Civil War Interactive Discussion Board Home
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register


Importance of Civil War photography - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
 Moderated by: javal1 Page:    1  2  3  Next Page Last Page  
 New Topic   Reply   Printer Friendly 
 Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Tue Oct 14th, 2008 11:58 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
1st Post
pamc153PA
Member
 

Joined: Sat Jun 14th, 2008
Location: Boyertown, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 407
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Hi all,

Here's a topic that I happen to like, and I know a few of you on this board are really into, but it's one that I haven't really read any discussion about: photography and the Civil War.

I'll admit to owning quite a few of William Frassanito's books, and I'll even admit to spending several sweltering afternoons on the Gettysburg battlefield, trying to match up photos from the battle's aftermath with the present landscape on the Rose farm (try matching rocks with rocks sometime!). I'm really fascinated with the then/now photos of battlefields,  have a pretty sizeable collection of carte-de-visites, and a very huge collection of photos I have taken at every battlefield I've been to. But I also am interested in how photography was important at the time of the war itself--obviously, it was important enough for Lincoln to give permission for Brady to accompany the AoP to Manassas to document the "quick and easy" battle (at which Brady then lost his wagons and equipment to the Confederates in the melee that ensued afterward). I think it was important to the men in the field as well (i.e. the carte-de-visites business), and of course used as a sort of propaganda after Antietam, showing the public what their dead sons looked like on the battlefield. And that's not to mention how Civil War photography is historically important now.

This is a topic I don't think we've talked about much, at least that I can recall, and I'd be interested in finding out what everyone thinks about the role of what was the relatively new process of "making pictures" in the CW.

Pam



You have chosen to ignore JDC Duncan. click Here to view this post


 Posted: Wed Oct 15th, 2008 01:27 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
3rd Post
ole
Member


Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 2027
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I can't think of any technical advantage devolving from the use of photographs. I do think however, if the printing industry had the capability of reproducing a photo, the sight of the swollen bodies on both sides would have raised such a cry that it's not too hard to imagine a shorter war.

ole



 Posted: Wed Oct 15th, 2008 01:46 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
4th Post
Dixie Girl
Southern Belle


Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 850
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

JDC Duncan wrote: where's JoanieReb when you REALLY need her ?

who knows???? i been wonderin that myself.....hey didnt we clear this up earlier, JoanieReb and Rebel Yell ran away to Mexico :P:P:P

Last edited on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 01:46 am by Dixie Girl



____________________
War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


You have chosen to ignore Bama46. click Here to view this post


 Posted: Wed Oct 15th, 2008 02:51 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
6th Post
CleburneFan
Member


Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

There is a book that does exactly that--match the photos with what Gettysburg looks like now. I think it is called "Gettysburg Then and Now." Let me check and see if I can find the right name. I have the book, but I keep some books at my mother's house--you know--the overflow.

Last edited on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 02:53 am by CleburneFan



 Posted: Wed Oct 15th, 2008 03:00 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
7th Post
javal1
Grumpy Geezer


Joined: Thu Sep 1st, 2005
Location: Tennessee USA
Posts: 1503
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

There is a book that does exactly that--match the photos with what Gettysburg looks like now. I think it is called "Gettysburg Then and Now."

That's Frassanito. A true pioneer. and Bama, you're not the only one to do that. He's given many of us hours, days, and weeks of understanding because we've done the same thing. He also has one on the lower eastern theater, I'll have to find it. Frassanito books will open your eyes about many things, and if you ever get the chance to meet him and sit and talk with him, you'll find he's a down-to-earth, sometimes shy, regular guy. He used to have a Civil War photography group which had a website, but can't remember the name. Will check on it...



 Posted: Wed Oct 15th, 2008 03:22 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
8th Post
javal1
Grumpy Geezer


Joined: Thu Sep 1st, 2005
Location: Tennessee USA
Posts: 1503
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Gettysburg, Then & Now: Touring the Battlefield With Old Photos

 Early Photography At Gettysburg

Gettysburg: A Journey In Time

Antietam: The Photographic Legacy...

Gettysburg Then & Now Companion

Grant & Lee: The Virginia Campaigns

These are all of Frassanito's books. Each one is worth every penny.



 Posted: Wed Oct 15th, 2008 05:08 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
9th Post
susansweet
Member


Joined: Sun Sep 4th, 2005
Location: California USA
Posts: 1420
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Drat Joe , I thought I had all of Frassanito's books and you list a couple I don't have . The Grant and Lee one I know I don't have.

I have spent hours looking at those books I do have. I have not been to Gettysburg since I bought them so can't do the match up but would love to do that one day.

I am a big Gardner Fan. I have his two books and find my self studying the pictures.
I also have the huge Civil War book of pictures. Spent hours looking at that one .

I also have several Brady books . I can never get enough of looking at the pictures. I like the ones of the men in camp. I look into the faces of those young men and wonder who they were and what happened to them.
Susan



You have chosen to ignore Bama46. click Here to view this post


 Posted: Wed Oct 15th, 2008 06:52 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
11th Post
TimK
Member
 

Joined: Thu Apr 10th, 2008
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 311
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I'm not sure if this is what Pam is looking for, but following up a little bit on what Susan said - one of the multitude of reasons that this period of time fascinates me is because of the photographs. We have a pretty good idea of how the characters of the Revolutionary period looked, like Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, etc. However, we don't know for sure exactly what they looked like, nor what the everyday Joe looked like. We know exactly what the main characters and the everyday soldier from the CW looked like - and they look like us. That to me, brings it that much closer to home.



