CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Thursday, September 10, 2015

BATTLES OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

BATTLES OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

   

On War: The Civil War

On War: The Civil War
On War: The Civil War

 

 

The pictures that captured a nation at war: Civil War photographer's iconic photos from the front line show America's darkest days


  • This September 1862 photo provided by the Library of Congress shows Allan Pinkerton on horseback during the Battle of Antietam, near Sharpsburg, Maryland. Before the outbreak of war, he had founded the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. In 1861, he famously foiled an alleged plot to assassinate president-elect Lincoln, and later served as the head of the Union Intelligence Service -- the forerunner of the U.S. Secret Service. #

     

  • Fort Sumter, South Carolina, April, 1861, under the Confederate flag. The first shots of the Civil War took place here, on April 12, 1861, as Confederate batteries opened fire on the Union fort, bombarding it for 34 straight hours. On April 13, Union forces surrendered and evacuated the fort. Union forces made many attempts to retake the fort throughout the war, but only took possession on February 22, 1865, after Confederate forces had evacuated Charleston. #

  • Yorktown, Virginia, Embarkation for White House Landing, Virginia, Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, the Peninsular Campaign, May-August 1862. #

  • A captured Confederate encampment near Petersburg, Virginia, in June of 1864. #

  • A view of Washington, District of Columbia, from the intersection of 3rd and Indiana Avenue, ca. 1863. In the foreground is Trinity Episcopal Church, in the background, the unfinished Capitol building. Construction on the capitol was briefly suspended early in the war, but continued through the later years. #

     

  • Fortifications at Yorktown, Virginia, during the Peninsula Campaign of 1862. #

  • A March, 1863 photo of the USS Essex. The 1000-ton ironclad river gunboat, originally a steam-powered ferry, was acquired during the American Civil War by the US Army in 1861 for the Western Gunboat Flotilla. She was transferred to the US Navy in 1862 and participated in several operations on the Mississippi River, including the capture of Baton Rouge and Port Hudson in 1863. #

  • The 150th Pennsylvania Infantry camp on Belle Plain, Virginia, is pictured in March 1862, three weeks before the Battle of Chancellorsville. #

  • Morris Island, South Carolina. The shattered muzzle of a 300-pounder Parrott Rifle after it had burst, photographed in July or August of 1863. #

     

  • On the steps of the Tennessee State Capitol building in Nashville, Tennessee, with covered guns (lower right) set up nearby, in 1864. #

     

  • Inflation of the Intrepid, a hydrogen gas balloon used by the Union Army Balloon Corps for aerial reconnaissance. The the Balloon Corps operated a total of seven balloons, with the Intrepid being favored by Chief Aeronaut Thaddeus Lowe. #

  • A scene in Alexandria, Virginia, in August of 1863. The storefront of 283 Duke St. reads "Price, Birch & Co., dealers in slaves" #

  • Stacked cannon balls, possibly a view of an arsenal yard in Washington, District of Columbia, #

     

  • Rebel prisoners waiting at Belle Plain, Virginia, for transportation #

  • Wounded soldiers at rest near Marye's Heights, Fredericksburg, Virginia. After the battle of Spotsylvania, in 1864. #

  • The CSS Stonewall was a 1,390-ton ironclad built in Bordeaux, France, for the Confederate Navy in 1864. After she crossed the Atlantic, reaching Havana, Cuba, it was already May, 1865, and the war had ended. Spanish Authorities took possession, soon handing it over to the U.S. government. #

  • A view of Andersonville Prison, Georgia, on August 17, 1864. Andersonville was an infamous Confederate Prisoner-of-war camp, where nearly 13,000 of its approximately 45,000 Union prisoners died in brutal conditions, suffering from starvation, disease, and abuse from their captors. #

  • Union prisoners draw their rations in this view from main gate of Andersonville Prison, Georgia, on August 17, 1864. #

  • Dead horses surround the damaged Trostle House, results of the Battle of Gettysburg, in July of 1863. Union general Major General Daniel Sickles used the farmhouse as a headquarters and Union and Confederate troops fought among the farm buildings during the fierce battle. #

  • An execution in Washington, District of Columbia, on November 10, 1865. Henry Wirz, former commander of the Confederate prisoner of war camp near Andersonville, Georgia, was tried and hung after the war for conspiracy and murder related to his command of the notorious camp. #

  • African Americans prepare cotton for a cotton gin on Smith's plantation, Port Royal Island, South Carolina, in 1862. #

     

  • Officers of the 69th Infantry New York, at Fort Corcoran, Virginia, with Col. Michael Corcoran. #

  • A Federal encampment on the Pamunkey River, Cumberland Landing, Virginia, in May of 1862 #

  • "A harvest of death", a famous scene from the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania, in July of 1863 #

  • Federal cavalry at Sudley Ford, Virginia, following the battle of First Bull Run, in March of 1862. #

     

  • Petersburg, Virginia, the first Federal army wagon train entering the town in April of 1865. #

  • Union forces of Benson's Battery in the Battle of Seven Pines stand guard in the fighting against Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's Confederate troops at Fair Oaks, near Richmond, Virginia. The battle, also called Fair Oaks, took place on May 31 and June 1, 1862. #

  • Confederate dead lie among rifles and other gear, behind a stone wall at the foot of Marye's Heights near Fredericksburg, Virginia on May 3, 1863. Union forces penetrated the Confederate lines at this point, during the Second Battle of Fredericksburg. #

  • The Federal Ironclad Galena, after recent action with Confederate batteries at Drewry's Bluff, on Virginia's James River, ca. 1862. #

     

  • Interior of a ward of Washington D.C.'s Harewood General Hospital in 1864. Harewood opened in September 1862 and closed in May 1866, after the end of the war. #

  • White House Landing, on the Pamunkey river, Virginia. The site was a major Union Army Supply Base in 1862 ,during the Peninsula Campaign. #

  • A black Union soldier sits, posted in front of a slave auction house on Whitehall Street in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1864. The sign reads "Auction & Negro Sales". View a closeup detail of this image here. #

  • Rebel fortifications in front of Atlanta, Georgia, in 1863 or 1864. #

     

  • African Americans collect the remains of soldiers killed in battle near Cold Harbor, Virginia, in April of 1865. #

  • In Atlanta, Georgia, soldiers sit atop boxcars at a railroad depot. At right is the office of Atlanta's Daily Intelligencer newspaper. Panorama made from two photographs taken by George N. Barnard in 1864. #

  • The deck and turret of the ironclad U.S.S. Monitor on the James River, Virginia, on July 9, 1862. the Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the U.S. Navy, and famously fought the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia (built from the remnants of the USS Merrimack) in the Battle of Hampton Roads -- the first meeting in combat of ironclad warships -- on March 8-9, 1862. #

  • A Pontoon bridge near Petersburg, Virginia, in April of 1865. #

     

  • The camp of the Tennessee Colored Battery, pictured during the Siege of Vicksburg at Johnsonville, Tennessee, in 1864. View a closeup detail of this image here. #

  • Serving as a soldier in uniform and getting regular army pay, a former slave (center, with hands in pockets) stands with other Federal soldiers at the Army of the Potomac winter headquarters near Fredericksburg, Virginia, The log hut served as a mess house for the regiment. #

  • Bodies of soldiers lie on the ground in front of Dunker Church, after the Battle of Antietam, in Maryland, in September of 1862. #

  • A party of the 50th New York Engineers builds a road on the south bank of the North Anna River, near Jericho Mills, Virginia, on May 24, 1864. #

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    Battlefield of Gettysburg: Dead Confederate sharpshooter at foot of Little Round Top taken on July 1863. Alexander Gardner, from Paisley, Renfrewshire, risked his life to capture the American Civil War on film but was robbed of most of the credit by his employer. Battlefield of Gettysburg: Dead Confederate sharpshooter at foot of Little Round Top taken on July 1863. Alexander Gardner, from Paisley, Renfrewshire, risked his life to capture the American Civil War on film but was robbed of most of the credit by his employer.

