Plate 34
Group of Confederate Prisoners.
Plate 36
A Harvest of Death.
Plate 41
Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter.
Plate 79
The Pulpit.
Plate 89
Libby Prison.
Plate 91
Ruins of the Arsenal.
Plate 94
A Burial Party.

“The Blank Horror”: War and its Victims

Gardner’s photographers did not whitewash the gruesome reality of the battlefield. Following the army’s movements closely, they sometimes set up cameras while combat was still underway. Frequently, they arrived at battle scenes before casualties had been buried, as some of the following images demonstrate.

Casualties were not only human: photographers captured the skeletal remains of the city of Richmond after Lee’s army retreated from the Southern capital in April, 1865. Fleeing troops had set fire to munitions warehouses; the explosions triggered fires that destroyed much of the business section of the city and over 1,000 buildings.

Plate 34. Group of Confederate Prisoners
Plate 36. A Harvest of Death
Plate 41. Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter
Plate 79. The Pulpit
Plate 89. Libby Prison, Richmond
Plate 91. Ruins of the Arsenal, Richmond
Plate 94. A Burial Party


click to view full image
A Burial Party. Cold Harbor, Virginia, April, 1865. Albumen print photograph by John Reekie.

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