1860s

Colorized Photo of Lewis Powell, Lincoln Conspirator

Wow, what else can I say about this one. Thanks to the abundance of random stuff on Reddit, I stumbled across this the other day. How amazing is it? This almost looks like it was taken...
Union Army guard at Price, Birch & Co. slave pen at Alexandria, Virginia, circa 1865. Detail of albumen print. Photograph by Andrew J. Russell.

1865 Photo of Alexandria Slave Pen

This is a powerful Civil War-era photograph. It shows Price, Birch & Co., which was a slave dealing business. Source: Shorpy
U.S. Sanitary Commission 1863

Photos and Map From Civil War Convalescent Camp

This is an 1863 map of the convalescent camp four miles outside of Washington. This was run by the U.S. Christian Commission, and below is a photo of their D.C. headquarters from 1865. Source: civilwarphotos.net And,...
Quarters of General Alfred Pleasonton, and "Government Horse Shoeing Shop" at Left, 21st St. near F NW - Washington, D.C., April 1865

What 21st and F Streets Looked Like in 1865

This is a terrific old photo of 21st and F St. NW at the conclusion of the Civil War. Does is look a little different to you? Source: civilwarphotos.net
Aqueduct Bridge, Georgetown, D.C., looking toward Washington

Beautiful View of Aqueduct Bridge in 1860s

What an amazing old image of Aqueduct Bridge (check out this cool postcard). Source: Library of Congress Here are some more amazing photos if you’d like to spend way too much time on the Internet.
Sarah Josepha Hale's letter to Abraham Lincoln

Thanksgiving Proclamations

It was Sarah Josepha Hale that wrote to then President Abraham Lincoln, urging him to establish a dedicated national day of thanksgiving. She sent the letter on September 28, 1863. A digitized version of her letter...
David L. Yulee (U.S. National Archives)

First Jewish Senator Supported Florida’s Secession

We came across some interesting history while digging through the rabbit hole that is Wikipedia. David Levy Yulee, of Florida, was not only one of the first senators from that state, but he was also the...
Jefferson and Varina Davis in 1869

Mrs. Jefferson Davis Visits White House in 1866

How fascinating is this article that we dug up in The Baltimore Sun. This is correspondence from Washington, printed on May 25th, 1866. At the time, the former President of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis, was imprisoned...
portrait of John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth Makes His Acting Debut at Ford’s Theatre

Before he committed his heinous act at Ford’s Theatre, John Wilkes Booth actually performed on stage. On Monday, November 2nd, 1863, he made his acting debut at Ford’s Theatre. Below is an advertisement that we found...
Mount Vernon Lager Beer Brewery and Pleasure Garden near the northeast corner of 4th and E Streets NE. (Juenemann Photograph Collection, HSW, ca. 1865-1870)

Pre-Civil War Mount Vernon Beer and Pleasure Garden

This is so cool! The photo is from just after the Civil War and it shows an old beer garden located at 4th and E St. NE. Source: Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
inside armory square hospital

Patients in Armory Square Hospital: 1865

Built in 1856, Armory Square Hospital stood for more than a century on Independence Ave and 7th Sts. SW. It was demolished in 1964, and has since been replaced by the National Air and Space Museum....

1864 Civil War Map of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties

This is a great old map that we dug up at the Library of Congress. It shows Fairfax County and the surroundings near the end of the Civil War. Source: Library of Congress
Mark Twain by Abdullah Frères, 1867

Mark Twain’s Tale of “The Man Who Stopped At Gadsby’s”

First appearing in Mark Twain’s Washington letter to the Territorial Enterprise on March 1, 1868, the story of “The Man Who Stopped at Gadsby’s” was a tale that stuck in Twain’s psyche, and he repeated it in full in...

The Leg of Ulric Dahlgren

Walking through the Navy Yard a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon an incongruous plaque embedded on the side of a building. The building was a modern parking garage, similar to dozens around the city, and...
Camp of the Union forces at Centreville, Va. Winter 1861-62

Camp of Union Forces at Centreville During Winter 1861

Here’s a terrific detailed photograph of the Union encampment at Centreville during the winter of 1861-1862. Click on it for more details. Source: Library of Congress
Union soldiers guarding the Potomac River in Washington, DC in 1861. Georgetown University is visible in the background. Photo by George Barnard

Union Soldiers on the Banks of the Potomac

What an incredible photo. We dug this one up thanks to Reddit.
Abraham Lincoln delivers his second inaugural address

Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865

Abraham Lincoln was sworn in for his second term as president and delivered his second inaugural address on March 4, 1865. There are a couple interesting things we picked out of this photo. First, when you...
Old Main Building

Howard University Old Main Building in 1860s

Here are two great old photos of Howard University’s Old Main Building.
Get Ghosts of DC by emailYou don't want to miss our best stuff in your inbox!

We'll send you our newest content as soon as it publishes. And, we'll throw in some of the best old content from the last eight years. We have nearly 3,000 posts, so you'll have plenty to read.

Recommended for youHere's a book we think you'll enjoy.
Take a look