As the war unfolded, journalists, photographers and artists documented its events. But the most intimate accounts of the war can be found in the letters and diaries of the men and women who experienced it firsthand.
Some of those papers still exist today, and they give a personal take on what it was like to be part of the war. The Missouri History Museum's collection of letters from James E. Love to his fiancee paint a portrait of a young man in love. Chattanooga resident Gary Pendleton has his great-great-grandfather's diary, which gives a sense of the day-to-day hardships of a Civil War soldier. And UTC's collection of letters from Brig. Gen. John T. Wilder gives an account of a Union commander from Indiana, who would later become a prominent citizen of Chattanooga.