    The Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter: Gardner has been accused of moving the corpses and weapons in some of his images for dramatic effect. He is alleged to have altered the position of this dead sniper to create a better image. It is still one of his most famous

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    The Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter: Gardner has been accused of moving the corpses and weapons in some of his images for dramatic effect. He is alleged to have altered the position of this dead sniper to create a better image. It is still one of his most famous

    As the 150th anniversary of the end of the war draws nearer, a new book giving an incredible account of the pioneer's work is set to finally give him the recognition he deserves.

    Author Keith Steiner, from Banff, Aberdeenshire, said yesterday (Tue): 'I wanted to right an injustice.

    Most of the photos you see of the American Civil War were taken either by Gardner or his Scottish contemporaries but he was the greatest of them all. He was never given the credit.

    At the Gallows: Lincoln conspirators hang. Mary Surratt (hanging, far left) and three of the other convicted conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on July 7 1865. Her last words were, 'Please don't let me fall'.

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    At the Gallows: Lincoln conspirators hang. Mary Surratt (hanging, far left) and three of the other convicted conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on July 7 1865. Her last words were, 'Please don't let me fall'.

    Victims of war: Dead Confederate artillery men lie dead around their battery after the Battle of Antietam. Gardner's pictures have been showcased in a new book

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    Victims of war: Dead Confederate artillery men lie dead around their battery after the Battle of Antietam. Gardner's pictures have been showcased in a new book

    History remembered: The spot were the famous image of Dead Confederate artillery men, as they lay around their battery after the Battle of Antietam, was taken

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    History remembered: The spot were the famous image of Dead Confederate artillery men, as they lay around their battery after the Battle of Antietam, was taken

    'When I was a teenager I found his photographs quite an eye-opener; they had quite an impact on me.

    DID GARDNER MOVE HIS CORPSES TO CREATE BETTER PICTURES?

    Gardner has come under fire for staging some of his most iconic images for dramatic effect by moving corpses and weapons for a better picture.

    One of his most famous photographs, 'Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter', has been argued to be one such fabrication.

    Critics, having compared it to other images, claim he moved the body some 40 yards into the more photogenic surroundings of the Devil's Den to create a better composition (see the two pictures below).

    However, others have argued that  that the manipulation of photographic settings in the early years of photography was not frowned upon and in no way detracts from his achievements as a photographer.

    Is this the same soldier?

    Enlarge

    Battlefield of Gettysburg: Dead Confederate sharpshooter at foot of Little Round Top taken on July 1863

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    The Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter: Gardner has been accused of moving the corpses and weapons in some of his images for dramatic effect. He is alleged to have altered the position of this dead sniper to create a better image. It is still one of his most famous

    'I retired as a teacher and had an opportunity to explore the sites where he took his photographs.

    'They were a sensation at the time and I believe the photographs have relevance in modern times.'

    Gardner was born in Paisley in 1821 and trained as a jeweller before moving into the world of newspapers.

    An idealist and socialist, he formed the left-leaning newspaper the Glasgow Sentinel in 1851.

    His keen interest in photography led to him emigrating across the pond in the hope of furthering his career.

    He was headhunted by Brady and at the outbreak of the war was well-positioned in Washington.

    He was recruited as a staff photographer by General George B. McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac, and made history on 19 September 1862 when he took the first photographs of casualties on the battlefield at Antietam.

    In 1863, Gardner split from Brady and formed his own gallery in Washington with his brother James.

    In July of that year, he photographed the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, developing images in his travelling darkroom.

    Retired teacher Keith, 60, said: 'Gardner was essentially a photojournalist.

    'He had to process and develop the photographs on the move and in the middle of a battlefield which was not easy.

    'He was highly regarded and Walt Whitman once said that he 'saw beyond his camera'.

    'I wanted to assert his prominence in the history of photographers.

    'He is overlooked and most of my Scottish colleagues have never heard of him. That's a big problem.

    'As a Scotsman, he was a pioneer.

    'He was an artist, in some ways a scientist and a publisher. He was the complete package.'

    Gardner was also the official photographer to President Abraham Lincoln.

    He captured him seven times, including before his inauguration in March 1861 and in February 1865, just weeks before he was assassinated.

    The war-time leader personally visited Gardner to have his photograph taken every year instead of the Scotsman visiting the White House.

    Keith said: 'Most of the photographs you see of Lincoln were taken by Gardner and chart how he aged physically.

    'He was pictured in 1861 then a few years later and it is like a different man.

    'In February 1865, he is a broken man and has aged about 20 years through the stress of the civil war.

    'It is an incredibly revealing photograph.'

    Gardner died in Washington DC in 1882 and is buried there.

    Soldiers line up for battle: As the 150th anniversary of the end of the war draws nearer, a new book giving an incredible account of the pioneer's work is set to finally give him the recognition he deserves

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    Soldiers line up for battle: As the 150th anniversary of the end of the war draws nearer, a new book giving an incredible account of the pioneer's work is set to finally give him the recognition he deserves

    Alexander Gardner

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    Lincoln

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    Photographer to the President: Gardner, left, was also the official photographer to President Abraham Lincoln, picturing him seven times, including this portrait, right, taken in February 1865, just weeks before he was assassinated

    President Abraham Lincoln delivering second inaugural address in front of the United States Capitol, March 4, 1865

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    President Abraham Lincoln delivering second inaugural address in front of the United States Capitol, March 4, 1865

    Fog of war: Three horse-drawn covered wagons trundle past soldiers marching in formation between rows of small cabins and tents.

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    Fog of war: Three horse-drawn covered wagons trundle past soldiers marching in formation between rows of small cabins and tents.

    Wounded animals: A horse lies dying at the Battle of Antietam. Gardner was born in Paisley in 1821 and trained as a jeweller before moving into the world of newspapers

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    Wounded animals: A horse lies dying at the Battle of Antietam. Gardner was born in Paisley in 1821 and trained as a jeweller before moving into the world of newspapers

    President Lincoln with Gen. George B. McClellan and group of officers (October 1862) in Antietam. For his portraits, though, the war-time leader personally visited Gardner to have his photograph taken every year instead of the Scotsman visiting the White House

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    President Lincoln with Gen. George B. McClellan and group of officers (October 1862) in Antietam. For his portraits, though, the war-time leader personally visited Gardner to have his photograph taken every year instead of the Scotsman visiting the White House

    Keith began work on his book 'In the Footsteps of Alexander Gardner at Antietam and Gettysburg' after retiring in 2008.

    As part of his research, he travelled to the USA to visit the bloody battlefields which his unsung hero had photographed.

    He also recreated some of the historic images, highlighting that not much has changed.

    Keith added: 'It was an absolute privilege to stand on the same sites that Gardner photographed.

    Shadows and dust: Site of the Battle of Antietam today. Gardner made history on 19 September 1862 when he took the first photographs of casualties on the battlefield at Antietam

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    Shadows and dust: Site of the Battle of Antietam today. Gardner made history on 19 September 1862 when he took the first photographs of casualties on the battlefield at Antietam

     

    • Matthew Brady was a self-taught photographer
    • Through luck, and good timing, he carved a career out of Civil War picture taking
    • A book featuring his work has recently been published

    Civil War photographer Mathew Brady largely taught himself the finer points of the two pursuits that have linked his name to history: taking pictures and self-promotion. The son of Irish immigrant farmers had a talent for cajoling presidents, generals and business leaders to sit before his camera.

    Other than his birth around 1823 in Warren County, N.Y., little is recorded about Brady's early life, a challenge for biographer Robert Wilson. Yet readers of 'Mathew Brady: Portraits of a Nation' probably benefit from this dearth of personal information.

    Wilson moves quickly to what matters most - Brady's role in how we see America in the mid- to late 19th century.

