Extensive Civil War Site Online – Read About the War Directly from Online Copies of Harper’s Weekly Newspaper 1861-1865

Hi Everyone,

One of our librarians puts together a weekly listing of websites of note.  In this recent listing I noticed one that pertains to the Civil War.

The site that was mentioned was:

The Civil War As Seen Through The Reporting Eyes of Harper’s Weekly Newspapers

There are many Civil War websites that abound on the Internet.  What made this one catch my eye was the connection of the Civil War as it is written up at the time in Harper’s Weekly Newspaper.  Read about the Civil War as it was happening and as it was written at the time by reporters.  See the stories as our ancestors read them at the time.

Each weekly edition of the paper is presented at this site.  It is wonderfully enlarged and very easy to read each page of the paper.  The paper also includes incredible drawings of individuals, battles, maps on the cover of the newspaper during this time as well as including illustrations of Civil War related items.  It generally looks like the paper contains about 12 to 14 pages of material within each weekly issue.  They did present the paper in those days with a lot of verbiage and type and very little white space to make it easier on the eyes.  So each issue will present the reader with voluminous amounts of information.

I think it is also fabulous to compare the styles of writing that occurred during this time period as presented by the reporters then versus how we read the style today of reporters today.  They really said what they meant in the 1860’s without worrying about being politically correct!!

The producers of this material even included “hot links” within the newspaper pages for the reader to be taken to other parts of the paper directly to see more about the particular topic in the news story.

Some of the categories of information you can find at the site that steer you to information that occurred in Harper’s Weekly Newspaper are:

  • Civil War Overview
  • Civil War 1861
  • Civil War 1862
  • Civil War 1863
  • Civil War 1864
  • Civil War 1865
  • Civil War Battles
  • Confederate Generals
  • Union Generals
  • Confederate History
  • Robert E. Lee
  • Civil War Medicine
  • Lincoln Assassination
  • Slavery
  • Civil War Art
  • Matthew Brady
  • Civil War Links

We all know that the Southern states “seceded” from the Union.  We know of the general term secession.  I found it fascinating to be able to read online the actual “secession” documents that were created by each state that did secede.  It is short and to the point.  I never previously actually read the wording of what a secessionist document really was.  From this site you can read these that are similar to the one you read for the state of Mississippi that occurred in January 1861.  Here is that document:

Mississippi Secession Document January 9, 1861

For any one with Civil War ancestry or just generally interested in all things Civil War, you will definitely want to visit the site and bookmark it for future use.  We have all read various Civil War books that were written by well-known authors.  They put together their material from resources they used.  They provide us with great history.  However, there is nothing like reading original newspaper articles written at the time of the events to really get a first hand view of the stories of the Civil War that were written at the time.  Just like in genealogy research, accessing “primary” material is still the best.

I am really impressed with what you can find at this great Civil War site.

Check it out yourself. 

I think you will also be impressed.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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