Civil War Photos
American Civil War Photos / Photos of Civil War
Civil War photos provide a detailed view of the conflict like no words can. Photographers arrived on the scene shortly after the battle and captured Gettysburg photos which documented the aftermath of the battle in black and white. These photos of Gettysburg are among the best photos of the Civil War.
Alexander Gardner was a Scottish-born photographer who early in the war was commissioned by the Union army to take photos. He took the famed "Home of a Rebel sharpshooter" Gettysburg photo of a Confederate soldier at Devil's Den
. Many say he staged the photo for dramatic effect in dragging a body 40 yards and repositioning it with the help of his assistant Timothy H. O'Sullivan.
In a 1961 study of more Gardner photos, two photos showed the appearance of the same dead Confederate sniper, and this suggested they were also staged. Although there is evidence to suggest that some of the photos of Civil War were staged, we should understand that this was not necessarily frowned upon in the early years of photography in the 19th century.
Gardner also photographed the Battle of Antietam, the Siege of Petersburg, and took the last known Abraham Lincoln photograph just 4 days before his assassination. He was the only one of the many Civil War photographers allowed access to the execution of the Lincoln conspirators, and they would later appear in Harper's Weekly.
Gardner's assistant, Timothy O'Sullivan was well-known for his work on the Civil War and the expansion out west. Perhaps his best work is the "Harvest of Death" photo which epitomized the horrors of the Battle of Gettysburg for the world to see.
He took many well-documented photos at Gettysburg including "Field where General Reynolds fell", "Slaughter pen", and "View in wheatfield opposite our extreme left".
There were many Civil War photographers who captured images for all to see and their images revealed a moment in time that allows us to understand the conflict with more visual clarity.
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