The Civil War

Lincoln at Gettysburg

On April 12th, 1861, the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Ft. Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina after years of conflict and tension between the northern and southern states.

In July of 1863, The Battle of Gettysburg was fought — many consider it a turning point in the war — the closest the south came to victory, and the north to defeat. To learn more, watch the Pop Quiz video. You can also¬†click¬†here for a printable copy of The Gettysburg Address, a speech President Abraham Lincoln gave at the dedication of a cemetery at Gettysburg, four and a half months after the battle was fought.

You can also learn more about what life was like during the Civil War by watching video from Ft. Mcallister in Georgia and Ft. Sumter in South Carolina, plus get a feel for the fashion in the slideshow, “Eleven Awesomely Bad Facial Hair Styles of the Civil War Era,” below.


Ambrose E. Burnside was a Union army general famous for his wraparound facial coiffure.

In fact, he is credited with giving us the term "sideburns," though "cheekstache" might have been more accurate. Burnside also appears to have inspired the makeup design for Lando Calrissian's co-pilot in Return of the Jedi.



Hannibal Hamlin served as Vice President during Lincoln's first term. Is his subtle scruff patch supposed to hide his double chin? Did he miss a spot shaving for picture day?

These are the questions that are lost to the ages.



Christopher C. Augur was a commandant at West Point when the Civil War began but quickly rose the ranks to become Second Commander of XXII Corps.

Sadly, injuries he sustained in combat forced him to amputate the front half of his beard.



John Cashner was a Civil War soldier, personal friend of Teddy Roosevelt, and hunter who regularly teamed up with Buffalo Bill.

As if that weren't enough, he also sported a handlebar moustache that looks like it could link up with Home Tree from Avatar.

Photo: The University of Washington Library


Head over to to see more styles, plus find out what this guy was thinking. Go now!

Photo: The University of Washington Library

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