The Civil War was the first conflict to have been extensively documented in photographs. The haunting images taken during those years of battle captured the harsh realities of combat as never before. They still retain their power, as the more than 75 unforgettable portraits in this moving collection demonstrate so vividly. These are the men, women and children whose lives were intimately touched by the bloody strife. Accompanying the photos, and the incisive historical commentary, are their personal letters, diaries, and journals that detail their thoughts and feelings about the traumatic events unfolding all around them. Arranged chronologically, the images trace the progress of the War from the fall of Fort Sumter to the surrender at Appomattox as seen through the eyes of the famous as well as the men little known to history.