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38 Rare Photos from the Civil War That Will Blow Your Mind!

Sherry Rucherman

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The Civil War is one of the most important wars in the history of the world. As the deadliest war in United States history, the Civil War divided the nation in a way that would leave a rippling effect ushering through the rest of the developing world. 5,000 battles would take place during a four-year period, across twenty states. While this war was instrumental in the formation of America as it is today, it was woefully under-documented. Today, we are going to guide you through 38 incredibly rare and stunning photos from the Civil War.

A Forgotten Soldier

This image shows a Union soldier stumbling across a Confederate soldier in the remnants of a burnt-out camp. The wounded soldier appears to have been left behind by his compatriots, likely due to the fact that he was too injured to travel. This image shows a close-up and personal view of the terrors that existed throughout the Civil War. When we stop and look at the war from a personal level, rather than a broad historical one, the consequences become alarmingly clear.

Most Famous Soldier of the Civil War

Ulysses S. Grant is one of the most famous men to have served during the Civil War. This rare image shows Grant standing before a tent in Cold Harbor, VA, in June of 1864. Grant was a pivotal leader during the war and his efforts would help to turn the tide, thus preserving the Union that we cherish to this day.

The Husk of Haxall’s Mills

This haunting image shows a string of burnt out buildings, known collectively as Haxall’s Mills. These buildings were razed by Confederate soldiers after working their way through Richmond, Virginia. At the time of this photo, Haxall’s Mills was the largest flour mill in the world, or at the least very near to the top. Bolling Haxall was the owner of the mill, and he was one of the wealthiest men in the country at the time.

Tragedy of General John Sedgewick

The decorated figure sitting before the tree is General John Sedgewick. General Sedgewick earned the honor of being the highest-ranked Union soldier to be killed in the Civil War. Sedgewick’s final words were haunting, as well. Sedgewick had been commanding his soldiers to stand up and return fire during a skirmish. Sedgewick’s last words were, “Stand up! They couldn’t shoot an elephant from this distance.”

The Battle of Sudley Springs

On July 21, 1861, the battle of Sudley Springs would begin. This horrific image shows the first real battle of the Civil War and the impact that it would have on the land and the people fighting within it. Throughout the broader Battle of Bull Run, more than 4,500 soldiers lost their lives, were grievously wounded, or simply vanished.

Fort Wagner’s Defense

You are looking at a 200-pound gun that was placed in defense of Fort Wagner, located on the Charleston Harbor. There were 13 total guns of this size defending the fort, making Fort Wagner difficult to approach, to say the least. These guns were set in place at Fort Wagner until 1863 when Confederate forces managed to overrun the Union fort.

Lincoln at Antietam

While President Lincoln was the face of the North during the Civil War, finding pictures of the President during the war can be difficult. Here we see Lincoln speaking with soldiers at a battlefield in Antietam, Maryland. Antietam was one of the defining battles during the Civil War as it succeeded in preventing Northern Virginia’s Confederate soldiers from invading the North. This battle would serve to inspire Lincoln during his writing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Shelling of Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter was one of the first places to be bombarded during the Civil War. Fort Sumter saw action on April 12, 1861, from Confederate forces who were angered by President Lincoln’s decision to reinforce the fort. The bombardment of Fort Sumter would help to kickstart the war. Nobody was killed during the bombardment as Union forces were quick to surrender.

Antietam’s Dunker Church

This haunting photo captures Dunker Church, located around Sharpsburg, MD. This church was involved in the Battle of Antietam as it served as a battlefield between the two forces. The Battle of Antietam was, of course, one of the bloodiest battles in the history of the United States. The church was blown down by a storm before promptly being rebuilt.

Field of Cannon Balls

Have you ever seen a cannon in action? The loud booming noises must have scared soldiers to their core. Now, let your eyes trace the ground of this battlefield. All of those round items on the ground are massive cannonballs that served to tear men apart.  This image was captured in Richmond, Virginia.

Relaxing at Pine Cottage

This wooden hut may not look like much, but during the winter it would serve to keep soldiers warm. This building was known as Pine Cottage and it served as one of the few decently insulated buildings in the area. As a result, soldiers would gather at the building in order to stay warm when the weather started to turn.

Fistfight at Fredericksburg

During the Battle of Wilderness in 1864, a Union and Confederate soldier would both seek to take cover in the same gully. The two began arguing in order to try to convince the other to surrender. Eventually, they began a brawl that would cause the entire battle to pause. The entire battlefield watched the two men during their fistfight. Once the Confederate soldier won, the Union fighter agreed to surrender.

