Colourised Images of the American Civil War


Colourised Images of the American Civil War.

To be honest, I didn’t expect to write about colourised images more than once. A friend asked me my thoughts about several First World War photographs that had been manipulated to add colour, I thought that would be it. However the first two posts have attracted far more visits than anticipated so I thought I’d expand the theme a little and see what was available on the American Civil War.

Colourised Image from American Civil War

The first site I am going to suggest goes a little against my usual reading – but the images are good, if limited in number. Showing both the original and colourised version of a handful of images this brief Daily Mail article is a good starting point. As noted it is limited in the number of images, largely as it is simply signposting a publication about the American Civil War. What is useful is the ability to look at the difference that the colourisation makes. Does it change the tone? Does it add to or detract from the original. A simple but effective method of engaging learners in questions about sources and interpretations, as well as illustrating different aspects of warfare quite nicely.

As usual Pinterest provides a very good selection of images. This selection of images has been carefully curated and contains a large number of colourised photographs from the American Civil War. They tend to be of individuals, some famous, such as Custer, below, others less so.


The main drawback of this selection is that it tends to be portraits similar to the one of Custer above. These are clearly interesting and may stir the imagination of youngsters but are not particularly useful when it comes to issues such as tactics and the nature of warfare.

The Superslice does much the same, though here the images are larger and of a higher resolution: though less in number. is a little different and comes with an age advisory warning. This collection of colourised images does as the rest and includes portraits. It also includes some that are a lot more gruesome. For example, there is a multiple hanging, battlefield corpses and a collection of skulls. For more mature readers and / or students they may be of use.

The last link is to a photo essay. many of the images are exhibited in the links above but the write up is worthy of note.

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