Plate 16
Inspections of Troops at Cumberland Landing.
Plate 46
Provost Marshal's Office.
Plate 49
General Post-Office, Army of the Potomac.
Plate 63
Breaking Camp.
Plate 76
A Fancy Group, Army of the Potomac.
Plate 77
Army Forge.

Plate 77
Army Forge. Front of Petersburg, Virginia
August, 1864
Photographed by David Knox

This photograph represents one of the forges used by the army at Petersburg, and was taken during the intense heat of a summer day. The trees in the distance were dimly seen through the tremulous air, and pine twigs droop from the eaves of the hut as if a fire had scorched them. The hoofs of the horse are buried in burning dust, and the boots of the men are loaded with powdered earth. By the tall pine in the back-ground, a little tent seems to be vainly seeking the shadow, while over all glares a hot sky, without a cloud to relieve the weary eyes. The parched ground and arid appearance of the landscape was characteristic of the country about Petersburg, where the constant movements of troops crushed out vegetation. Forests, houses, and fences were swept away, and the fields were transformed into vast commons, where the winds raised clouds of sand, and covered everything with the sacred soil. On these glaring deserts, with no covering but the shelter tent and withered brush, the army toiled and fought through many months, filling th valleys with graves, and sapping the vigor of men in the prime of life. Many are the dead that might now be living but for the poison of those torrid days, and all through the land are feeble veterans, who look back upon that campaign as does the pilgrim on his journeyings across the great Sahara.

Caption taken from original text, Plate 77, Vol. II,
Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War

(Washington: Philp & Solomons, 1865-66)
v


click to view full image
Army Forge. Front of Petersburg. August, 1864. Photographed by David Knox

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