The War Council

This astonishing picture was captured in Ringgold, Georgia. In the middle of the picture, you will find General George Thomas. These war councils were instrumental in deciding how the Civil War would progress. Both the Union and the Confederacy would rely on impromptu war councils in order to advise their various commanders.

Meet the Albemarle

The Albemarle was an ironclad ram used by the Confederacy.  What you see here is all that remained of the ship after it was destroyed by Union forces. While the Albemarle was literally reduced to rubble, it still succeeded in taking out two Union ships while aiding in the death of Captain Fusser of the Miami.

Diplomats in New York State

While the Civil War consisted of the United States fighting itself, it still spawned interest from foreign nations. This image shows a collection of foreign diplomats from all of the world. Take in New York State in 1863, this image reveals foreign ministers from Great Britain, France, Italy, Sweden, Russia, and Nicaragua.

Inventions of Thaddeus Lowe

While hydrogen air balloons had already been a thing by the time of the Civil War, they had not made their way to North America. In this image, you see an inventor and Union soldier named Thaddeus Lowe standing by his hydrogen air balloon. Lowe believed that the balloons could be used for military advantage but, instead, he ended up being blown off course before landing in enemy territory.

The Dictator, Railroad Mortar

That horrifying looking cannon was known as the Dictator. This photo was captured in 1864 in Petersburg, Virginia. The Dictator weighed an astonishing 17,120 pounds and it would be used to shoot 218-pound shells over a span of 2.5 miles. To say that the Dictator had an impact during the war would be an understatement.

Sherman’s Neckties

During the civil war, resource management was incredibly important. Leaving steel behind could lead to Union soldiers seizing it for use on their railroad. As a result, confederate soldiers began burning steel in this formation. Union General William Sherman loved the idea and appropriated it for use, himself, thus claiming the name of the method.

Stopping at Deveraux Station

We already briefly talked about the importance of the railroad, so it is only fitting that we discuss Deveraux Station. This image shows the U.S. military feverishly working in order to develop the U.S. Military Railroad. These rails allowed Union soldiers to create a supply line across the nation as they continued pushing forward during the war.

Close Together

Did you know that Washington D.C. was only one hundred miles away from the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia? The two capitals were so close together that soldiers from both sides would visit the other. Here, we see Union soldiers looking down on Richmond.  It would take the Union three years before they could overcome Richmond.

Firefly Train Engine

This astonishing image shows the impact that war can have on industrial development. We are looking at the Firefly Train Engine as it uses the Orange and Alexandria Railway. This railway was absolutely pivotal to supplying soldiers of both sides with life-saving resources and supplies. Owning the railway was an important point of contention between the North and South.

Thank  You, Mr. Brady

The man seated in the middle of this photograph is Matthew Harrison Brady. Brady is widely considered to be the original creator of photojournalism. Due to his work and expertise, we get to enjoy all of the photographs that you have been looking at. Without Brady and his work, who knows what we would have forgotten about the war? Unfortunately, Brady would die in debt after selling his photo collection for a fraction of its value.

United States Christian Commission

Religion obviously played a huge cultural role during the Civil War. In this image, we see the United States Christian Commission (USCC) in Germantown, MD. The USCC provided soldiers with supplies, medical resources, social assistance, and religious aid. The USCC isn’t widely known about, but it certainly made an impact during the war.

Meet the USS Monitor

While we tend to think of the Civil War as a land-based battle, it was anything but. This image shows the crew of the USS Monitor as it arrives at a battlefield in support of Union soldiers. The Monitor was a pivotal ship in the development of naval warfare and its battle with the Merrimack would go down in history.

Religious Service on Deck

As we’ve discussed several times, religious services were instrumental morale during the war. We’ve seen what the United States Christian Commission did for soldiers, now we see more soldiers attending to a religious service being held aboard the U.S. Passaic. The U.S. Passaic was a slow warship that carried larger weaponry during transportation.

Flanking of the James River

This image shows a large pontoon bridge. While fairly harmless in and of itself, this bridge would be employed by General Grant for one of the most impressive flanking maneuvers of the war. Grant sent his soldiers across the bridge in formation so that they could capture the Confederate advanced guard by surprise.

Alexandria Slave Auction House

Did you know that New Orleans was the largest slave center in the U.S. during the Civil War? It’s true! However, Alexandria, VA, was right behind New Orleans. Here we see a slave auction house located on Duke Street, located in Alexandria. Nowadays, the building is used as the location of the Freedom House Museum.

