Civil War


Prayer at Fort Sumter

According to “The Battle of Fort Sumter: The First Shots of the American Civil War” by Wesley Moody, “The men and officers bowed their heads and removed their hats as the chaplain began to pray. Anderson Kneeled. Chaplain Matthias Harris thanked God for their safe and successful transfer to Fort Sumter and asked that the flag would once again fly over a united country…” (engraving from Harper’s Weekly, September 1861).


Chaplain Chapman

Chaplain Chapman of the 169th N.Y. performing divine service at Gen. W.F. Smith’s Head Quarters in front of Petersburg, July 3rd (Library of Congress)

Chaplain Cooney

Atlanta campaign. Army of the Cumberland. Divine service by Rev. P.P. Cooney, C.S.C. Chaplain Gen. of Ind. Troops in the field (Library of Congress).

Chaplain Peter P. Cooney at the Battle of Stones River, January 1863.

Chaplain Peter P. Cooney at the Battle of Stones River, January 1863.

Civil War Worship Service

Famous Matthew Brady photograph of Chaplain Mooney conducting mass for the 69th New York State Militia encamped at Fort Corcoran, before the First Battle of Bull Run 21 July 1861 .


Chaplain William Corby

“Absolution Before Victory” by Mort Künstler. Just prior to the Battle of Antietem, “with their beloved commander, General Thomas Meagher, riding among them, the brigade chaplain, Father William Corby, quickly rode along the line, offering a hasty absolution.” (Prints can be purchased at

Chaplain William Colby

An illustration depicts Holy Cross Fr. William Corby, a chaplain with a Boston regiment, giving general absolution to the Irish Brigade on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, PA. During the battle, the Irish Brigade helped defend an area known as the Wheatfield against an attack by Confederate Gen. James Longstreet’s troops. (CNS photo/courtesy Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center). Photo from:


Civil War Chaplains (CSC) with two officers from the Irish Brigade at the Union Army camp at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, Summer 1862. Seated: Captain J. J. McCormick; James Dillon, CSC; and William Corby, CSC. Standing: Patrick Dillon, CSC, and Dr. Philip O’Hanlon. (Photo by Alexander Gardner, official photographer of the Army, original glass negative is housed in the Library of Congress).

Chaplain William Colby

Chaplain Colby of the Irish Brigade was later honored with a memorial statue at Gettysburg as seen in this modern postcard. (Author’s collection)

Civil War chaplains

Chaplains of the 9th Corps, Petersburg, VA

1865 civil war Chaplains quarters

Drewry’s Bluff, VA Chaplains quarters, 1865

McClellans HQ Sunday Services

Sunday at McClellans headquarters, Religious Services (Library of Congress).

Chaplain Thurber

Photograph shows, from left: Lt. Col. W. J. Dinslow, Col. J. Tarbell, Chaplain Thurber, Maj. Alfred Wagstaff of the 91st NY Volunteers (Library of Congress).

9th Mass IN Worship Service

Ninth Massachusetts Infantry Camp near Washington, D.C., 1861. Men of an Irish-American regiment and their chaplain pause before celebrating mass at Camp Cass, Virginia (Library of Congress).


Chaplain Weston

“Service by Rev. Dr. Weston, Chaplain of the Seventh Regiment [NY State Militia], at Camp Cameron, on Sunday, May 5, 1861” appearing in 25 May 1861 Harper’s Weekly magazine (author’s collection)


Chaplain L. F. Drake

1860’s print of “Rev. L. F. Drake, Chaplain 31st Ohio Volunteers Preaching at Camp Dick, Robinson, KY, November 10th 1861” Middleton Strobridge Co Litho Cincinnati, OH; (author’s collection).


Chaplain Telfair Hodgson

Major Telfair Hodgson, Chaplain, CS Cavalry


Charles Todd Quintard

Charles Todd Quintard was nominated by its Soldiers to be the Chaplain of the Confederate 1st Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Infantry. Quintard also served as the Regimental Surgeon.


Union Civil War Chaplain

Civil War Union Chaplain with nice view of hat with chaplain insignia. 1860s colorized image photographed by Silverborth & Haas, No. 260 Bowery, NY.


CW Union Chaplain

Civil War Union Chaplain, portrait taken by Schoonmaker, 282 River Street, Troy, NY



“Jackson and His Chaplain” by Dale Gallon. “Near Fredericksburg, VA, late December, 1862 – Lt. General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and the Rev. Beverly Tucker Lacy kneel in prayer after discussions on the role of the Chaplaincy in Jackson’s Second Corps.” Copies of this print can be purchased at Gallon’s website.


chaplain 110th PA

110th Regiment,  PA Volunteers, Chaplain Jeremiah P. Schindel is the stout man, 2nd from right. He was a state senator from 1858-1860 and chaplain of the 110th from December 1861 to June 1863.


Chaplain Isaac W. Handy

Rev. Isaac W. Handy (far left) preaching to fellow prisoners at a Fort Delaware prison camp, circa 1863. Photo from


Civil War Navy Worship Service

Rare photo of shipboard worship service (from U.S. Navy Archives, on display at National Civil War Chaplains Museum)


49th Regiment, PA Volunteers Worship

“Divine Service in the 49th Regt. PA. Vols., Camp Griffin, Va.” on display at the National Civil War Chaplains Museum.

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