The Civil War touched the lives of children in both similar and vastly different ways. The Civil War molded children’s lives as adults and shaped their attitudes, opinions, and prejudices that would pass from generation to generation.
The children of the Civil War shared enthusiasm for the war, were burdened with greater responsibilities, and endured physical and emotional hardships. The end of the war for a Northern child meant victory, excitement, and success. The end of the war for a Southern child meant defeat, disappointment, and a transformed way of living.
For enslaved African American children, the end of the Civil War meant freedom and hope, which did not come without years of tremendous sacrifices, challenges, changes, and hardships.
Here below is a set of amazing photos from The Library of Congress that shows portraits of African American children during the Civil War from 1861 to 1865.