Civil War Images: Depictions of African Americans in the War Effort (Library of Congress)


The visual depictions that were created during the war provide an opportunity to explore the many different ways in which African Americans—free and enslaved, in Union and Confederate states— advanced the war effort. However, these images also encourage us to examine the many ways in which artists, photographers, and publishers chose to depict African Americans in the war effort, and to consider their reasons for doing so. At the same time, the relative scarcity of such images serves as a reminder of the many participants, and the many stories, that are excluded from this crucial moment in the nation’s history.