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.

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Civil War

Massacre on the Washita

By Arnold Blumberg

The conclusion of the Civil War saw the painfully reunited nation resume its westward surge. Complicating that surge was the Indian question: how best to remove the Native American peoples from the paths of white expansion. Read more

Civil War

Return to Manassas

By John Walker

Sent into north-central Virginia to threaten Richmond on a second front, McDowell had managed to get lost in the woods near Gainesville and lost touch with his command for 12 full hours. Read more

Civil War

The “Gallant” John Bell Hood

By Roy Morris Jr.

When Confederate general John Bell Hood assumed command of the embattled Army of Tennessee at Atlanta in mid-July 1864, he was already grievously wounded in both body and spirit. Read more

Hawkeyes and Badgers surprised even themselves in a mad rush on the last Rebel stronghold before Vicksburg.

Civil War

Big Black River

By Kirk Freeman

Big battles make the history books. But for the soldiers, it was often the smaller, fiercer fights they remembered most keenly later in their lives. Read more

Civil War

Black Soldiers, Blue Uniforms

By John Walker

Although several overzealous Union Army field commanders organized African Americans into ad hoc militia units early in 1862 and several black regiments were mustered into service later that year, it wasn’t until after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect on January 1, 1863, that the federal government began actively recruiting and enlisting black soldiers and sailors. Read more

Civil War

Civil War Identification Badges

By Don Troiani

The American Civil War may well have been the first major conflict in which soldiers felt the need to wear some sort of a personal identification badge in the event that they were killed or wounded in battle. Read more

Civil War

Civil War Generals: William Rosecrans

By Roy Morris

Even more than most people, Union general William Rosecrans was often his own worst enemy. Hot-tempered, emotional, and frequently given to speaking—or shouting—before he thought, the Ohio-born commander of the Army of the Cumberland made enemies easily, even if he usually forgot in an instant what had made him angry in the first place. Read more

Civil War

The Unfortunate End to Ranald Mackenzie’s Career

By Roy Morris Jr.

The young captain of engineers who discovered the dangerous bulge in the “Mule Shoe” salient at Spotsylvania, Ranald Slidell Mackenzie, would go on to make a name for himself during the Civil War and the subsequent Indian campaigns out West. Read more

Civil War

William T. Sherman: A Hard Lesson in War

By Arnold Blumberg

With the fall of Vicksburg in the first week of July 1863, the strongest remaining Confederate presence in Mississippi was a recently thrown together force of 26,000 soldiers under General Joseph E. Read more