The Infamous General Sheridan

General Sheridan earned a reputation for himself that will live on forever down South. Most notably tied to the burning that he ordered in the Shenandoah Valley, General Sheridan was also considered to be one of the finest military minds of the war. Sheridan would become one of the greatest nemesis of General Robert E. Lee during the war.

Brompton Oak Plantation

Adequate medical care was almost impossible to find during the Civil War, so soldiers had to make do where they could. Here we are looking at the Brompton Oak plantation in Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg. This area was used as a pop-up hospital for soldiers who were wounded in the battle of Spotsylvania. You can still tour the area in order to find buildings that are riddled with bullet holes.

Attack on Devil’s Den

The Battle of Gettysburg is one of the most famous battles in the world, as well as the most important battle of the Civil War. Now known for being a popular tourist destination, the Battlefield of Gettysburg is filled with areas that were pivotal to the outcome of the battle. One such place is Devil’s Den, a curious collection of rocks and boulders.

Famous Evergreen Cemetery

While we are still in Gettysburg, let’s head on over to the Evergreen Cemetery. This cemetery was built roughly a decade before the Battle of Gettysburg. Of course, you might also recognize the Evergreen Cemetery for being featured during the Gettysburg Address. During Lincoln’s speech, you can see the cemetery in the background of several photographs.

General Ambrose Burnside

General Ambrose Burnside probably had the most impressive facial features of the Civil War. Unfortunately, Burnside’s sideburns couldn’t protect him from making a rather terrible string of military decisions. Burnside replaced General McClellan before heading off on several reckless charges against General Lee. Burnside would only have the job for three months before resigning.

General Lee’s Arlington Home

This fascinating image shows the Arlington House. The Arlington House belonged to General Robert E. Lee, the face of the Confederate army. Once used as his home, this building is now a memorial to the work that Lee did while serving the Confederacy. While General Lee was staunchly against confederate memorials, we wonder what he’d think of his own memorial?

Custer Before Little Big Horn

George Armstrong Custer is famous for the Battle of Little Big Horn. Most notably, people conflate Custer’s name with being a poor military leader. However, Custer was once one of the most decorated soldiers in the Union army. The man next to Custer is John W. Lea, a confederate soldier that Custer had trained with while at West Point. Custer would save a wounded Lea during the Battle of Williamsburg, carrying him to a hospital where he would be saved.

The U.S. Capitol

This image shows the U.S. Capitol’s iron dome, looming over the surrounding area. The Capitol building was erected during the Civil War. Below the dome, you can see the stocks where a confederate captain named Henry Wirz would be executed. This powerful image also shows several men standing in the trees so that they could get a better view of the execution.

Little Round Top

Here you can see an image of Little Round Top. This image shows the area where the Union army almost got completely derailed. Little Round Top ended up being a rallying cry for the Union army and it would be instrumental in General Lee’s downfall as it motivated Pickett’s Charge. Many heroic men died on the land in this image.

Ford’s Theater

For a different view of the Civil War era, we are showing you the President’s Box at the Ford Theater. You will remember the Ford Theater, of course, as the place where President Lincoln was assassinated. The theater would be closed for over 100 years following the murder of Lincoln before opening once again in the 1960s.

Historic Artillery Barrage

This image shows the largest artillery barrage ever performed in North America. Led by Confederate general George Pickett, this barrage would lead to Pickett charging his 12,000 men toward the Union army. The barrage did little damage but Pickett didn’t know this, due to the accidental explosion of a Union ammunition store. Thinking that he was winning the battle, Pickett would charge headlong into defeat, losing half of his men along the way.

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Parents Leave Their Daughters Home Alone to Watch The House, Return to a Jaw-Dropping Surprise!

Lea Lomas

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If you’ve paid even a lick of attention to Hollywood during your life, you’ll know that kids at home alone are prone to throw a party. At least, that’s what the movies tell us, right? When Karen and Chip Schoonover decided to take a much-needed vacation, they opted to risk their home turning into the set of Party X by letting their daughters watch the property. While they enjoyed their vacation, their daughters got busy creating the surprise of a lifetime. Are you ready to hear how four daughters change their parent’s lives forever?

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Animals

Did You Know That A Dog Owner Is More Likely To Kiss Their Pet Than Their Partner?

Leslie Tander

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Those who have dogs tend to truly love their pets. There is nothing that they won’t do for them. While most of us already know this, there is something to be said for having the necessary facts to back up these suspicions. As it turns out, dog owners may love their pets even more than we initially thought. A recent survey has turned up some rather interesting findings. 

