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Virginia in the American Civil War

Library of Virginia collections pertaining to the American Civil War


For assistance with the materials described on this page, please contact Special Collections.

Prints & Photographs

The Library's collections of original prints and photographs relating to the Civil War include images made by engravers and photographers throughout the country. Many of the photographs were made under the supervision of Mathew B. Brady and include scenes of military personnel, preparations for battle, and after-battle effects. The collection also includes portraits of Confederate and Union officers and a selection of enlisted men.

State Art Collection

Stored at the Library of Virginia and in some cases displayed at the State Capitol, the Executive Mansion, and other state buildings and open spaces surrounding Capitol Square, the State Art Collection consists of more than four hundred original works of art representing political leaders and important events in Virginia's history. Civil War-related works in the collection include portraits of Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, as well as several Civil War-era politicians and the former president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis.


The Library's collection of broadsides includes nearly three hundred titles printed between the years 1861 and 1865. These single-sheet printed documents were often issued locally in response to specific popular or newsworthy events or were otherwise designed for short-lived purposes.

Broadsides can be located in the LVA catalog using the keyword Broadside. Select broadsides have been digitized at the link below.

Sheet Music

More than four hundred individual song sheets (printed poems intended to be sung) and sheet music compositions that represent the Civil War form this collection. In addition to the music, many of the covers are worth noting. They treat a variety of subjects ranging from conventional portraits of generals to battlefield scenes to the popular images of soldiers returning home.

Sheet music can be located in the LVA catalog using the keyword Songs and music. Select sheet music has been digitized at the link below.