 Posted: Wed Oct 15th, 2008 11:18 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
12th Post
susansweet
Member


Joined: Sun Sep 4th, 2005
Location: California USA
Posts: 1420
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Tim that is exactly what I think each time I look at the photos.  I see people that look so modern if they were wearing modern clothes.  I see young men doing the same silly things young men do today to show off.  There is a wonderful picture taken in camp of two guys pretending to box.  You can spend hours studying everything going on in the picture. 

I do the same with Dust Bowl period pictures by Lange. 

Susan



 Posted: Wed Oct 15th, 2008 11:40 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
13th Post
pamc153PA
Member
 

Joined: Sat Jun 14th, 2008
Location: Boyertown, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 407
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Tim, this is turning into a good thread, doesn't matter what I was looking for, because this is it.

I thought I was the only numbskull (sp?) trying to find rocks, outcroppings, etc. under overgrown brush, and then feeling really proud of myself when I could hold a period picture at the right angle to "transpose" it over what the Rose woods looks like today. Part of it is seeing what 145 years has done to a battlefield, but part of it is physically knowing I am standing where this regiment stood, or Brady or Gardner stood, or even (gross!) where that row of bodies fell in the Wheatfield. Something really cool about that for me.

As for the Frassanito books Joe mentioned, I have all of them but the Antietam one, plus a couple of those Gettysburg Then and Now books. My latest good one is Historic Photos of Gettysburg by John S. Salmon.

Susan, I like what you said about seeing in the young men in the historic photos the same things as you'd see today--kind of brings the war closer, and humanizes it. And the Grant and Lee Frassanito book is one of the best, in my opinion.

Pam



 Posted: Wed Oct 15th, 2008 11:57 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
14th Post
CleburneFan
Member


Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I do find myself wishing that moving picture film, even a very primitive form, had been developed by then. It would be awesome to see films of some battles and camp scenes and even hospital scenes, etc. I would love to see Grant, Sherman, Lee, Forrest, Custer, Cleburne, Jackson, Stuart, Davis, Lincoln on moving film.



 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 02:14 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
15th Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

The one thing that everyone seems to be missing is the value of the CDV for the researcher. You can actually see how the uniforms and equipment was worn, how hair was combed etc. It is an invaluable tool to the researcher and has even gone so far as to smash preconceptions. As an example a researcher did a photo study of all known existing CS photos concentrating upon the dead and POW shots to get a feel for how the average CS soldier was actually clothed and what kind of physical condition he was in. Through all the photos, about 1300 IIRC, he found only a few shoeless or for that matter ragged rebel troops. What he found were superb examples of soldiers who took great pride in their personal appearance and who appeared to be in suprisingly healthy shape. I believe the gent has worked it into a masters thesis. I've heard much about it but not actually seen the work.

A couple well known examples were the famous "Punch Bowl" photos of ANV men captured in the last mos of the war and the Three defiant Prisoners at Gettysburg. The Gettysburg pic in particular was interesting for the analysis... they were stragglers... quite well clad, shod & fed.

The study of the photography can lead to fascinating discoveries.



 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 02:30 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
16th Post
CleburneFan
Member


Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

That is a very interesting perspective, Johan. I must admit I typically think of CS soldiers, particularly by 1864 and into 1865 as being gaunt, ragged and shoeless. I also imagine the horses and mules to be boney and sickly, foaming at the mouth from lack of fodder.  

I have this picture in mind because one so often reads about infantry who march fifteen or eighteen miles in one day with nothing more than hardtack or a stale biscuit for breakfast and dinner. The combination of such hard marching and so little food would have to take a toll. Also shoes in those days barely stood up to the rigors of long marches, especially those that took place in mud, swamps or on stoney surfaces.

Now one has to wonder if such accounts are exaggerated or something that happened seldom but were heavily reported because the events were so extraordinary and made for dramatic reading in newspapers, letters home, journals and memoirs. I really would like to know the reality.



You have chosen to ignore JDC Duncan. click Here to view this post


 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 06:12 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
18th Post
susansweet
Member


Joined: Sun Sep 4th, 2005
Location: California USA
Posts: 1420
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

That picture of the three soldiers at Gettysburg has always been a favorite of mine .
Miss Susan



 Posted: Thu Oct 16th, 2008 03:14 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
19th Post
David White
Member


Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 909
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

In reviewing my ANV GGGF's pretty extensive NA file, I was surprised to see how many times he was issued clothing during the war. Kind of puts a damper on the myth of the ragged Confederate. Based on my reading, it seems the ANV was probably it's raggediest (is that a word?) during the Maryland Campaign in 1862 and that was not from a lack of supply but more to the constant fighting since June that had precluded opportunities to issue new clothing.



 Posted: Fri Oct 17th, 2008 01:44 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
20th Post
ole
Member


Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 2027
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Bingo, David! We tend to take an slice of time and apply that as a brush to color the duration. There were other times when it was noted that the Rebs were hungry, ill-equpped, raggedy and shoeless, but none of that translates into "all the time." It does, however, remain that the Rebs went without more often than the Yanks -- increasingly so as the months rolled by.

Most welcome was your reminding us that each negative observation was made after a rigorous campaign during which there was no time to re-equip.

Thanks.

ole



 Current time is 02:43 pmPage:    1  2  3  Next Page Last Page  
Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.4508 seconds (10% database + 90% PHP). 31 queries executed.