Civil War Camp Life

Introduction

Camp of 31st Pennsylvania Infantry near Washington, D.C.This document packet contains photographs, drawings, and other materials that illustrate camp life during the Civil War.

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 5: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)

STANDARD 2: The course and character of the Civil War and its effects on the American people. 

Standard 2A: The student understands how the resources of the Union and Confederacy affected the course of the war. 

7-12: Compare the human resources of the Union and the Confederacy at the beginning of the Civil War and assess the tactical advantages of each side. [Utilize visual and mathematical data] 
5-12: Identify the innovations in military technology and explain their impact on humans, property, and the final outcome of the war. [Utilize visual and mathematical data] 

Standard 2B: The student understands the social experience of the war on the battlefield and homefront. 

5-12: Compare the motives for fighting and the daily life experiences of Confederate with those of white and African American Union soldiers. [Evidence historical perspectives] 
5-12: Compare the human and material costs of the war in the North and South and assess the degree to which the war reunited the nation. [Examine historical perspectives]

Primary Resources

  1. DESCRIPTION: Camp of 31st Pennsylvania Infantry near Washington, D.C.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  [photographed 1862, printed later]
    REPRODUCTIONS:  How to obtain reproductions
    COPYRIGHT:  Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE:
     American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

  2. DESCRIPTION:  Morning Scene at Camp Hunter's Chappel, October 1861
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  October 1861
    SOURCE:
     Digital History
    REPOSITORY: The Gilder Lehrman Collection, on deposit at the Piermont Morgan Library.

  3. DESCRIPTION:  Bivouac at Dumfries, 13 December 1862
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  Dec. 13, 1862
    SOURCE:  Digital History
    REPOSITORY: The Gilder Lehrman Collection, on deposit at the Piermont Morgan Library.

  4. DESCRIPTION: Photograph, Union soldiers eating
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: June 1861
    SOURCE: Robert G. Merrick Archives of Maryland Historical Photographs, MSA SC 1477-1-6681
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  5. DESCRIPTION:  Camp Fires at night [Drawing]
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  April 1861
    REPRODUCTIONS:  How to Order Photographic Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT:  Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:
     Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society
    REPOSITORY: New-York Historical Society

  6. DESCRIPTION:  Confederate Barracks, Manassas [Stereograph]
    PHOTOGRAPHER: Timothy H. O'Sullivan
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  [ca.1861-ca.1865]
    REPRODUCTIONS:  How to Order Photographic Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT:  Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:
     Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society
    REPOSITORY: New-York Historical Society

  7. DESCRIPTION: Rebel encampment in front of Petersburg. [Stereograph]
    PHOTOGRAPHER: Timothy H. O'Sullivan
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 24th June, 1864
    REPRODUCTIONS:  How to Order Photographic Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT:  Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:
     Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society
    REPOSITORY: New-York Historical Society 

  8. DESCRIPTION: Rebel encampment in front of Petersburg. [Stereograph]
    PHOTOGRAPHER: Timothy H. O'Sullivan
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 24th June, 1864
    REPRODUCTIONS:  How to Order Photographic Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT:  Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:
     Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society
    REPOSITORY: New-York Historical Society 

  9. DESCRIPTION: Improvised dinner table in the field. [Stereograph]
    PHOTOGRAPHER: Thomas C. Roche
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: ca.1861-ca.1865
    REPRODUCTIONS:  How to Order Photographic Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT:  Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:
     Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society
    REPOSITORY: New-York Historical Society 

  10. DESCRIPTION: Camp scene, Fortress Monroe. [Stereograph]
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: [between ca.1862-ca.1864]
    REPRODUCTIONS:  How to Order Photographic Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT:  Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:
     Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society
    REPOSITORY: New-York Historical Society  

  11. DESCRIPTION: Camp scene. [Image]
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: n. d.
    REPRODUCTIONS:  How to Order Photographic Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT:  Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:
     Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society
    REPOSITORY: New-York Historical Society  

  12. DESCRIPTION: [Virginia. Newspaper vendor and cart in camp].
    PHOTOGRAPHER: Alexander Gardner
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1863 November.
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to Order Photographic Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE: Selected Civil War Photographs, 1861-1865
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

  13. DESCRIPTION: Letter, Alvin H. Alexander to his sister Lizzie
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: Feb. 12, 1863
    SOURCE: Valley of the Shadow
    REPOSITORY: Alvin H. Alexander Records, 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry, Civil War Miscellaneous Collection, Archives of the U.S. Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

  14. DESCRIPTION: Letter, Alvin H. Alexander to his sister Sallie
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: Sep. 23, 1863
    SOURCE: Valley of the Shadow
    REPOSITORY: Alvin H. Alexander Records, 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry, Civil War Miscellaneous Collection, Archives of the U.S. Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

  15. DESCRIPTION: Clinton Hatcher to Mary Anna Sibert
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: August 26, 1861
    SOURCE: Valley of the Shadow
    REPOSITORY: Evans-Sibert Family Papers, 1849-1900, Accession 27770, Personal Papers Collection, Virginia State Library and Archives, Richmond, Virginia

  16. DESCRIPTION: Jedediah Hotchkiss to Sara A. Hotchkiss
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: December 7, 1862
    SOURCE: Valley of the Shadow
    REPOSITORY: Jedediah Hotchkiss Collection, Reel 4, Manuscripts Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Additional Media Resources

Water Color Sketchbook by Private Henry Berckhoff, 8th New York "German Rifles", 27 May 1861 to 23 May 1863

Valley of the Shadow

Secondary Resources

Hardtack & Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life' by John D. Billings

Ethier, Eric. "Picket Duty." Civil War Times (August 2005): 24

Wilson, Keith P. Campfires of Freedom-The Camp Life of Black Soldiers during the Civil War Kent: Kent State University Press, 2002.

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Associated Heritage and Preservation Organizations

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
2400 East Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230-5393

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Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was researched and developed by Nancy Bramucci.

 

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