    War photographer Matthew Brady, the son of Irish immigrant farmers had a talent for cajoling presidents, generals and business leaders to sit before his camera

    War photographer Matthew Brady, the son of Irish immigrant farmers had a talent for cajoling presidents, generals and business leaders to sit before his camera

    Time warp: A portrait of Captain A.B. Weeden, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, and his servant Tommy Hickey in camp at Miner's Hill, Virginia, in the winter of 1861-1862

    Time warp: A portrait of Captain A.B. Weeden, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, and his servant Tommy Hickey in camp at Miner's Hill, Virginia, in the winter of 1861-1862

    Timing was on Brady's side when, as a teenager, he left the countryside for the big city around 1840. The early photographic process called daguerreotype, invented in Paris, arrived in New York just ahead of him.

    He may have taken lessons in the technique while supporting himself as a clerk at a fabric store.

    Wilson makes a compelling case that Brady eventually rose above a sea of artistic entrepreneurs offering photographic portraits because he learned, and often advanced, the latest techniques. As important, he had a pleasing manner that put subjects at ease during the time-consuming process of getting a picture taken.

    Heroic: Mathew Brady studio portrait of Colonel Oliver O. Howard, a Federal officer who won the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Battle of Seven Pines in 1862

    Heroic: Mathew Brady studio portrait of Colonel Oliver O. Howard, a Federal officer who won the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Battle of Seven Pines in 1862

    Vengeful: portrait of Sergeant Francis Edwin Brownell, an enlisted man in Elmer Ellsworth's New York Fire Zouaves - who witnessed Ellsworth's death and immediately killed the assailant

    Vengeful: portrait of Sergeant Francis Edwin Brownell, an enlisted man in Elmer Ellsworth's New York Fire Zouaves - who witnessed Ellsworth's death and immediately killed the assailant

    Future president: James A. Garfield, who would be the 20th president of the United States, and was assassinated after only six months in office in 1881, as a Union Army general, ca. 1855-1865

    Future president: James A. Garfield, who would be the 20th president of the United States, and was assassinated after only six months in office in 1881, as a Union Army general, ca. 1855-1865

    Brady also understood how publicity worked back then. The Hall of Fame in his Broadway studio featured a gallery of celebrities - a subtle pitch for others to pay a few dollars for portraits of their own.

    Few would not want to sit for the studio that photographed war heroes like Gen. Winfield Scott, naturalist and painter John James Audubon and the elderly former first lady Dolley Madison.

    General Hugh Judson "Kill Cavalry" Kilpatrick (1836-1881), a Union officer noted for his ill-conceived cavalry raids into Confederate held territory during the American Civil War

    General Hugh Judson "Kill Cavalry" Kilpatrick (1836-1881), a Union officer noted for his ill-conceived cavalry raids into Confederate held territory during the American Civil War

    Top o' the mornin' to ya: A portrait of Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher (1823-1867), commander of Meagher's Irish Brigade (Second Brigade, First Division, Second Army Corps, Army of the Potomac) during the American Civil War

    Top o' the mornin' to ya: A portrait of Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher (1823-1867), commander of Meagher's Irish Brigade (Second Brigade, First Division, Second Army Corps, Army of the Potomac) during the American Civil War

    In 1849, President James K. Polk allowed Brady to take his photograph in the White House, as did his successor, Zachary Taylor, a sign of Brady's growing reputation.

    A decade later, when the nation seemed destined to fracture over slavery, Brady was, as Wilson puts it, at the 'height of his fame as a photographer of celebrities'.

    War photographer Brady, pictured left in early June, 1864, in Virginia, with Major General Ambrose Everett Burnside (left) at 9th Army Corps headquarters at Cold Harbor, Virginia

    War photographer Brady, pictured left in early June, 1864, in Virginia, with Major General Ambrose Everett Burnside (left) at 9th Army Corps headquarters at Cold Harbor, Virginia

    The black and white photographs of generals and servicemen  at war showed what life was like at the front line to civilians back home

    On the front line: Abraham Lincoln, left, sits in his tent with one of his generals during the Civil War

    Military base: A federal encampment at Cumberland Landing on the Virginia Peninsula, in May 1862, photographed by James F. Gibson

    Military base: A federal encampment at Cumberland Landing on the Virginia Peninsula, in May 1862, photographed by James F. Gibson

    His 1860 photograph of a beardless Abraham Lincoln - Brady pulled up the collars on Lincoln's shirt and coat, probably to hide his long neck - helped to make the presidential aspirant known around the country.

    The Civil War created a strong demand for photographs of soldiers in studio settings and in encampments. The custom of the time was for the studio's owner to take the credit, not those working in the studio or in the field.

    While Brady shared credit with his photographers some of the time and traveled to battlefields such as Gettysburg, his name is associated with many photographs he didn't take.

    A Matthew Brady portrait of of General Robert E. Lee (center) and his aides-de-camp, Major General George Washington Custis Lee (left) and Col. Walter Taylor (right), taken in Richmond, Virginia, on April 16, 1865

    A Matthew Brady portrait of of General Robert E. Lee (center) and his aides-de-camp, Major General George Washington Custis Lee (left) and Col. Walter Taylor (right), taken in Richmond, Virginia, on April 16, 1865

    Brady's experience at Bull Run - he lost his equipment in the chaotic retreat that marked the North's first major battle - may have cooled his eagerness to ask those working for him to photograph close to actual fighting.

    As the war continued, photographic images of dead soldiers, slain horses and other post-battle carnage brought to the public a face of war most had never seen.

    A 1862 photograph of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln by Mathew Brady

    A 1862 photograph of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln by Mathew Brady

    Tragic:  James A. Garfield, who would be the 20th president of the United States, and was assassinated after only six months in office in 1881, with his daughter, ca. 1865, photographed by Mathew Brady

    Tragic: James A. Garfield, who would be the 20th president of the United States, and was assassinated after only six months in office in 1881, with his daughter, ca. 1865, photographed by Mathew Brady

    Leader: Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858), the man was known to have 'opened Japan' pictured by Matthew Brady in the late 1850s

    Leader: Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858), the man was known to have 'opened Japan' pictured by Matthew Brady in the late 1850s

    Portrait of Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand Von Helmholtz

    Portrait of Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand Von Helmholtz (1821-1894), German physicist, anatomist, and physiologist. One of the founders of the principle of conservation of energy; inventor of the opthhalmoscope. Engraving by T. Johnson, from an 1893 photograph by Mathew Brady

    Studio portrait of Major General William Tecumseh Sherman (182-1891) in Washington, 1865, by Matthew Brady. Sherman is considered one of the ablest Union Generals of the American Civil War

    Studio portrait of Major General William Tecumseh Sherman (182-1891) in Washington, 1865, by Matthew Brady. Sherman is considered one of the ablest Union Generals of the American Civil War

    The snapper: War Photographer Mathew Brady became a successful and sought after photographer for the country's presidents and colonels

    The snapper: War Photographer Mathew Brady became a successful and sought after photographer for the country's presidents and colonels

    Wilson argues that Brady's role in promoting wartime images through his studios and the print media was crucial to their impact even if he wasn't the man behind the camera.

    With Wilson's keen analysis of Brady's life and times and the images that defined them, 'Mathew Brady: Portraits of a Nation' brings into sharp focus a fascinating footnote to American history.

    The book is available in the U.S. here and in the UK, here.

