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Civil War, U.S. - Unforgettable Sights - CAMP LIFE

CAMP LIFE (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Social Studies Visual Arts Nineteenth Century Life Civil Wars Geography American History

Conrad Wise Chapman, a Confederate soldier (Ordance Sergeant, 59th Virginia Regiment, Wise's Brigade) and artist (who lived between 1842-1910), created a series of Civil-War paintings. He collaborated with his father, John Gadsby Chapman, on some of his work. This image, maintained at the Library of Congress, depicts a chromolithograph which is based on a C.W. Chapman painting, entitled “‘Confederate Camp’ during the late American war.” Louis Zimmer published the lithograph in London, circa 1871. The Library of Congress describes the work: “Print shows encampment of Confederate soldiers, including three slaves(?).” Click on the image for an excellent view.

 

Civil War soldiers, from both North and South, endured more than deadly battles. Following the fall of Ft. Sumter, camp life produced its own measure of difficulties as these links to American records reveal. (Exact locations, where provided by the Archives, are also identified here.)

  • During the war, soldiers lived in tents while civilians in the South often lived in damaged buildings.
  • Commissary headquarters at Rocky Face Ridge, Georgia provided cooks with supplies.
  • Without their wives around to help, soldiers had to wash and dry their own clothes.
  • Camp sites, like the one guarding a trestle bridge at Whiteside, Virginia, were sometimes picturesque.
  • Soldiers, who took a break from fighting, relaxed at their camp.
  • Many soldiers, however, had to live in tents during the winter months.
  • Officer winter quarters were usually better than those of their men.
  • When the army moved on, camps were often abandoned.

The "top brass," for both sides, fared little better than their men (when they were in the field).

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2003

Updated Last Revision: Feb 06, 2015


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