Civil War Newspaper

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Preston Huntington November 13, 2011 Professor Batra Newspapers during the Civil War It’s sometimes hard to imagine a time when there was no television or radio news. Not to mention mainstream news on the internet, however during the civil war citizens and soldiers alike had to rely on two major sources to receive their news, through either word of mouth, or from the newspaper. Word of mouth was at the time the most convenient source of hearsay about the happenings of the war. The papers provided both citizens and soldiers alike with the most detailed records of the war, accounts that had never been published in America or any other country at the time (Mott 386). New printing technologies allowed newspapers and magazines…show more content…
Confederate newspapers in Virginia during the Civil War served as vital, often times flawed, sources of reporting on the conflict. They were examples of national propaganda, and they set themselves up to either attack or defend Confederate President, Jefferson Davis. Nearly every town in Virginia boasted a newspaper. There were four separate dailies in Richmond alone, with a fifth that started publishing in 1863. These papers were loyally devoted. The Richmond Whig, cheered on the almost defunct Whig Party, the Vindicator endorsed secession, while the Enquirer endorsed the Democratic Party. In the book Four Years in Rebel Capitals: An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death, author T.C. Deleon examined “The South’s best wartime newspapers boasted the thinking of some of the sharpest minds in the region.” When the war broke out in 1861, some 120 newspapers were published in Virginia. Every town of any size boasted at least a weekly paper. Richmond, a city of nearly 39,000 people, had its four daily newspapers. Months before Virginia seceded in April 1861, most of the state's newspapers had already embraced disunion. Robert Ridgeway, editor of the Richmond Daily Whig was the only editor in central Virginia to oppose secession during the Secession Crisis, and public pressure forced his resignation in March. In the…show more content…
Harpers weekly circulated over 200,000 copies by wars end. It was one of the more neutral media outlets. Its popularity had traditionally been supported by the south, but the paper supported Lincoln and the Union. It reported with disinterest and many southern readers continued to read it, despite it’s loyalty with the north. This is partially due to writers and artists that were employed. (Coppersmith 167) Well known political cartoonist Thomas Nast who is credited as the creator of the Republican Elephant and the Democratic Donkey was one of the core artists at the time, as was Theodore R. Davis, Henry Mosler, and the brothers Alfred and William Waud. The New York Herald which operated from 1835-1924 sold over 81,000 copies throughout the whole war. The paper was staunchly Democratic, and anti-catholic. It was also one of the first papers to report on the Battle of Fort Sumter. The New York Times which to this day is the most popular Newspaper in the United States was the opposite, strictly Republican and pro-catholic. The paper was in high demand making copies every day of the week but Sunday, but due to the need of daily news from the front, it began releasing strictly on Sunday’s. The Times was extremely popular, and was

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