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The Best Civil War Photos on LIFE.com

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Mary Walker

"Mary Walker (1832 – 1919) was the Army's first female surgeon during the Civil War, but led an altogether storied life as an early American abolitionist, feminist, and doctor. In 1864, she was captured by Confederate troops and charged as a spy, but was eventually released in a prisoner exchange. After the ordeal, the government awarded Walker the Medal of Honor for her bravery, the only woman to ever given such an honor. Here, Walker pictured circa 1865." Source: Life.com

The good folks at LIFE.com have published some of the most compelling photographs of the American Civil War in recognition of the Confederate surrender on April 9, 1865.  At their invitation, I’ve grabbed a few including the photo above of Mary Walker, timely given the soon to be released Civil War era historical novel My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira. (See “New Arrivals from Publishers” on the center nav bar of Wig-Wags.com).

The picture below of a young sailor I ran across in my reading on the Battle of Mobile Bay.

Civil War Navy Powder Monkey

A young "powder monkey" -- one who filled canon cartridges below a ship's deck -- on the USS New Hampshire in Charleston, South Carolina, circa 1864. Source: LIFE.com

You can link to the full gallery on LIFE.com here.