No one can deny the Civil War’s status as a critical period in American history. Its impact continues to be felt to this day with the United States still in existence as a single, undivided country and with slavery being outlawed. As such, the Civil War has been taught for over a century in schools, and not just in the United States. In many other countries, the American Civil War is taught in classrooms with special emphasis on the fight for freedom and equality.
Historical accounts are often the means for people who want to study the Civil War, but entire volumes full of words and maps can only do so much to inspire a person’s imagination, especially when you consider events that took place well before anyone living today was born. Many people want to see for themselves the events highlighting those four years that shaped the nation like never before. Civil War art is simply a way of recapturing those moments down to the last detail. People will appreciate what life was life in America in those days by giving them a visual representation that would hopefully evoke the feelings prevalent at the time of a particular event.
The most common depictions in Civil War art nowadays are any among the more than 10,000 vicious battles that took place between the armies of the North and South from 1861 to 1865. The pictures sought to recreate everything about specific events, including the terror, fear, honor, triumph, and other feelings of the people who were actually there, particularly the fighting men who risked it all.
Civil War art first came into existence during the conflict itself when a small number of soldiers, artists, and other observers on both sides sketched pictures of battles past or as they happened. This was originally intended to show families and loved ones back home how their fathers, brothers, and sons were faring at the front lines more than mere words can ever describe. Most pictures completed during the war were actually of the combatants’ relatively quiet moments whenever they were at rest in between fighting. Other art pieces were portraits of personalities such as soldiers, politicians, and other people whose participation in the conflict was worthy of recognition, if not praise.
Art depicting various events during the Civil War continued to spread in the century and a half that followed, especially in the years since the conflict’s historical significance first gained the appreciation of the public. Many original pieces are still being produced every year to remind the people of today of the long-ago war that became a turning point in America’s existence as a nation. Just like other pieces of American history, art pieces commemorating the Civil War are found in museums, galleries, and retailers across the country. Rare, expensive pieces, particularly those as old as the war itself, are either on display for public viewing or kept in private collections. Less expensive pieces such as prints based on original paintings are available for sale through art dealers and auction sites with some selling for as low as $ 20.