Lens of War
Exploring Iconic Photographs of the Civil War

Edited by J. Matthew Gallman and Gary W. Gallagher

Historians reflect on photographs from the Civil War


"While many of the well-chosen images will be recognizable to even the casual Civil War scholar, there are a few obscure images presented as well. It is also amazing to see how much information can be divulged from some seemingly simple images such as the dead horse of a general."
—Tom Elmore, Blue & Gray Magazine

"Lens of War isn't intended for coffee tables. . . . It is not so much a collection of Civil War photographs as a book about the insight photography brings to our understanding of the war. . . . The photographs in Lens of War are doorways to lives long past; the words walk us through their worlds."
—Allen Barra, America's Civil War Magazine

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Lens of War grew out of an invitation to leading historians of the Civil War to select and reflect upon a single photograph. Each could choose any image and interpret it in personal and scholarly terms. The result is a remarkable set of essays by twenty-seven scholars whose numerous volumes on the Civil War have explored military, cultural, political, African American, women’s, and environmental history.

The essays describe a wide array of photographs and present an eclectic approach to the assignment, organized by topic: Leaders, Soldiers, Civilians, Victims, and Places. Readers will rediscover familiar photographs and figures examined in unfamiliar ways, as well as discover little-known photographs that afford intriguing perspectives. All the images are reproduced with exquisite care. Readers fascinated by the Civil War will want this unique book on their shelves, and lovers of photography will value the images and the creative, evocative reflections offered in these essays.

UnCivil Wars

A Friends Fund Publication

Page count: 256
31 b&w photos
Trim size: 9 x 9


List price: $32.95

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J. Matthew Gallman is a professor of history at the University of Florida and author of Mastering Wartime: A Social History of Philadelphia during the Civil War, America’s Joan of Arc: The Life of Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, and the forthcoming Defining Duty in the Civil War: Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front.

Gary W. Gallagher is the John L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia and author of eight books, including Becoming Confederates: Paths to a New National Loyalty (Georgia), The Union War, and Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know about the Civil War.