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 Posted: Fri Oct 17th, 2008 01:39 pm
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Widow
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Pam, an excellent thread.

Can't remember where I read it, but during Sherman's Atlanta Campaign, all the commanders received identical copies of maps before an assault.  The original map was photographed at HQS and overnight the copies were printed on linen, so they wouldn't tear.  In that way everybody used the same place names, knew the relative distances between units, etc.

Modern technology for a modern war, hm?

Patty



 Posted: Fri Oct 17th, 2008 01:54 pm
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Widow
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Johan, you said --

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.

Are you speaking about the scene that was replicated in the movie "Gettysburg" when Lt. Chamberlain chatted with the Tennessee boys captured in the railroad cut?

I had no idea that any photographers were that close to the combat zones during the battle.  I believe that image was a drawing by Winslow Homer, rather than a photograph.  He called it "Prisoners from the Front." 

Patty



 Posted: Fri Oct 17th, 2008 02:54 pm
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Widow
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Cleburne Fan,
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.
You've no doubt seen the series of pictures made by Gardner of Grant conferring with his staff and subordinate commanders.  They were outside under a tree, sitting on church pews - which leads me to assume Gardner was standing on the second floor of the church.  In one, Grant was behind somebody who had a map, and Grant was leaning over the man's shoulder to see the map.  Did Gardner ever work in the western theater?  If not, then I suppose this series was made during the Overland Campaign.

Another set taken in quick succession was made by Brady.  It was the hanging of the six Booth conspirators.

Both series are about as close as we'll ever get to movies.  Brady and Gardner were inching toward that concept.

Patty



 Posted: Fri Oct 17th, 2008 03:14 pm
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Widow
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Johan,

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.But remember, some of those fearsome weapons were props owned by the photographer.  Maybe a few of the uniforms too.  After all, the boys wanted to look like soldiers, not like civilians fresh from the enlistment office.  OK, let's assume the props were authentic, but still, a bit of caution to the researcher looking for reality.

Men, women, and children all looked so solemn.  Did anybody ever say cheese for the camera?  My guess is no, and I can offer two thoughts as to why.

First, people wanted to be remembered as serious and responsible adults.  Not as grinning idiots.

Second, a lot of people had bad teeth.  No sense preserving that for posterity.

Patty aka Widow



 Posted: Fri Oct 17th, 2008 03:39 pm
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The photograph is one of the most famous of the war , the three captured rebel soldiers standing next to a fence.  NOT the Winslow Homer painting.

Second the photos of Grant and his staff was NOT taken by Gardner but Timothy O Sullivan from the second story of the church though a window

Thirdly people did not smile in pictures as they had to hold a pose for a period of time to expose the film.  Much easier to sit without smiling than to try and smile for a number of minutes.   Had nothing to do with bad teeth or solemn occasion .

 

Last edited on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 03:40 pm by susansweet



 Posted: Fri Oct 17th, 2008 03:43 pm
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Widow
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Thanks, Susan, your details set me straight.

Patty aka Widow



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 Posted: Fri Oct 17th, 2008 04:30 pm
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Three Confederate Prisoners at Gettysburg 1863 Poster from Zazzle.com



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 Posted: Fri Oct 17th, 2008 11:32 pm
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pamc153PA
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I think the series of photos of Grant, Meade, etc. sitting outside on pews was the Massaponax Church in VA. I particularly like it because it's unposed, which was rare at the time, and that means you get a sort of "fly-on-the-wall" snapshot of the men. You see postures and facial expressions you don't on the more common posed shots. It probably IS as close to movies of the time as we'll get.

As far as I know, there are not many actual shots of actual battles (I can think of only one particular picture). You might think its because it was a dangerous feat to set up your camera in the midst of battle, but actually it would take so long to set up a shot  in a battle that the colloidian on the glass negatives often dries, not to mention that in a battle no one stays still, so you'd end up with a big blur (which many soldiers might say was how they remembered the battle, anyway!). But I wish there were more battle photos.

Thanks for all the links folks!

Pam

 



 Posted: Sat Oct 18th, 2008 01:33 am
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Re: The dead sniper. There was another picture of a dead Confederate lying on more level ground. There is considerable conviction that that particular body was moved into the rocks and posed there with the rifle improbably leaning against the wall. In some quarters you can get into a serious argument about its authenticity.

Don't much care whether it was posed or not; it's a powerful image.

Re: The three POWs. These guys were not captured in battle. It's a bit hard to imagine they were captured after a long march. They're just too neat and their equippage is too complete. (Note also that they're not posed at a fence.) However, it's still one of the most famous pictures of the period.

Just a thought.

ole



 Posted: Sat Oct 18th, 2008 01:47 am
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Johan Steele
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http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16158&highlight=Punch+Bowl

has some superb close ups of the men in the "Punch Bowl"

http://civilwartalk.com/forums/reenactors-forum/22928-3-confederate-prisoners-gettysburg-photo-help.html

Has some interesting bits about the 3 prisoners of Gettysburg fame.



 Posted: Sat Oct 18th, 2008 01:59 am
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http://www.jamescgroves.com/henry/hcp1a.htm A superb analysis of the "Sharpshooters Den" photo... it convinced me.