    A delegation of visiting Sioux and Arapaho, including Red Cloud, seated at left, and Little Big Man, standing at Red Cloud's left, pictured in September 1877

    A delegation of visiting Sioux and Arapaho, including Red Cloud, seated at left, and Little Big Man, standing at Red Cloud's left, pictured in September 1877

    Melancholy: Mathew Brady at Gettysburg in a photograph erroneously titled 'The Wheat-Field in Which General Reynolds Was Shot', in July 1863

    Melancholy: Mathew Brady at Gettysburg in a photograph erroneously titled 'The Wheat-Field in Which General Reynolds Was Shot', in July 1863

    Revisiting the scene: Mathew Brady (right) at Gettysburg in a photograph accurately titled 'Woods in Which General John F. Reynolds Was Killed', in July 1863

    Revisiting the scene: Mathew Brady (right) at Gettysburg in a photograph accurately titled 'Woods in Which General John F. Reynolds Was Killed', in July 1863

    Mathew Brady returned from the First Battle of Bull Run, in July 1861

    Mathew Brady returned from the First Battle of Bull Run, in July 1861

     

    Henry James Sr. and Henry James Jr. photographed in August 1854 The book 'Matthew Brady: Portraits of a Nation' by Robert Wilson explore the fascinating life of one of the U.S.'s first war photographers through his monochrome images

     

     

    Left: Henry James Sr. and Henry James Jr. photographed in August 1854, and right: The book 'Matthew Brady: Portraits of a Nation' by Robert Wilson explore the fascinating life of one of the U.S.'s first war photographers through his monochrome images

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    Drummer Boy: George Weeks of the 8th Maine Infantry. In a letter dated October 12th, 1865, George wrote to his mother, 'I am coming home at last. ... I have served three years in the greatest army that was ever known.' The striking youth of the soldiers who fought in the 1861-1865 war betrays the innocence and idealism that many of them held as the Confederate States of America faced off against President Lincoln's United States of America. Collected by jeweler Tom Liljenquist, 60 and his two boys over the course of the past 15-years, the elegant ambrotype and tintype images date back to the birth of war photography. Donating the images two years ago when Brandon was 19 and Jason was 17, the family prided itself on the thoroughness of their research methods.and called the collection ,'The Last Full Measure'. The majority of the images are of infantry men and Union soldiers, but there are at least several dozen images of the Confederate forces who surrendered on April 9th, 1865 at Appomattox.

     

     

    'Have you ever seen a photograph of a person you knew you would never forget? Has a photograph influenced you to change your opinion on an important issue?' Jason and Brandon Liljenquist set about their Civil War collection to commemorate the young men of the conflict

    'Over time, as my brother Jason and I learned more about the Civil War, we came to understand the meaning of Weeks' words. We came to learn the ideals an army embraces are what make it great, not its military prowess'

    'Over time, as my brother Jason and I learned more about the Civil War, we came to understand the meaning of Weeks' words. We came to learn the ideals an army embraces are what make it great, not its military prowess'

    'They were champions of democracy, an idea much of the world expected to fail. That idea, that great experiment in self-government, is what they died for. It's what they saved: the United States of America'

    'They were champions of democracy, an idea much of the world expected to fail. That idea, that great experiment in self-government, is what they died for. It's what they saved: the United States of America'

    '

    'Assembled by our family over the last fifteen years, these photographs were acquired from a myriad of sources: shops specializing in historical memorabilia, civil war shows, photography shows, antique centers, estate auctions, eBay, and other collectors like us. Assembling this collection has been a labor of love for our entire family'

    '

    'Our classmates, familiar only with Civil War generals pictured in textbooks, were amazed to see how many of the images depicted soldiers their age and younger. Almost all of our friends spotted a soldier who looked like themselves, a brother, or a friend. The biggest surprise for everyone was seeing images of African American soldiers'

    '

    'Our classmates were unaware of the significant contribution these soldiers made to the Union victory. Everyone enjoyed this knowledge-sharing experience. I was so happy to learn that our collection could be used to teach others'

    '

    'We envisioned a way to use our own collection of photos as a Civil War memorial. From our collection, we would select 412 of the best images; 360 Union soldiers (one for every thousand who died), and 52 Confederate (one for every five thousand). Presented together, we hoped the photographs would illustrate the magnitude of our nation's loss of 620,000 lives in a way never before shown in the history books'

    '

    'That Fall, we approached the Library of Congress with the idea for our memorial. We knew immediately we'd found the right home for the collection, and went home excitedly to discuss it with the whole family'

    '

    'It was with great pleasure that in March of 2010, we decided as a family to donate our collection of Civil War photographs to the Library of Congress. We intend to keep adding to it. And, we couldn't be happier that the collection will now be preserved for everyone to enjoy and share' 'As lifelong residents of Virginia, we'd heard all about the Civil War. Being Virginians, we certainly knew which was the greater army,' said Brandon Liljenquist. 'When equally equipped, the Confederate army always outmatched the Union army. 'Stonewall' Jackson's lightning troop maneuvers in the Shenandoah Valley were famous.' However, the two boys were touched by the hand written letters by George Weeks, the drummer boy who said in a letter dated from October 12th 1865; 'I am coming home at last...I have served three years in the greatest army that was ever known.' Delving into the history of the Civil War and what the conflict developed into, the Liljenquist boys realised what had been at stake. 'We came to learn the ideals an army embraces are what make it great, not its military prowess,' said Brandon. 'Weeks and his fellow soldiers were the emancipators of a race. They were champions of democracy, an idea much of the world expected to fail. 'That idea, that great experiment in self-government, is what they died for. 'It's what they saved: the United States of America. We had gained a new respect for Weeks. He and his regiment truly had served in 'the greatest army that was ever known.'

    '

    'These were the young men who did most of the fighting and dying. In their eyes and the eyes of their loved ones, I could see the full range of human emotion. It was all here: the bravado, the fear, the readiness, the weariness, the pride and the anguish'

    '

    'The loneliness in their long, distant stares overwhelmed me.As I held Weeks' image in my hand, I noticed he was gazing beyond his photographer, perhaps beyond his own death. His eyes appeared fixed on a distant horizon, a place he has found peace and comfort'

    The 700 examples of early photography display the striking youth of the boys, many of whom did not survive the war and were donated by the Liljenquist family to the Library of Congress for posterity.

    The 700 examples of early photography display the striking youth of the boys, many of whom did not survive the war and were donated by the Liljenquist family to the Library of Congress for posterity.

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    'Inspired by the newspaper publication of portraits of US service men and women killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Liljenquists wanted to create a memorial to those who had fought on both sides of the Civil War'

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    'The exhibition features five cases displaying images of Union soldiers and one case containing portraits of Confederates, photographs of whom are much more difficult to find because far fewer were made during the war'

    Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA --- Dead soldiers lie on the battlefield at Gettysburg, where 23,000 Union troops and 25,000 Confederate troops were killed during the Civil War in July 1863

    Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA --- Dead soldiers lie on the battlefield at Gettysburg, where 23,000 Union troops and 25,000 Confederate troops were killed during the Civil War in July 1863. The Lijenquist boys became fascinated with Civil War photography after collecting this picture and set about amassing their enormous and impressive collection. Traveling to memorabilia shows with their father as far away as Tennessee, they networked with dealers and made purchases on eBay. Some pictures they bought cost hundred of dollars and some set the family back  thousands. Each picture had to speak to them as men and it was necessary for every one to have the 'Wow' factor. 'We looked for compelling faces that seemed to be saying something across time to us.' The photographs which are the size of a grown man's palm are committed to glass, an ambrotype, or onto metal, a tintype.

    Rose O'Neal Greenhow, "Wild Rose", poses with her daughter inside the old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C. Greenhow, a Confederate spy, used her social ties in the Washington area to help her pass information to the South. She was apprehended by Allan Pinkerton in 1861, and held for nearly a year. She was released, deported to Richmond, Virginia, and welcomed heartily by southerners. She served as a diplomat for the Confederacy, traveling to Europe, and profiting from a popular memoir she wrote in London in 1863. In October of 1864, she was sailing home aboard a blockade runner, pursued by a Union ship near North Carolina. Her ship ran aground, and Greenhow drowned during an escape attempt, after her rowboat capsized.

