A former Disney animator makes a provocative discovery by studying photos taken during the Gettysburg Address
Deep in the collections of the Library of Congress are ghostly images and voices of Union and Confederate soldiers
Stubborn and deliberate, General George Henry Thomas was one of the Union's most brilliant strategists. So why was he cheated by history?
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it." — Robert E. Lee, at Fredericksburg.
A young war-horse helped Phil Sheridan win the day in the Shenandoah Valley and, made famous by a poem, helped Abraham Lincoln win re-election
It took the killing of their first officer to jolt the North into wholeheartedly supporting the Union cause
A member of the Richmond elite, one woman defied convention and the Confederacy and fed secrets to the Union during the Civil War
Hundreds of women served as spies during the Civil War. Here’s a look at six who risked their lives in daring and unexpected ways
Battle after battle, the men of the Irish Brigade held the front lines. Under the guidance of strong leaders they encouraged a new sense of pride for Irish immigrants living in America
The officer who gained glory as a warrior in the Civil War also had a domestic side.
The Annals of War
150 years after the battle, the Battle of Gettysburg still looms large over the American imagination
Anne Kelly Knowles, the winner of Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards, uses GIS technology to change our view of history
Nearly a century of discord between North and South finally exploded in April 1861 with the bombardment of Fort Sumter
Both North and South expected victory to be glorious and quick, but the first major battle signaled the long and deadly war to come
What underlies the Civil War’s 25 bloodiest battles? Two geologists investigate why certain terrain proved so hazardous
A collection of historic front pages shows how civilians experienced and read about the war
Historian Amanda Foreman discusses how British citizens took part in the war between the Union and the Confederacy
It isn't possible to tell the story of the American Civil War without recourse to the million photographic images that were created
After capturing the horrors of the Civil War for Mathew Brady’s studio, 19th century photographer Timothy H. O’Sullivan uncovered the beauty of the great expanses of the American west.
A century and a half ago, Britain's Roger Fenton pioneered the art of war photography
Steven Spielberg, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Tony Kushner talk about what it takes to wrestle an epic presidency into a feature film
Civil War scholar Harold Holzer helps to decode what spectators heard when the 16th president spoke
What happened to Officer John Parker, the man who chose the wrong night to leave his post at Ford's Theater?
The Smithsonian opens one of its prized artifacts and a story unfolds
Arts and Culture
In timing with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Smithsonian Folkways has released a new collection, Civil War Naval Songs: Period Ballads from the Union and Confederate Navies, and the Home Front. The album consists of 13 lively 19th-century tunes that sailors sung on ships or, when docked i...
A groundbreaking exhibit presents the Civil War through the eyes of artists uncertain of the conflict's outcome, shedding fresh light on the events
How one author adds actual blues and grays to historic photographs
The musicians of the Union and Confederate armies provided strong memories of the homes left behind for the battlefield.
Take a look back at how Americans have remembered the civil war during significant anniversaries of the past
How a Civil War buff's chance discovery led to a sting, a raid and a victory against traffickers in stolen historical documents
During the Civil War, two regiments faced off as spectators, possibly as many as 40,000, sat and watched
Around the Smithsonian
National Portrait Gallery
National Museum of American History
National Portrait Gallery
National Postal Museum
National Air & Space Museum
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Document Deep Dives
The Nation's Capital
Freeing the Slaves
Settling the West
From the Collections