Primary Source Packet: War Photographs 1861–2011

Use primary sources in your classroom to analyze how photographs tell the different stories of changing warfare from the Civil War to recent wars.

Photos documenting nine different wars-from the Civil War to the War in Afghanistan-provide an avenue for analyzing photographs within one time period and across time periods.

Cost: $20 ORDER


  • 27 reproduction photographs of 9 wars (Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, Iraq War, War in Afghanistan)
  • Teacher's Guide with discussion questions and activity suggestions

Photographs included:

Civil War (1861–1865)

  • Smith family portrait, 1861.
  • First Minnesota Regiment after Battleof Fair Oaks, Virginia, 1862.
  • Dead Confederate soldiers, Sharpsburg, Maryland, 1862.

Spanish-American War (1898)

  • Thirteenth Minnesota VolunteerRegiment in the Philippines, 1898.
  • Chicago Naval Reserves at Port Tampa, Florida, 1898.
  • War parade on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, 1899.

World War I (1917–1919)

  • Red Cross demonstration in Mannheimer’sstore window, St. Paul, 1916.
  • Charles Willard Cross, 1917.
  • Soldiers in trenches, 1918.

World War II (1941–1945)

  • Lieutenant Ernestine Koranda giving injection, Papua New Guinea, 1943.
  • Japanese translators at Fort Snelling, 1945.
  • Corporal Marvin Krinke, U.S. Armyphotographer, Italy, 1945.

Korean War (1950–1953)

  • Boys building a bomb shelter, 1952.
  • Soldier standing outside POW camp, 1952.
  • Four men standing next to Jeep, 1952.

Vietnam War (1954–1975)

  • Man filling up canteens, circa 1969–1970.
  • Three men standing guard, circa 1969–1970.
  • University of Minnesota student protestagainst Vietnam War, Minneapolis, 1972.

Gulf War (1990–1991)

  • Ninth Psychological Operations Battalionclerk, Saudi Arabia, 1990.
  • Minnesota and Texas soldiers, Saudi Arabia, 1991.
  • 257th Military Police Company soldiersreturn to Minnesota, 1991.

War in Afghanistan (2001–2014)

  • Minnesota and Croatian soldiers, Afghanistan, 2009.
  • Minnesota and Afghan soldiers train AfghanNational Army Battalion, 2011.
  • Antiwar protest and march, Minneapolis, October 15, 2011.

Iraq War (2003–2011)

  • Convoy briefing, Iraq, 2004.
  • Specialist Katie Kleeberger in truck, Iraq, 2006.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Greg Thingvold talks tofamily in Minnesota via satellite, 2008.

Smith family portrait, 1861.

Lieutenant Ernestine Koranda giving injection, Papua New Guinea, 1943.

Minnesota and Croatian soldiers, Afghanistan, 2009.

Academic standards alignment

The War Photographs 1861–2011 Primary Source Packet is designed to engage your students and enrich their ability to read and analyze photographs. Incorporating these photographs, or adapting the questions and activities for other photographs, into your teaching will help meet your curricular objectives and academic standards, whether they are content or skills related.

We have aligned this packet with state and national standards and benchmarks for grades 6–12. The links below outline the standards alignment for this packet.

National standards

Minnesota standards

Related resources