    A group of "contrabands" (a term used to describe freed or escaped slaves) in front of a building in Cumberland Landing, Virginia, on May 14, 1862. (James F. Gibson/LOC) #

     

    Rare Civil War Photos Wives and children sometimes followed their husbands to war, particularly in the early period of the conflict. “(The soldiers) were in the camp, and the women and the kids were right there

     

    actual Civil War photo

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    William Tecumseh Sherman, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, served as a General in the Union Army, commanding several campaigns. Perhaps best known was his capture of Atlanta, Georgia, after which his troops began "Sherman's March to the Sea", inflicting massive damage to military and civilian infrastructure during a month-long march toward the coast, ending with the capture of Savannah, Georgia. (Matthew Brady/NARA)

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    A soldier's body lies mangled on a field, killed by a shell at the battle of Gettysburg. (Alexander Gardner/LOC) #

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    Francis C. Barlow entered the Civil War as enlisted men in the Union Army and ended it as general. Wounded several times, Barlow survived the war, later serving as the New York Secretary of State and New York State Attorney General. (LOC) #

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    Union General Herman Haupt, a civil engineer, moves across the Potomac River in a one-man pontoon boat that he invented for scouting and bridge inspection in an image taken between 1860 and 1865. Haupt, an 1835 graduate of West Point, was chief of construction and transportation of U.S. military railroads during the war. (AP Photo/Library of Congress, A.J. Russell) #

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    A lone grave (bottom center), near Antietam, Maryland in September of 1862. (Alexander Gardner/LOC) #

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    Frederick Douglass, ca. 1879. Born a slave in Maryland, Douglass escaped as a young man, eventually becoming an influential social reformer, a powerful orator and a leader of the abolitionist movement. (George K. Warren/NARA) #

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    An unidentified Union officer, photographed by Mathew Brady. (Mathew Brady/NARA) #

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    Confederate troops viewed from a distance of one mile, on the opposite side of a destroyed bridge in Fredericksburg, Virginia, by Union photographer Mathew Brady.(Mathew Brady/NARA) #

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    President Abraham Lincoln (center, hatless), surrounded by a crowd during his famous Gettysburg Address, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863. (AP Photo/Library of Congress) #

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    General James Scott Negley of Pennsylvania. At the start of the war, he was appointed brigadier general in the Pennsylvania Militia, and went on to command troops in several battles. After his division narrowly escaped disaster during the Battle of Chickamauga, Negley was relieved of command. Negley served several administrative posts, retiring from the army in January of 1865. (LOC) #

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    Amputation in a Field Hospital, Gettysburg. (LOC) #

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    A nearly-starved Union soldier who survived imprisonment in the notorious Confederate prison in Andersonville, Georgia. (LOC) #

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    Nurse Anne Bell tending to wounded soldiers in a Union hospital, ca. 1863. (U.S. Army Center of Military History) #

    Robert Smalls was born a slave in South Carolina. During the Civil War, Smalls steered the CSS Planter, an armed Confederate military transport. On May 12, 1862, the Planter's three white officers decided to spend the night ashore. About 3 am, Smalls and seven of the eight enslaved crewmen decided to make a run for the Union vessels that formed the blockade, as they had earlier planned. Smalls dressed in the captain's uniform and had a straw hat similar to that of the white captain. The Planter stopped at a nearby wharf to pick up Smalls' family and the relatives of other crewmen, then they sailed toward Union lines, with a white sheet as a flag. After the war, he went on to serve in the United States House of Representatives, representing South Carolina. (LOC) #

    Confederate general Stonewall Jackson. Considered a shrewd tactician, Jackson served in several campaigns, but during the Battle of Chancellorsville he was accidentally shot by his own troops, losing an arm to amputation. He died of complications of pneumonia eight days later, quickly becoming celebrated as a hero in the South. (LOC) #

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    Soldiers of the VI Corps, Army of the Potomac, in trenches before storming Marye's Heights at the Second Battle of Fredericksburg during the Chancellorsville campaign, Virginia, May 1863. This photograph (Library of Congress #B-157) is sometimes labeled as taken at the 1864 Siege of Petersburg, Virginia (LOC) #

    A portrait of Miss E. Demine, taken by photographer Mathew Brady. (Mathew Brady/NARA) #

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    TitleImage

    Confederate General Robert E. Lee was commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, the most successful of the Southern armies during the American Civil War

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    THE FIRST PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN
    In 1866, Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner published Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War, a remarkable glimpse of the most destructive war on American soil1. The two volumes of the Sketch Book contained 100 significant photographs that visually followed the footprints of the war from the plains of Manassas, to the bloodstained fields in front of Richmond in 1862, to the horror of the dead at Gettysburg, and, ultimately, the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox in April 1865. Gardner wrote an in-depth description for each photograph, and labeled each image with its location, the approximate date it was taken, and the name of the photographic artist who opened the camera lens upon the scene of war. Today, the Sketch Book remains a vital resource on the visual history of the conflict and a powerful reminder of the insanity of that 19th century war.
    Within the visual splendor of its volumes, the Sketch Book has, almost inconceivably, kept a few secrets hidden. I uncovered one of them. The story of that discovery spans more than 25 years. It concerns Plate 32, photographer Timothy O'Sullivan's view of pontoon bridges on the Rappahannock, which was taken about a mile and a half south of Fredericksburg, Va., at Franklin's Crossing, named for the Union general who first established it in December 1862. Although Plate 32 is dated May 1863, I came to discover that Gardner incorrectly dated the image. In fact, it was taken in June 1863, and what it shows is a broad panorama taken at the time General John Sedgwick's 6th Corps of the Army of the Potomac was on the western side of the Rappahannock River looking for General Robert E Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. As O'Sullivan's lens captured the distant Confederate-held heights behind the pontoon bridges at Franklin's Crossing, Lee's First and Second Corps were already marching north in an invasion that would end nearly a month later at Gettysburg. Gardner, incredibly, hid in plain sight for more than the last 140 years one of the first images of the Gettysburg Campaign.

    As he photographed the pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg in June 1863, photographer Timothy O'Sullivan captured the ghostly images of Union soldiers moving through the gulley to the open plain beyond (left detail) and the distant Union artillery units (right detail) standing ready to respond to any Confederate threat from Marye's Heights, about a mile beyond their location.

    Plate 32
    As he photographed the pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg in June 1863, photographer Timothy O'Sullivan captured the ghostly images of Union soldiers moving through the gulley to the open plain beyond (left detail) and the distant Union artillery units (right detail) standing ready to respond to any Confederate threat from Marye's Heights, about a mile beyond their location.

    Several key facts establish that Plate 32 dates to early June 1863, rather than May. First, the amount of foliage on the trees indicates June rather than May. Other images taken at this site that have been positively dated to May 1863 show bare and early budding trees, while the trees in Plate 32 are at full foliage. Second, other than the first two days of May, when pontoon bridges were laid at the crossing as part of the Union efforts in the battle of Chancellorsville, there were no pontoon bridges at that location in May, my research shows. By dawn on the morning of May 3, 1863, Union engineers had removed the pontoon bridges from Franklin's Crossing and they would not return to this site until June 1863, when they were built for General Sedgwick's reconnaissance2. Third, in the Western Reserve Historical Society, I discovered a third O'Sullivan image of pontoon bridges at Franklin's Crossing photographed the same day as Plate 32, and this image is dated June 7, 1863, which was four days after General Robert E Lee commenced his march north to Gettysburg.

    In Plate 31 of Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War, which immediately preceded his image of the pontoon bridges, O'Sullivan depicted Battery D, Second United States Artillery, which was one of the units on the distant open plain visible in Plate 32.

    Plate 31
    In Plate 31 of Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War, which immediately preceded his image of the pontoon bridges, O'Sullivan depicted Battery D, Second United States Artillery, which was one of the units on the distant open plain visible in Plate 32.

