The Civil War in 18 Objects

Srujan Esanakarra's Ajay Prabhu's & Daniel Lee's Perspective

An Overview

The Civil War in Four Minutes: The War Between the States

The Major Events of the War

1. The Eastern Theater (Srujan)

The Civil War was brutal both in terms of casualties and destruction and cannons depict the scale of acerbity of the Civil War. The most severe and catastrophic of the battles of the War occurred in the Eastern Theater and the cannon was the most destructive of the weapons used and hence draws a parallel to the deadliness of the Eastern Theater. Of all the objects that could depict the Eastern Theater, the cannon comes the closest to depicting the brutality and the hostility present between the North and the South in the Eastern Theater and thus is a firm representation of it.

3. The Southern Theater (Ajay)

The Civil War was a struggle for the South as it had fewer resources and troops than those of the North. An important event that took place is the Atlanta Campaign, which led to the end of the war. This campaign took place in 1864 and it initiated the "scorched earth." Sherman's troops looted Southern plantations to trash Southern resources to give the North an edge in the war. The Northern army knew that it needed to suppress the Southern will and the only way they could do that is by destroying infrastructure of the South. After gaining an edge on the South, the North was able to go on and win the war.

War on the Homefront

4. Women of the North and South (Daniel)

During the Civil War, new opportunities and jobs were opened to women. Of these, especially in the North, consisted of a nurse for the soldiers during the Civil War. The Civil War and its effects on women pushed women to fight for suffrage and economic independence.

7. Pacifism (Ajay)

Pacifism is the belief that violence is unjustifiable under any circumstances. Most people on either side did not believe in this because they wanted to settle the differences between the north and south even if it brought war.

A Soldier's Life

9. Motivation for Fighting (Srujan)

The roots of the War stem from the Constitution and the North and the South each had drastically different interpretations of what was stated in the document. However, soldiers in both the North and the South were motivated to fight for what they believed were rights asserted by the Constitution and thus should be upheld over the "beliefs" of the other. They both firmly felt that their methods and thoughts were vital for prosperity in the future in the U.S. and fought to dissolve the ideas of the other. The Constitution best symbolizes the motivation for the fighting because it holds the fundamental roots and reasons for the country to go to War.

11. Northern Black Soldiers (Srujan)

Black soldiers were a significant factor in the North's win in the War and following Lincoln's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, black men were encouraged to enlist in the Union armies. Although these men were unacknowledged of the tactics of soldiers, they were trained and swiftly evolved to become front line contenders for the Union armies. This advertisement is one of the many that called Northern Black Soldiers to fight for the Union armies and depicts how Black Soldiers became a part of these armies. They were the beginnings of the enrollment of black men into the armies and show how they were lured to fight for the Union. This advertisement is a great example of the tactics used by the North to gain an advantage over the South by means of using black men to strengthen itself.


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The Amputation Toolkit was one of the most prominent equipment on the battlefield, used to cover up wounds and prevent infection in wounded soldiers.

13. Injuries/Death/Battlefield Medicine (Srujan)

The Civil War resulted in heavy casualties, more than in any other war the United States has faced in history to this day. Nearly 600,000 people died during the war and more than a million were injured. The severity and imminence of the war is depicted in this amputation kit as such severe care and equipment were necessary to take care of wounded soldiers on the battlefield. The war was brutal and battlefield medicine was so vital that even amputation kits were included since there was little to no chance of moving soldiers to hospitals. The severity and brutality of the war is depicted by this kit and it shows how the war was taken to the extreme as a whole.


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This is a picture about how Lincoln was opposed to be elect by several individuals.

15. Lincoln (Ajay)

Lincoln believed that secession was illegal. His main purpose and goal in office was to keep the Union together as any president would want to do. In order to do this, he believed that the best way to do this was to come to a concession peacefully. However, with the growing differences between the North and the South, Lincoln came to believe that war was the necessary route to keep the Union together. Lincoln knew that the war would be detrimental, but he believed that it could reconcile the North and South together.


17. Railroads (Daniel)

Through this map it can be seen that the North (Union forces) possessed significantly more railroad systems than the South (Confederate forces). The North had the advantage of technology, including factories and cannons. This led to a Union victory throughout the Civil War.

18. Industry (Ajay)

The Southern and Northern economies differed dramatically. The South was based primarily on agriculture, which meant slavery was pervasive. The North on the other hand was inclined to manufacturing. After the invention of the Cotton Gin, the Southern economy started to boom; however, this also meant that slavery would be utilized. The differences in industry between the opposing sides really predicted the outcome of the war. Because the North was manufacture based, it could supply many more supplies to troops than could the South.

19. Telegraph (Daniel)

Telegraphs such as this were used for rapid communication. Lincoln utilized a telegraph from the White House telegraph office, communicating with his officers on the battlefield. However, the South was at the disadvantage. They lacked the technological and industrial ability to build these large-scale communication campaigns, which led to their demise.


20. Emancipation Proclamation (Srujan)

The Emancipation Proclamation was one of the turning points of the War not in terms of who had the upper hand but in terms of the war’s focus; what was up until then a war to preserve the Union had become a war to emancipate slaves and eradicate the erroneous southern ideals. Although President Lincoln’s executive order did not have an immediate nor an effective impact, it set the stage for slaves’ rights and the freedom of slaves. It also gained favor for the North because many now believed in Lincoln to abolish slavery and subordinate the Southern lifestyle.

21. Gettysburg Address (Ajay)

The Gettysburg Address is arguably one of the most venerated speeches that have been given throughout the course of history. In this speech, Abraham Lincoln emphasizes the significance of the war and that it determines the fate of the Union. He does not want the developing Union to perish by its losing of the war.


22. Chancellorsville (Daniel)

During the battle of Chancellorsville, General Hooker utilized the Rappahannock river to flank Lee’s army. Although Lee’s Confederate army was outnumbered, he outmaneuvered Hooker by splitting his forces and sending Stonewall Jackson around to attack Hooker’s flanks. As a result, the Confederate army won this battle and was considered one of Lee’s most impressive wins.

23. Antietam (Daniel)

The battle of Antietam was one of the largest battles of the Civil War. Because the Union forces found a copy of Lee’s battle plans, the Union was able to use this advantage to win the battle. By winning the battle, foreign powers were convinced to stay out of the war, and it gave Lincoln a platform to announce the Emancipation Proclamation.

24. Gettysburg (Ajay)

The Battle of Gettysburg was the largest battle in the Civil War. There were approximately 160,000 troops involved in this battle, about 80,000 from each side. This battle was considered the turning point of the Civil War as it brought two consecutive, significant victories to the Union army.

The End of an Era

25. The Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse (Srujan)

General’s Lee surrender at the Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia put an end to the brutal four year war and truly marked the end of an era. America was and is truly defined as pre Civil War and post Civil War, for the war changed the course of the nation forever. The pen depicts Lee’s surrender and the official declaration of the end of the war. The nation was now ever more democratic and was on the path towards the modern nation that it has become.

26. Lincoln's Assassination (Daniel)

The assassination of Lincoln caused significant influence for the nation, especially the South, and Lincoln's reputation. After he was murdered, Lincoln was distinguished as a martyr, fighting for the nation and the freedom of Blacks. Ironically, this assassination was a disadvantage for the South because the radical Republicans that replaced Lincoln were much less forgiving.


The Civil War was truly enormous in multifarious facets and the implications of the War altered the course of the United States forever. It strengthened the democratic ideals that the nation was built upon and gave way to the modern America that the world so looks up to. As much as it was brutal, both in terms of casualties and atrocities, it was also very dynamic and left an everlasting impact on the nation.

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