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Civil War Photographers

American Civil War Photography in Metropolitan museum.Created by: PICRYLDated: 2019
General Robert E. Lee
Hundreds of photographers whose names may never be known made their living following the armies during the Civil War. They worked out in the field tents and traveled at a moment’s notice. Photographers recorded the faces of tens of thousands of soldiers: new recruits and veterans—producing a vast likeness of American society.

Many Civil War photographers began their careers as apprentices to Mathew B. Brady, America's self-appointed photographic "historian." Initially, a small corps of photographers copied maps and charts for the Union's Secret Service, which were distributed as photographic prints to both field and division commanders.

During the Civil War, most photographers worked with the collodion-on-glass negatives, which required delicate and laborious procedures even in the studio. When the photographer was ready for action, a sheet of glass was cleaned, coated with collodion, partially dried, dipped carefully into a bath containing nitrate of silver, then exposed in the camera for several seconds and processed in the field darkroom tent--all before the silver collodion mixture had dried. Given the danger of their situation and the technical difficulty of their task, front-line photographers rarely if ever attempted action scenes.

Civil War photographers produced vast photographic documentation of the Civil War. Despite decades of painstaking research by dedicated historians and Civil War buffs, a large number of the era's photographs remain unidentified.
1860
1860
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1908
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1908
91 Media in collectionpage 1 of 1
[Maneuvers, Union Cavalry, Winter Quarters].  Brady album, p. 127

[Maneuvers, Union Cavalry, Winter Quarters]. Brady album, p. 127

Formerly attributed to Mathew B. Brady (American, born Ireland, 1823?–1896 New York)

Confederate Trestle Work on Alexandria Railroad

Confederate Trestle Work on Alexandria Railroad

Andrew Joseph Russell (American, 1830–1902)

Union Cavalry Winter Quarters

Union Cavalry Winter Quarters

Formerly attributed to Mathew B. Brady (American, born Ireland, 1823?–1896 New York)

Confederate Fortifications, Yorktown, Virginia

Confederate Fortifications, Yorktown, Virginia

James F. Gibson (American, born 1828)

Confederate Earthworks, Centreville, Virginia

Confederate Earthworks, Centreville, Virginia

George N. Barnard (American, 1819–1902)

Bull Run. Bridge near Union Mills (destroyed seven times)

Bull Run. Bridge near Union Mills (destroyed seven times)

Timothy H. O'Sullivan (American, born Ireland, 1840–1882)

Confederate Earthworks, Belle Plain, Virginia

Confederate Earthworks, Belle Plain, Virginia

James Gardner (American, born 1832)

Camp of Confederate Prisoners at Belle Plain, May 12, 1863

Camp of Confederate Prisoners at Belle Plain, May 12, 1863

Timothy H. O'Sullivan (American, born Ireland, 1840–1882)

Confederate Prisoners at Belle Plain, May 12

Confederate Prisoners at Belle Plain, May 12

Timothy H. O'Sullivan (American, born Ireland, 1840–1882)

Confederate Prisoners at Belle Plain

Confederate Prisoners at Belle Plain

Timothy H. O'Sullivan (American, born Ireland, 1840–1882)

Dead Confederates, Fort Mahone

Dead Confederates, Fort Mahone

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895)

Dead Confederates, Fort Mahone

Dead Confederates, Fort Mahone

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895)

Outer Confederate Line at Petersburg. Captured by 18th Corps, June 15, 1864

Outer Confederate Line at Petersburg. Captured by 18th Corps, June 15,...

Timothy H. O'Sullivan (American, born Ireland, 1840–1882)

Confederate Fortifications, Petersburg

Confederate Fortifications, Petersburg

Timothy H. O'Sullivan (American, born Ireland, 1840–1882)

Outer Confederate Line, Petersburg, Captured June 15, 1864

Outer Confederate Line, Petersburg, Captured June 15, 1864

Timothy H. O'Sullivan (American, born Ireland, 1840–1882)

Confederate Torpedoes Taken from James River

Confederate Torpedoes Taken from James River

Formerly attributed to Mathew B. Brady (American, born Ireland, 1823?–1896 New York)

[A Union Station on the James River Established for Extracting Gunpowder from Confederate Torpedoes]

[A Union Station on the James River Established for Extracting Gunpowd...

Attributed to Egbert Guy Fowx (American, born 1821)

Dead Confederate Soldier at Fort Mahone, Petersburg

Dead Confederate Soldier at Fort Mahone, Petersburg

Formerly attributed to Mathew B. Brady (American, born Ireland, 1823?–1896 New York)

Confederate Prisoners for Exchange, Cox's Landing, James River

Confederate Prisoners for Exchange, Cox's Landing, James River

Andrew Joseph Russell (American, 1830–1902)

[A Union Station on the James River Established for Extracting Gunpowder from Confederate Torpedoes]

[A Union Station on the James River Established for Extracting Gunpowd...

Attributed to Egbert Guy Fowx (American, born 1821)

Outer Confederate Line, Petersburg, Captured June 15, 1864

Outer Confederate Line, Petersburg, Captured June 15, 1864

Timothy H. O'Sullivan (American, born Ireland, 1840–1882)

Smokestack of Confederate Ram Merrimac at Richmond/Remains of Ironclad Ram "Virginia #2", April, 1865

Smokestack of Confederate Ram Merrimac at Richmond/Remains of Ironclad...

Alexander Gardner (American, Glasgow, Scotland 1821–1882 Washington, D.C.)

Civil War (Guerre Civile)

Civil War (Guerre Civile)

Édouard Manet (French, Paris 1832–1883 Paris)

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895) , et al