 Posted: Sat Oct 18th, 2008 02:01 am
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Widow wrote: Johan,

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.But remember, some of those fearsome weapons were props owned by the photographer.  Maybe a few of the uniforms too.  After all, the boys wanted to look like soldiers, not like civilians fresh from the enlistment office.  OK, let's assume the props were authentic, but still, a bit of caution to the researcher looking for reality.

Men, women, and children all looked so solemn.  Did anybody ever say cheese for the camera?  My guess is no, and I can offer two thoughts as to why.

First, people wanted to be remembered as serious and responsible adults.  Not as grinning idiots.

Second, a lot of people had bad teeth.  No sense preserving that for posterity.

Patty aka Widow

Widow, I usually try to avoid the studio pics.  THere are quite a few that are far from posed but all are interesting... no fascinating.



 Posted: Sun Oct 19th, 2008 04:27 am
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Mr Hess53
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Widow wrote:

Another set taken in quick succession was made by Brady.  It was the hanging of the six Booth conspirators.



The photos of the July 7, 1865 hanging of the Lincoln Conspiritors were taken by Alexander Gardner. And there were only 4 executed.



 

Attachment: hanging1.jpg (Downloaded 49 times)

Last edited on Sun Oct 19th, 2008 04:28 am by Mr Hess53



 Posted: Thu Oct 23rd, 2008 06:36 am
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This picture ( http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cwpb.01402 ), taken at Cumberland Landing n May 1862 is my personal favourite. The camera angle is such that I feel like I'm right behind the sitting soldiers overlooking the encampment.
One day I downloaded a 20megapixel version from the Library of Congress. It was as if the camp, previously a smudge, came alive. I can see men lined up for roll call, haversacks on tents, arms stacked, men preparing horses, pots boiling over fires, and so on. I never realised such detail was in the picture but it gives me a great sense of the bustle of an encampment.



 Posted: Sun Oct 26th, 2008 06:43 pm
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Sometimes, Civil War photographs can be the source of a mystery. For instance, shortly after the battle of Shiloh, a photographer took the time and expense to make the trek to the isolated battlefield, probably by boat, lugged his or her equipment off the boat and up the bluff...and took all of three photographs. To the best of my knowledge, they are the only wartime photographs of Shiloh known to exist. Which when you think about it, is rather astonishing all by itself. The identity of the person who took them is unknown. As is the reason why they only took three photos. Assuming that's all they actually did take.

Two of the photos are nearly identical images of Pittsburg Landing itself, showing several boats crowded along the shoreline. The other image is of the large, 24-pound siege guns located along Grant's Last Line, not far from the landing. So in essence, it could be said that only one photo of the actual battlefield exists that dates to 1862.

Why on earth would someone go the trouble of hauling that all that awkward 19th Century photography equipment to a remote spot like Pittsburg Landing, with the apparent intention of photographing what was at that time the site of the largest, bloodiest battle in American history...and only take three pictures? Something doesn't add up. Did they take more shots that didn't turn out? Did they get lost somewhere along the way? Maybe the camera broke somehow after only three shots? Or did the developing chemicals go bad for some reason? There has to be some explanation. You don't make that trip, with all that equipment, and then only take three pictures of what had just become the war's most famous battlefield.

Anyway, as is often the case with Civil War pictures, you can still pick out some interesting details by studying these three. For instance, in the shots of the landing you can make out several things, including wagons apparently taking supplies off the boats, and what appear to be storage crates piled nearby, with more still on the boats, waiting to be unloaded. You can also see several trees near the river have been cut down, leaving only stumps behind, as well as a small log cabin off to the left. In the background can barely be seen one of the gunboats that took part in the battle on April 6th. You can even make out some of the flag poles on the front of the boats. All in all, a good snapshot of what the landing area looked like around the time of the battle. With a little imagination you can picture the chaos that existed on that very spot on April 6th.

The picture of the siege guns is interesting for several reasons, one of which is that, in the background, you can make out a couple of sibley tents, the kind used by Grant's army prior to the battle. They are probably from W.H.L. Wallace's division, which was camped in this area before the battle. You can also make out what appears to be a small earthwork just behind the siege guns. This might be the source of another mystery, as from what I understand, the only known earthworks thrown up during the battle, and still visible, are a bit further west down the line from where the siege guns were supposed to have been located. Perhaps the one in the picture was built after the battle, but I honestly don't know.

I haven't been able to locate any good online images of these three pictures, but if you have a copy of Larry Daniel's book on the battle, you can see one of the landing pictures as well as two copies of the siege gun picture. One of which is just inside the front cover of the hardback edition.

Perry



 Posted: Sun Oct 26th, 2008 07:06 pm
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ole wrote: 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
There actually was a process know as "photogravure" that was designed to do just that....unfortunately from what I've gathered it was still in it's developmental stage.

http://www.photogravure.com/history/chapter_niepce.html

I have a photogravure plate of my Great Grandfather in his Confederate uniform from the early 1900's...still don't know why he had it made...possibly for some newspaper article or something of that nature.




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