    With Plate 32 established as having been taken in June 1863, it becomes linked in time and location with the Sketch Book's previous photograph, Plate 31, which shows Battery D of the Second United States Artillery. In this case, the evidence is right there in plain sight in the Sketch Book's narrative for Plate 31, which explicitly links the image to the June 1863 crossing. In fact, the narrative for Plate 32 also describes the June 1863 crossing, even though the image itself is dated May 1863.
    For me, uncovering the historic significant of O'Sullivan's image was an amazing personal quest. My journey began in the late 1970s when I bought the Dover reprint of the 10 volumes of Francis T. Miller's Photographic History of the Civil War, published in 1911. The thousands of photographs in those volumes fascinated me and ignited an overwhelming interest in Civil War photography. I consumed every book I could find, poring over images that revealed a Civil War far different from the descriptions of Bruce Catton. I was not a professional historian. I was an educational sales representative for a publisher and had to make a living. In 1978, my wife, Norma, gave me for my 40th birthday the Dover reprint of Gardner's Sketch Book. Paging through that volume was eye-opening experience. I'll never forget looking at Plate 32 for the first time. The more I studied this photograph the more questions I had. Why did O'Sullivan photograph Franklin's Crossing? Did he expose the wet plate negative just to capture the pontoon bridges in the immediate foreground, or was he attempting to tell us what was going on in the entire scene? What prompted O'Sullivan to point his camera at this crossing?
    In 1978, this was the only image of the crossing that was well known and available to a general viewing audience. I had no idea if there were more photographs of the scene and I did not have the time or money to travel across the country to historical societies or other depositories to see if there were more. More importantly, back then, 29 years ago, I did not question the May 1863 date. I believed, as the caption to Plate 32 indicated, that O'Sullivan had photographed Franklin's Crossing early in May during or immediately after Chancellorsville campaign. My interest at the time was only on the image and what you could see and identify in it.
    Using a newly purchased Omega Photographic enlarger, as well as a magnifying camera lenses for my 35mm camera, a photocopy stand, and photographic copying material, I began to systematically investigate Plate 32, enlarging segments to examine any military activity that existed in the distant open plain and on the riverbank. The enlargements I made of Plate 32 were fascinating in what they seemed to reveal. On the west side of the river, ghostly images of soldiers trudge up a gulley toward the plain in front of Marye's Heights, which was enveloped in early morning mist. Or was it possibly the smoke of rifles or cannons from the battle of May 3, 1863? I was convinced the image actually showed a possible clash going on between Confederate and Union forces. This would have been during the so-called second battle of Fredericksburg, which was part of the overall Chancellorsville contest. I even wrote to photo historian William Frassanito in 1979 of my belief that O'Sullivan's Plate 32 may have captured a battle in progress. He quickly and rightly informed me that I was searching too hard to find a battle scene! Plate 32, as it turned out, was still a very significant photograph, but the reason why still remained hidden. After 1979, I put Plate 32 aside. My interest in American urban history prompted me to concentrate my time and efforts on the incredible photographs of Atlanta by George Barnard.
    In the late 1990s, I revisited Plate 32. By this time, I was aware of another image of the scene. In the 1980s, I had noted that in Volume 3 of the Image of War series on the Civil War, The Embattled Confederacy (1982), is a second photograph of Franklin's Crossing that had originated from the Minnesota Historical Society. This second image of Franklin's Crossing was also taken by O'Sullivan and was also dated May 1863.3 This date, as it turned out, was also incorrect. O'Sullivan's camera had focused on the same two pontoon bridges shown in Plate 32. In the second image, an artillery battery is clearly seen at rest along the immediate west side of the Rappahannock River from a slightly different camera angle. When I saw this image, I still made no connection with the events of June 1863 because I still had no reason to question the May 1863 date.
    But, in the late 1990s, I began a more detailed analysis of the two images at Franklin's Crossing by O'Sullivan, as well as other images by the United States Military Railroads photographer, Captain Andrew J. Russell, that were presented in the Time-Life volume,Rebels Resurgent. Time-Life provided solid evidence that Russell's images were taken between April 29 and May 2, 1863. But when I compared Plate 32 with Russell's images of Franklin's Crossing, I saw the first evidence that Plate 32 was not taken at the same time Russell photographed Franklin's Crossing. In the Russell photographs, the trees were barely budding and not in full bloom as they were in Plate 32.4 Then, in Time-Life's volume,Gettysburg, I discovered another dramatic view of Franklin's Crossing, looking east from the west bank and dated June 1863, with the foliage at the same level of growth as in Plate 32.5This was the first indication I had that the crossing was photographed in June 1863, and I began to suspect that Plate 32 was among the images taken at this time.
    By 2003, as I prepared for a Westchester Civil War Roundtable presentation on the photographs at Fredericksburg, I had sufficient evidence to conclude that Plate 32 had been photographed in June 1863 and not May 1863. I also had the finest reproduction of Plate 32 that I had ever seen. The digital reproduction of Plate 32 from Delano Greenidge's 2001 publication of Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the Civil War gave enormous clarity and incredible detail to the image as well the other 99 images. In Plate 32, not only were there ghosts of soldiers, but an array of artillery evenly stretched across the plain directly in front of AP Hill's 20,000 Confederates.6
    While the photographic evidence supported the June 1863 date, I researched the events from late April through June, 1863 to answer one key question: When did the Union engineers construct and remove pontoon bridges at Franklin's Crossing? My investigation revealed that the pontoon bridges for the Chancellorsville campaign were removed from Franklin's Crossing during the early morning hours of May 3, 1863 and did not return until June, 1863, when they were built for Sedgwick's reconnaissance.
    While I was completing my research for my "Embedded with the Troops" talk in August, 2004, at the Image of War seminar in Fredericksburg, Va., the last important piece of evidence in this remarkable story fell into place -- my acquisition from the Western Reserve Historical Society of a copy of another photograph of Franklin's Crossing - this one dated June 7, 1863!
    When O'Sullivan set up his tripod at Franklin's Crossing on June 7, 1863, he stepped into the vortex of history as the first military operations of the Gettysburg Campaign began. Three weeks earlier, on May 14, President Lincoln met with General Joseph Hooker at the White House and advised him after the blood letting and defeat at Chancellorsville not to commence further offensive operations by once again crossing the Rappahannock River, but "keep the enemy at bay and out of mischief."7 On that same day General Robert E Lee traveled by train to Richmond to seek President Jefferson Davis's approval to invade the North. The job of keeping a sharp eye on Lee's movements fell upon the shoulders of Colonel G.H. Sharpe, head of Bureau of Military Information, who a week later reported strong intelligence of an imminent major Confederate offensive. On Wednesday, June 3, four days before O'Sullivan photographed Franklin's Crossing, the Army of Northern Virginia began its first move north to Culpeper, Va. Two days later, General Lee directed General A.P. Hill's 3rd Corps of 20,000 confederates to hold Marye's Heights and "deceive the enemy and keep him in ignorance of any change in the disposition of the army." In the late afternoon of June 5, 1863, General Hooker ordered General John Sedgwick's 6th Corps to lay pontoon bridges and attack across the Rappahannock River "to learn, if possible, what the enemy are about."8
    This Union action caused Lee to halt his 2nd Corps' march to Culpeper until he determined General Hooker had not reinforced Sedgwick's reconnaissance9. But the Union occupation of enemy territory on the west bank of the Rappahannock soon became a backwater to more important military actions, and on June 13, 1863, Sedgwick withdrew his forces to move north with the rest of the army to find Lee's army. But on June 7, O'Sullivan took advantage of an incredible opportunity to photograph the army as it held ground in the face of the enemy, and here he made what became Plate 32 in the Sketch Book. A few hours before or after he made Plate 32, O'Sullivan crossed the Rappahannock River, traveled to the guns of Battery D, 2nd U.S. artillery, less than a mile from Confederate A.P. Hill's strong defenses and photographed their military readiness. He was truly embedded with the troops.
    After O'Sullivan completed his work at Franklin's Crossing, he traveled with the Union army as it moved to meet Lee's forces nearly a month later at Gettysburg. Although a number of photographers made images at Gettysburg, O'Sullivan was the only photographer to capture scenes throughout the campaign, and these are also right there in Gardner'sSketch Book notably Plate 3, Fairfax Court-House, June, 1863; Plates 31 and 32 (already noted); Plate 33, Evacuation of Aquia Creek, June, 1863; Plate 34, Group of Confederate Prisoners at Fairfax Court-House, June, 1863; and Plate 35, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July, 1863.
    The correct dating of Plate 32 has strengthened the historic significance of the Sketch Bookas the earliest and most complete photographic coverage in a single publication of the Gettysburg Campaign. Perhaps there are more secrets to uncover in Gardner's Sketch Book, awaiting only the skillful use of a looking glass, the careful examination of a high-resolution scan (in place of my Omega enlarger blow-ups), or the dogged pursuit employed by a dedicated photographic researcher.

