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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.
91 Media in collectionpage 1 of 1
Confederate Fortifications, Yorktown, Virginia

Confederate Fortifications, Yorktown, Virginia

James F. Gibson (American, born 1828)

[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

[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)

[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

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

[Picture Gallery Photographs]
[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

Union Cavalry Winter Quarters

Union Cavalry Winter Quarters

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

[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

The Evacuation of Fort Sumter
[Civil War View]

[Civil War View]

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

Confederate Trestle Work on Alexandria Railroad

Confederate Trestle Work on Alexandria Railroad

Andrew Joseph Russell (American, 1830–1902)

Hamilton's Floating Battery Moored at the End of Sullivan's Island the Night Before They Opened Fire upon Fort Sumter
[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

Private George Ruoss, Co. G, 7th New York Volunteers
[Family Group], 19th century
Fortifications, Manassas, 19th century
Confederate Soldier [on the Battlefield at Antietam]
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)

[Supply Steamers at Nashville, Tennessee]
Confederate Earthworks, Centreville, Virginia

Confederate Earthworks, Centreville, Virginia

George N. Barnard (American, 1819–1902)

[President Abraham Lincoln, Major General John A. McClernand (right), and E. J. Allen (Allan Pinkerton, left), Chief of the Secret Service of the United States, at Secret Service Department, Headquarters Army of the Potomac, near  Antietam, Maryland]
[Antietam Battlefield], 19th century
Negroes (Gwine to de Field), Hopkinson's Plantation, Edisto Island, South Carolina
Ruins of Mrs. Henry's House, Battlefield of Bull Run
Quaker Gun, Centreville, Virginia
End of the Bridge after Burnside's Attack, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Slave Pen, Alexandria, Virginia
Field Where General Reynolds Fell, Gettysburg
Confederate Prisoners at Belle Plain

Confederate Prisoners at Belle Plain

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)

Frank Wyatt, One of General Dodge's Band, Corinth, Mississippi
Confederate Method of Destroying Rail Roads at McCloud Mill, Virginia
Confederate Earthworks, Belle Plain, Virginia

Confederate Earthworks, Belle Plain, Virginia

James Gardner (American, born 1832)

Armory Square Hospital, Washington
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)

[Orange and Alexandria Railroad Bridge, near Union Mills, Virginia]
Gettysburg Wheat Field
Part of Construction Corps Building New Military Truss Bridge Across Bull Run
Wheat–Field in Which General Reynolds Was Shot
Sergeant Alex Rogers with Battle Flag, Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, Third Brigade, First Division, Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac
Dead Confederates, Fort Mahone

Dead Confederates, Fort Mahone

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895)

[Four Officers], 19th century
Scene of General McPherson's Death
Sergeant John Lincoln Clem, The Drummer Boy of Chickamauga
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)

[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)

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

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

Andrew Joseph Russell (American, 1830–1902)

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)

Pennsylvania Light Artillery, Battery B, Petersburg, Virginia
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)

White House Landing, Pamunkey River
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)

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)

General Grant's Council of War, Massaponax Church, Virginia
Dead Confederates, Fort Mahone

Dead Confederates, Fort Mahone

Thomas C. Roche (American, 1826–1895)

Confederate Fortifications, Petersburg

Confederate Fortifications, Petersburg

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

Brigadier General Gustavus A. DeRussy and Staff on Steps of Arlington House, Arlington, Virginia
Copying Maps, Photographic Headquarters, Petersburg, Virginia
[The Wilderness Battlefield, near Spotsylvania, Virginia]
Ruins of Gallego Flour Mills, Richmond
Ruins of Richmond & Petersburg Railroad Bridge, Richmond, Virginia
Ordnance Wharf, City Point, Virginia
[Ordnance Wharf, City Point, Virginia]
Execution of the Conspirators
Ruins in Carey Street, Richmond
Bridge on Orange and Alexandria Rail Road, as Repaired by Army Engineers under Colonel Herman Haupt
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.)

General Robert E. Lee
Excised Knee Joint. A Round Musket Ball in the Inner Condyle of the Right Femur [Gardiner Lewis, Company B, Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers]
Artillery, Musician, 19th century
Light Artillery, Sergeant Major
Ordnance, Private, 19th century
Fatigue, Marching Order
Artillery, Quartermaster Sergeant
Hanging Rock, Foot of Echo Cañon
Chinese Civil War (Guerre Civile)

Chinese Civil War (Guerre Civile)

Édouard Manet (French, Paris 1832–1883 Paris)

[Lynching, Russellville, Kentucky]