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Six hundred thousand lives were lost between 1861 and 1865, making the conflict between North and South the nation’s deadliest war. If the “War Between the States” was the test of the young republic’s commitment to its founding precepts, it was also a watershed in photographic history, as the camera recorded the epic, heartbreaking narrative from beginning to end—providing those on the home front, for the first time, with immediate visual access to the horrors of the battlefield

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield was the site of the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River. This bloody fight, which claimed the life of Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general to die in the conflict, was a Confederate victory. The Confederates suffered heavy losses themselves, however, and were prevented from making inroads into Missouri. The land around "Bloody Hill" remains much as it was when the battle raged here on August 10, 1861. Even the home of farmer…