    Union General Isaac I. Stevens, seated on a porch in March of 1862, near Beaufort, South Carolina. Stevens, formerly the first governor of Washington Territory, was killed in action at the Battle of Chantilly on September 1, 1862 after picking up the fallen regimental colors of his old regiment, shouting "Highlanders, my Highlanders, follow your general!" Charging with his troops while carrying the banner of Saint Andrew's Cross, Stevens was struck in the temple by a bullet and died instantly. #

    General George Armstrong Custer, a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. Custer built a strong reputation during the Civil War, and afterwards he was sent west to fight in the Indian Wars. Custer was later defeated and killed at the famous Battle of the Little Bighorn in in eastern Montana Territory, in 1876. (LOC) #

     

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    Harriet Tubman, in a photograph dating from 1860-75. Tubman was born into slavery, but escaped to Philadelphia in 1849, and provided valuable intelligence to Union forces during the Civil War. (AP Photo/Library of Congress) #

     

    The women of war: Haunting images from Civil War depict the mothers, daughters, and wives of those who went out to fight.

    They were the ones left behind when the battle horn blew – the mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and beaus of the soldiers called to the throes of war. Haunting images from the Civil War painstakingly collected by Tom Liljenquist and his two sons depict women from the era in black-and-white photographs, many of them lovingly framed in elaborate casings. The tintype and ambrotype photographs of women with their husbands in uniform are quite rare; the expressions on those pictured capture the fear and uncertainty of the day.

     

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    Memories: The Liljenquist Family donated their rare collection of over 700 ambrotype and tintype Civil War photographs; most of the men and women pictured remain unidentified

    Civil War

    Sombre: An unidentified soldier in Union uniform is pictured with an unidentified woman in a floral dress; the photo was embossed in 1854, a full year before the war's end

    Collection: This photograph shows an unidentified Union soldier with his sweetheart; it is encased in a gilt leather frame

    Collection: This photograph shows an unidentified Union soldier with his sweetheart; it is encased in a gilt leather frame

    Family portrait: This tintype shows an unidentified soldier in Union uniform and two women, taken between 1861 and 1865

    Family portrait: This tintype shows an unidentified soldier in Union uniform and two women, taken between 1861 and 1865. Most of the people in the black-and-white photographs remain unidentified, meaning little is known about the subjects, save whether the soldiers pictured were fighting for the Union Army or the Confederate Army. The Liljenquist family, who lives in Virginia, collected more than 700 ambrotype and tintype photographs from both the Union and Confederate armies over a course of 15 years. They collection, which they donated to the Library of Congress, is called 'The Last Full Measure.’ It is thought that the majority were taken by local photographers just before a soldier was sent to the front and in the past 50 years the Library of Congress had only collected 30 images of infantry men before the Liljenquist collection was donated. This year marks the war’s sesquicentennial, or 150-year anniversary.

     

    Women of the Civil War Women of the Civil War

    Haunting: The identity of those pictured in the rare collections may never be revealed

    Military wife: An unidentified woman poses with her husband, a Union Army soldier

    Military wife: An unidentified woman poses with her husband, a Union Army soldier

    Fascinating: The photographs were collected by jeweler Tom Liljenquist over the course of the past 15-years

    Fascinating: The photographs were collected by jeweler Tom Liljenquist over the course of the past 15-years

    When Johnny Comes Marching Home: Though the identities of many pictured are unknown, these images cause the viewer to marvel at the fate of these men and women

    When Johnny Comes Marching Home: Though the identities of many pictured are unknown, these images cause the viewer to marvel at the fate of these men and women

    Sisters? Two unidentified girls wearing identical frocks pose for a picture

    Sisters? Two unidentified girls wearing identical frocks pose for a picture

    Little patriot: A young girl holds an American flag in one hand and a ball in the other; the picture was taken between 1860 and 1870

    Little patriot: A young girl holds an American flag in one hand and a ball in the other; the picture was taken between 1860 and 1870. Three  Union ladies below.

     

    Civil War Artillery

    Civil war artillery

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    'I have been unable to make up my mind to raise my hand against my native state': General Lee's letter reveals the moment he  decided to resign the U.S. Army and join the Confederate cause 

     

    Felling torn: At the beginning of the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee found himself grappling with federal and state loyalties, but eventually came out on the side of the Confederacy

    Feeling torn: At the beginning of the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee found himself grappling with federal and state loyalties, but eventually came out on the side of the Confederacy. General Robert E. Lee may have fought on the Confederate side in the Civil War, but his true allegiance always lay with his beloved home state of Virginia, according to his newly released letter. At the outset of what was to become the bloodiest war in U.S. history, Lee was grappling with divided federal and state loyalties. He believed that he could not raise arms against the people of his state in the name of the Union, as he wrote to a friend about resigning his U.S. Army commission. ‘Sympathizing with you in the troubles that are pressing so heavily upon our beloved country & entirely agreeing with you in your notions of allegiance, I have been unable to make up my mind to raise my hand against my native state, my relatives, my children & my home,’ he wrote in 1861. ‘I have therefore resigned my commission in the Army.’ Lee will go on to lead the entire Confederate Army against the North, winning several key battles while being outnumbered by the Union forces before finally surrendering in 1865 after four bloody years to his archival General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomatox Court House.  Lee's handwritten letter is among dozens of writings from famous and ordinary individuals who experienced the war on both sides of the conflict. They are featured in the new exhibit ‘The Civil War in America’ at the library in Washington until June 2013.

    Letter Allegiance: In this 1861 letter to a young cousin, General Robert E. Lee explains that he resigned from the U.S. Army that the bond to Virginia trumps all others

     

    Allegiance: In this 1861 letter to a young cousin, General Robert E. Lee explains that he resigned from the U.S. Army  that the bond to Virginia trumps all others

    Final gesture: On the rainy morning of April 10, 1865, the day after he agreed to General Grant's terms of surrender at Appomattox Court House, General Robert E. Lee authored his famous farewell address to the Army of Northern Virginia

    Final gesture: On the rainy morning of April 10, 1865, the day after he agreed to General Grant's terms of surrender at Appomattox Court House, General Robert E. Lee authored his famous farewell address to the Army of Northern Virginia. For a limited time in 2013, the extensive display will feature the original draft of President Abraham Lincoln's preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and rarely shown copies of the Gettysburg Address. Beyond the generals and famous battles, though, curators set out to tell a broader story about what Lincoln called ‘a people's contest.’ ‘This is a war that trickled down into almost every home,’ said Civil War manuscript specialist Michelle Krowl. ‘Even people who may seem very far removed from the war are going to be impacted on some level. So it's a very human story.’ Curators laid out a chronological journey from before the first shots were fired to the deep scars soldiers brought home in the end. While some still debate the root causes of the war, for Benjamin Tucker Tanner in 1860, the cause was clear, as he wrote from South Carolina in his diary.

