Central Park, New York City, New York, USA, c 1865.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Albumen print from the album asembled by John Downes Rochfort. Rochfort visited all the major American Civil War sites in 1867 and some of the photographs he purchased en route have since become some of that war's best known images. Up to this date war had been portrayed as a series of heroic tableaux; these photographs revealed the realities of war for the first time. Although unaffected directly by the fighting, New York supplied thousands of troops to the Union cause throughout the conflict. The industrial might of New York and the other great northern cities was ultimately decisive in bringing about the defeat of the Confederacy, which was unable to keep its armies adequately supplied and equipped as the war dragged on.