The Guardian photographer David Levene recently recreated some Civil War images from the exact same vantage point. The below two pictures show a comparison of Sudley Springs Ford in Virginia, during the war and in modern day.
Sudley Springs was the location of the first major land battle during the Civil War.
Lincoln Visiting Antietam
This is a rare sighting of President Abraham Lincoln visiting a battlefield at Antietam, Maryland.
Antietam was one of the most important battles in the Civil War, as it stopped the Northern Virginia Confederate Army from succeeding in their first invasion into the North. This battle also led to Lincoln’s writing the first version of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Antietam Dunker Church
The Battle of Antietam was fought around the Dunker Church near Sharpsburg, Maryland. It was the first major battle to take place within Union territory, and remains the bloodiest one-day battle in United States history. The original church was destroyed in a storm but rebuilt in 1962 for the 100th anniversary of the battle.
Council of War
This photo from Ringgold, Georgia shows a council of war led by General George Thomas.
These councils would take place in the middle of battles in order to decide on the best course of action. While the ultimate decisions would be made by the commanding officers, the councils would end in a vote by the subordinates that would help advise the commander.
This image displays one of the many terrifying weapons used during the Civil War: a 13-inch mortar know as “Dictator.” This particular photo was taken in Petersburg, Virginia in 1864.
The Dictator weighed a massive 17,120 pounds. In order to make it mobile it was mounted onto a flatcar so that it can be transported via the Petersburg Railroad. According to historical reports, the 218 pound mortar shell was able to be launched over 2.5 miles.
The Rodman Gun was developed by Thomas Jackson Rodman, a Union artilleryman. They came in many different sizes and were typically used along coastal fortifications.
This particular Rodman Gun yielded a 15″ bore and was close to 16 feet in length. It took around 12 men to operate a Rodman Gun of this size.
The attack on Fort Sumpter, South Carolina by the Confederate army was the catalyst that started the Civil War. After close to two full days of fire exchange, the US General and more than 80 soldiers residing in Fort Sumter finally surrendered to the Confederates. This picture is believed to have been taken soon after the surrender.
This plantation in Brompton was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers. It was set up following a deadly battle in Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg. There are several historical buildings still standing in the area, and many still have bullet holes from the battles that took place in the field.
Many fallen soldiers are seen in the below Civil War photo at Devil’s Den. The picture was taken after what is probably the most widely known battle — the Battle of Gettysburg — in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Now the area is open to tourism and it is a very popular spot to hike around.
The Evergreen Cemetery is located within Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was built less than ten years before the battle took place.
This cemetery is also famous for being visible in pictures of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address which took place on the grounds.
Prior to the Civil War, the Arlington House was home to Confederate General Robert E Lee. It is now used as a permanent memorial to him. This amazing historical photo shows a mixture of military personnel and civilians on the steps of the house.
The president’s box in Ford’s Theater looks eerily unchanged since the assassination of President Lincoln. The theater was closed for over 100 years following the assassination until it was reopened in the 1960s.
The below photo shows an encampment in Cumberland Landing, Virginia. The Union moved one of its largest armies to this area in order to launch an offensive attack on the Confederate capital located in Richmond. Many acres of land were used in order to temporarily house thousands of soldiers in tents.