    Uncle Sam wants you: This poster propagates the opening recruitment drive of the 4th New Hampshire Infantry, which would go on to distinguish itself in a number of engagements, including the battles of Fair Oaks, and Cold Harbor Volunteer

    Volunteers: The poster on the left propagates the opening recruitment drive of the 4th New Hampshire Infantry, which would go on to distinguish itself in a number of battles; on the right is a photo of a Confederate soldier who looks to be in his teenage years. ‘The country seems to be bordering on a civil war all on account of slavery,’ wrote the future minister. ‘I pray God to rule and overrule all to his own glory and the good of man.’ A personal letter from Mary Todd Lincoln in 1862 was recently acquired by the library and is being publicly displayed for the first time. In the handwritten note on stationery with a black border, Mary Lincoln reveals her deep grief over the death of her son Willie months earlier. Krowl said Mary Lincoln's grief is also evident in the new movie, Lincoln, where the first lady is portrayed by Sally Fields. ‘When you read this letter ... you just get a palpable feeling of how in the depth that she's been and she's now finally coming out of her grief, at least to resume public affairs,’ Krowl said.

    Memento: Some soldiers visited photographic studios before they went off to war, leaving their portrait at home with loved ones, among them Confederate soldier James Bishop White who was captured by Union forces

    Memento: Some soldiers visited photographic studios before they went off to war, leaving their portrait at home with loved ones, among them Confederate soldier James Bishop White who was captured by Union forces

    Anaconda Plan: This 1861 cartoon propaganda map published in Cincinnati depict Union general-in-chief Winfield Scott's plan to crush the South both economically and militarily by blockading the Southern ports

    Anaconda Plan: This 1861 cartoon propaganda map published in Cincinnati depict Union general-in-chief Winfield Scott's plan to crush the South both economically and militarily by blockading the Southern ports

    Frances Clayton Frances Clayton

    Female warriors: It has been estimated that some 400 women concealed their identities and donned uniforms, among them Frances Clayton, left and right, who fought alongside her husband until his death in 1863. All the documents in the exhibit are original. They include a massive map Gen. Stonewall Jackson commissioned of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley to prepare for a major campaign. The library also is displaying personal items from Lincoln, including the contents of his pockets on the night he was assassinated, and the pocket diary of Clara Barton who would constantly record details about soldiers she met and later founded the American Red Cross. Some of the closing words come from soldiers who lost their right arms or hands in battle and had to learn to write left-handed. They joined a left-handed penmanship contest and shared their stories. ‘I think this exhibition will have a lot of resonance for people,’ said exhibit director Cheryl Regan. ‘Certainly soldiers returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are going to be incredibly moved by these stories.’

    America's bloodiest war could be about to get even bloodier - 150 years after it finished. Nearly a century and a half after the last shot was fired in America's Civil War a historian has claimed the body count could be much higher than estimates suggest. The long-accepted death toll of 620,000 between 1861 and 1865, cited by historians since 1900, was reconsidered by Binghamton University history demographics professor J. David Hacker.

    Reconsidered: The bodies of Confederate soldiers killed during the Battle of Antietam lie along Hagerstown Pike, Maryland, on September 18, 1862

    Reconsidered: The bodies of Confederate soldiers killed during the Battle of Antietam lie along Hagerstown Pike, Maryland, on September 18, 1862. In research published in Civil War History, Prof Hacker said he's uncovered evidence that the toll is actually closer to 750,000. 'That number just sat there - 620,000 - for a century,' said Lesley Gordon, a professor at the University of Akron and editor of the journal, a 57-year-old publication considered the pre-eminent publication in its field. Now, that figure 'doesn't feel right anymore,' said Gordon.The buzz Prof Hacker's new estimate has created among academic circles comes in the second year of the nation's Civil War sesquicentennial. The event has become a five-year period during which new ways to educate and inform America about its most devastating war. Fresh exhibits have been presented across the country and living history events that highlight the role Hispanics, blacks and American Indians played in the war.

    Interest: Painting of the Confederate Louisiana Brigade throwing stones at advancing Federal Army of the Potomac at the second Battle of Bull Run 1862

    Interest: Painting of the Confederate Louisiana Brigade throwing stones at advancing Federal Army of the Potomac at the second Battle of Bull Run 1862

    A Confederate cemetery in Vicksburg's Civil War Site. The long-accepted death toll of 620,000 between 1861 and 1865 is being reassessed

    A Confederate cemetery in Vicksburg's Civil War Site. The long-accepted death toll of 620,000 between 1861 and 1865 is being reassessed

    Interest in the Civil War among academics is very high because of the sesquicentennial. Here re-enactors gather at Gettysburg

    Interest in the Civil War among academics is very high because of the sesquicentennial. Here re-enactors gather at Gettysburg. Among the published material are articles and books that look at guerrilla warfare in the border states, an overlooked battleground where civilian populations often fell victim to the fighting. Such work represents 'the new direction' some are taking in an effort to offer fresh Civil War topics for Americans to examine, Gordon said. 'They think about Lincoln, they think about Gettysburg, they think about Robert E. Lee,' Gordon said. 'They don't think about this often brutal warfare going on in peoples' backyards.' The National Parks Service is featuring some of the lesser-known stories of the Civil War in its commemoration plans.

    Nearly 150 years after the last fusillade of the Civil War, historians, authors and museum curators are still finding new topics to explore

    Nearly 150 years after the last fusillade of the Civil War, historians, authors and museum curators are still finding new topics to explore. The parks agency has published a 41-page booklet on the role of the nation's Latino communities in the war, with another planned from the Native American perspective. These stories, and those of escaped slaves and free-born blacks who fought for the Union, are an important part of the nation's history, according to Bob Sutton, chief historian for the National Parks Service. He pointed to the recent 150th commemoration of the heroics of Robert Smalls, who commandeered a Confederate ammunition steamboat along with several other fellow slaves, picked up their families, sailed out of Charleston's harbor and surrendered the ship to the Union fleet blockading the South Carolina coast.

     

    Confederate General Robert E. Lee was commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, the most successful of the Southern armies during the American Civil War. 'The impact of this one incident went well beyond the incident itself,' said Mr Sutton. 'It was a major catalyst for the Union to recognise the value to starting to raise black troops. Even that story was downplayed until relatively recently. The impact of 200,000 black soldiers and sailors in the Union war effort was a critical boost.' As for the death toll, many historians have fully embraced Hacker's higher number, among them James McPherson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'Battle Cry of Freedom.' 'It drives home even more forcefully the human cost of the Civil War, which was enormous,' said Mr McPherson, professor emeritus in Princeton University's history department. 'And it makes it more understandable why it took the South so long to recover.' Prof Hacker, an expert in 19th-century demographics, said he was studying the steady decline in United States birthrates when he kept bumping into the Civil War and its impact on the nation's population growth in the 1800s. He decided to recalculate the war's mortality rate for males, using recently digitized Census results from the two national population counts before the war and the two after. 'If there's one figure you could use to measure the war's cost, this is the one statistic,' said Prof Hacker, an associate professor in the university's history department. 'It's the death toll. Hey, let's get that one right.' Prof Hacker didn't try to differentiate each side's total deaths, and he doesn't know how many of the additional 130,000 fatalities were Union and how many were Confederate. His new estimate includes men who died of disease in the years immediately after the war, and men who died of war wounds before the 1870 census. It also includes thousands of civilian men and irregulars who were casualties of widespread guerrilla warfare in Missouri, Kansas and other border states. Prof Hacker's work, unlike some other Civil War topics, is being hailed both in the North and in the South. 'It finally gives substance, with some really fine research, to what some people have been saying for years, that (620,000) was an undercount,' John Coski, historian at The Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia.

    African Americans collect the remains of soldiers killed in battle near Cold Harbor, Virginia, in April of 1865.

    Confederate dead lie among rifles and other gear, behind a stone wall at the foot of Marye's Heights near Fredericksburg, Virginia on May 3, 1863. Union forces penetrated the Confederate lines at this point, during the Second Battle of Fredericksburg.

    "A harvest of death", a famous scene from the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania, in July of 1863(Timothy H.

    O'Sullivan/LOC)

     

       

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