The Civil War… 150 years ago today… April 20, 1861

April 20, 2011 by  
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We continue our weekly feature of reflecting upon the appropriate 150 year old issue of “Harper’s Weekly” from the perspective of a subscriber in 1861:

“This week’s edition has many prints on the Civil War, just as I was hoping. Reading  the reports in the daily papers I looked forward to see what was happening. The front page has a nice view of “The Confederate Batteries Opposite Fort Pickens, Florida” which shows the formidable size of the fort. An inside page has an interesting 5 panel print of “Commander Dahlgren, U.S.N. and the Dahlgren Gun”, a cannon mounted on wheels. It’s interesting that they take a full page to show a print of “The Washington Navy-Yard with Shad Fishers in the Foreground”, but what I found most interesting is the partially completed dome of the New Capitol building under construction in the nation’s capital. It would seem to be the tallest structure in town!

The double page centerfold has a dramatic presentation of; “The United States Fleet Off Fort Pickens, Florida”–what beautiful ships! This one could be framed.  I’m hoping next week’s edition will show scenes of the battle of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. I’ve read all about it, now I want to see it!”

To enjoy the images (and some of the text) from this issue, please go to:  Harper’s Weekly, April 20, 1861

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