry during hand-to-hand combat in the Wheatfield at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863. Painting by Don Troiani.

Civil War

Civil War Diary

By Eric Niderost

It was about four o’clock in the afternoon of July 2, 1863, when Colonel Ira Coray Abbott ordered his regiment to halt on a low rise called “Stony Hill,” near Gettysburg, a small town in southern Pennsylvania. Read more

Civil War

Fire Over Texas: Galveston in the Civil War

By R. Thomas Campbell

When Texas seceded from the Union on February 1, 1861, it did not take long for the new Confederate government to realize that the state’s 385-mile coastline was extremely vulnerable to enemy assaults. Read more

Civil War

Civil War Fieldworks

By Kevin O’Beirne

Ever since Julius Caesar’s legions conquered Gaul, opposing armies have built temporary fortifications, or fieldworks, during campaigns in the open countryside. Read more

Civil War

When the Earth Moved

Photo Essay by Kevin M. Hymel

The crater that punched a hole in the Confederate lines and threw a 200-foot umbrella of dirt, men, and guns into the air on July 30, 1864, could today be mistaken for a gentle dip in the rolling, slight hills of the Petersburg countryside. Read more

Rallying around their tattered flag, the 12th Virginia Infantry crashes into the Federal vanguard of Brigadier General Edward Ferrero at the edge of the Crater. Painting by John Adams Elder.

Civil War

Bloody Fiasco at the Crater

By Arnold Blumberg

In the summer of 1864, after six weeks of virtually constant combat in the Wilderness area of northern Virginia, the Union and Confederate armies of Ulysses S. Read more