While it’s true that these collections are composed predominately of photos of men, there are numerous photos of women if you know how to look. One way to look is by simply browsing, but as it can take quite some time to go through the collections photo by photo, a faster way is to search, limiting your results to the Civil War photo collections.
If you know the name of a specific woman you want to look for, you can try searching the Civil War photo collections for the woman’s name, keeping in mind that many of the portraits of women are identified with their last names (e.g., “Mrs. Furnace“) or initials and last names (e.g., “Mrs. H. S. O’ Hare“). Because of this, it may be helpful to search using the last name only. Searching by last name will also allow you to find photographs that are titled with the husband’s name.
Some portraits are titled on Fold3 as wholly or partially “illegible.” However, many of these have been annotated with the person’s name by Fold3 users and are therefore still searchable.
If you’re interested in seeing photos of Civil War women in general, try searching the Civil War photo collections for terms such as “Mrs.” and “Miss,” as well as “wife,” “daughter,” and “family.” You can also search for terms associated with women’s roles during the war, such as “hospital” and “sanitary commission.” For photos of African American women, try searching terms like “slave,” “contraband,” or other related terms.
The following are examples of portraits of Civil War women that you can find on Fold3:
- Miss Clara Barton
- Mrs. L. B. Wilson
- Miss Waugh
- Tent life of the 31st Pennsylvania Infantry
- Mrs. Tynan and sons
- General O. C. Ord and wife and child
- John Minor Botts and family
- African American woman standing outside a slave pen
- Group of “contrabands,” including women
Have you found any interesting photos of women on Fold3? Tell us about it! In addition to searching the Civil War Photos and Brady Civil War Photos, you might also find a few photos of women during the Civil War in the New York State Military Museum Photos or the Civil War Horse Soldier Artifacts Collection.