Civil War Selfies

A young woman in the 21st century posing in period clothing.Civil War Selfies are a unique way to experience the Heart of the Civil War. Take your picture at a participating Civil War Selfies site or event. Share it with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram by including #CivilWarSelfies (note: that's plural) in your post.

A 19th century woman poses for a black and white photo in a gown.

What do selfies have to do with the Civil War?

Exchanging small printed photographs became very popular during the Civil War, when new technologies allowed photographers to print inexpensive images the size of a smartphone screen. Friends and family traded them almost as much as we share selfies today. In fact, trading this kind of picture, called a carte de visite, was so popular that in 1862 the poet and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, "Card portraits as everybody knows have become the social currency, the green-backs of civilization." So while technology may have changed, people have not!

Participating Sites

A collage of Civil War Selfies at historic sites from 2014.