Riley’s Organics is the dog treat company that is responsible for this survey. We cannot get over these results. According to the results, 52 percent of those who responded said that they kiss their dogs more often than their partners. We imagine that there are more than a few jealous significant others out there. 

We did not realize that there were so many people out there who did not mind being covered with doggy germs. That is real love right there! However, there are those who will try to claim that there are certain benefits to these kisses. Those who own dogs will often find themselves getting sick less often than those who do not. 

That is because they are exposing themselves to the type of germs that are designed to keep them safe. Our dogs already do so much for us and now they are actively keeping us from getting sick. Is there anything that these dogs can’t do? This survey also shows that there is a wide range of people who would rather share their bed with their dog, as opposed to their partner.

This is actually somewhat understandable. At least a dog is not going to spend the whole night snoring or hogging all of the covers. There are also studies that speak to the benefits of sharing a bed with your dog. Many pet owners report that they are more likely to get a better night of sleep when their dogs are sleeping close by.

Dogs are more than willing to offer their unconditional love at all times. They do not need very much prompting, either. Anyone who has ever seen how a dog behaves when their owner comes home after a long day will definitely agree. The way that they lavish affection on their humans is a sight to behold. If you are anything like us, you probably agree with the results of these surveys as well.

A whopping 94 percent of the survey’s respondents said that they consider their four legged friends to be their best pals. The health benefits that dogs have to offer go further than just their kisses and their ability to keep you warm at night, though. Your dogs are also going to need to be walked on a consistent basis. This allows their owners to get some much needed exercise and stay in shape.

Is there anything that dogs can’t do? They are able to provide us with their undying love and affection. They even help us to get fit. No wonder so many people love to give them lots of hugs and kisses. We are right there with them! If you found the results of this survey as humorous as we did, you are definitely going to want to pass this story along to your closest friends and loved ones. 

To be quite honest, we do not deserve dogs. They are so kind and thoughtful. They do not ask for anything in return, either. All they need is a little bit of love, a warm place to sleep and some food in their bellies. If only the rest of us could learn to be as appreciative as our dogs can be. The world would most definitely be a much better place….that is for sure! 

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7-Year-Old Uses Illness to Promote Cancer Awareness

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It happens quite often that children end up on the business side of the media in order to promote a cause whether it’s political or otherwise, and whether or not the child actually wants the attention. But this is not the case with Emerson Hoogendoorn who has chosen to use her story as a child diagnosed with a normally deadly form of cancer to promote the cause of finding a cure.

One would expect that just about anyone diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor would resign his or her self to living out their remaining days in the comfort of entertainment, family, friends, and massive doses of painkillers. But Emerson has decided that she wants to raise awareness and more. She has also begun raising money entirely on her own by becoming a small business owner, working tirelessly to make her business a success, and using the money she earns to promote cancer research as well as to donate to the cause.

She sells bracelets, cookies, lemonade, wind chimes, and just about anything else she can market online. She makes most of what she sells herself, adding to the appeal of her online shop. She was first taken to see her family doctor when she started experiencing double vision, severe headaches, and nausea. Soon, she was diagnosed with a deadly form of cancer that was eating away at her young brain.

However, she has since been taking an experimental medication, and since that treatment began, when Emerson was first given her deadly diagnosis- her tumor has shrunk to an amazing 12% of the size it was originally at when it was first discovered in an x-ray. That is an unprecedented result. Not only is Emerson giving hope to other children with similar cancer conditions with her generous endeavors, but she is also giving them hope with her continually improving prognosis!

In addition to this, her case is giving invaluable data to researchers who will be looking for ways to use the treatments which seem to be working for Emerson on other children.

According to Cancer.org, as many as 11,000 children in the United States are anticipated to have been diagnosed with cancer before the end of this year. These are children under the age of 15, who have barely had a chance to experience life and the fullness of their own potential.

Due to major advances in cancer treatment, as many as 80% of these children will survive their fight with the dreaded disease. In the 1970s, the survival rate for children with cancer was roughly 58%. The progress has been substantial, and researchers are always doing their best to push those numbers forward another fraction of a percent. It is due to thousands of professionals working diligently largely on donated funds that the science and practice of cancer treatment become gradually more effective over long periods of time.

With the help, the critical data, and the inspiration provided by brave and wonderful young people like Emerson Hoogendoorn, it is possible that even those numbers can be further improved.

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