Remembering the American Civil War, 150 Years later

  • Count Ferdinand Zeppelin of Germany, second right, with members of the Union army on a visit to the battle fields during the American Civil War. 
  • Maj. Allan Pinkerton, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and Gen. John A. McClernand, in front of pitched tent on the battlefield during the Civil War. 
  • Bodies of slain soldiers strewn about field of mass carnage following bloody Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. 
  • “Destruction of Hoods Ordnance Train,” 1864. 
  • Portrait of General Robert E. Lee, 1860-1865. 
  • Union soldiers guarding Confederate prisoners of war at Fairfax Courthouse, near Washington D.C.
  • Two men sit on the ruins of Confederate Charleston, S.C., after the ravages of civil war, 1866. 
  • General Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), head of the union army in Cold Harbor, Va., 1864. 
  • Commander of the Union’s armies, General Ulysses Grant (1822-1885) examines the maps of Union General George Gordon Meade (1815-1872) at the Massaponax church in Virginia, May 21, 1864. 
  • Officers of the 4th Infantry, which in 1861 became part of the garrison to protect Washington, D.C. In June 1864, with less than 150 men left, they became Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s headquarters guard. 
  • Non-commissioned officers’ mess of Company D, 93rd New York Infantry. 
  • U.S. Gen. William T. Sherman sits on horseback at Federal Fort No. 7, sometime between September and November of 1864 in Atlanta, Ga.
  • “Quarters of Men in Fort Sedgwick, Generally Known as Fort Hell,” May 1865. 
  • Slain rebel sharpshooter slumped down in his hideout, with his rifle still perched against rocks, at the end of the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. 
  • Soldiers standing in the ruins of an arsenal in Richmond, Va., with cannon balls stacked in the courtyard, U.S. Civil War, April 1863. 
  • Photograph of members of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s staff, from the main eastern theater of war, the siege of Petersburg, June 1864-April 1865. Including photographer Mathew Brady, standing at far left. 
  • A dead rebel soldier as he lay in the trenches of Fort Mohone, 1865. 
  • Fort Richardson, at Quarleshouse, near Fair Oaks, June 1864. 

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One hundred and fifty years ago, on April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and the Army of the Potomac at the Appomattox Court House in northern Virginia.

The concession and subsequent breakdown of the fighting of the Eastern Theater marked the end of the Civil War that divided the United States for more than four years and killed 620,000 Americans.

WATCH: Remembering the end of the Civil War

During that bloody and brutal era, the American public was exposed to photos of war for the first time. Here, we look back at some of the most iconic images made by some of the most iconic photographers: Alexander Gardner, George N. Barnard, Timothy H. O’Sullivan and Thomas C. Roche.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography

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