Civil War

The Library of Congress holds one of the largest collections of Civil War materials in the world. Materials included here document the range of experiences of those in the North and South whose lives were affected by the bitter conflict of 1861-1865. Transcribe and review pages by soldiers, politicians, poets, nurses and citizens affected by the war.

The American Civil War originated between two opposing ideologies forged by secessionists determined that the time had come to form a confederacy of slaveholding states true to their own interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and Unionists who viewed secession as the death knell of the great American experiment in representative democracy. This topic draws together pages from across By the People campaigns that reveal the impact of this bloody period in American history.