20 compelling photos from the Civil War.
November 19, 2008 7:20 AM   Subscribe

20 photos from the Civil War via listverse
posted by lobstah (16 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
wow - really profound photos. i love black and white photography and just starting to get more interested in history too. thanks for posting!
posted by john c. at 7:28 AM on November 19, 2008

The one that notes Lincoln's height especially struck me. Given Lincoln's 6'4", everyone else in that picture is about 5'7"-5'9", which is below today's male average. I've heard that as a claim before but I've also heard it "debunked".
posted by DU at 7:40 AM on November 19, 2008

Ruins of Charleston looks like a photo from Europe.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 7:44 AM on November 19, 2008

I had to Google that "bottom rail is on top" line. Is it in common use?
posted by pracowity at 8:18 AM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]

That shot of Atlanta is intriguing, particularly since Google recently Street-mapped the whole area. Peachtree Street is a long one, so there's no telling where the shot is. I tried to use the railroad tracks as a guide, thinking that there couldn't be too many spots where Peachtree crosses railroad tracks.

Found one here. The tracks have been removed, but Maps still shows the track marker, and you can see where the street is a different color.

Overall, looks like Atlanta has bounced back, eh?
posted by thanotopsis at 8:18 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you had anything like a Sanborn map (but a little older) for Atlanta, you'd probably be able to locate that photo from the business names: Hagan & Co Confectioner, Billiard Saloon, Phoenix [?], Hardware, etc. (As well as the tracks, of course.)

Red Rock Cola:
One of Atlanta's most prominent merchants during the reconstruction days of the early 1890's was Lee Hagan of Hagan & Company, a thriving grocery and confectionery store located in what is virtually the center of present-day Atlanta.
posted by pracowity at 8:59 AM on November 19, 2008

thanotopsis: "Overall, looks like Atlanta has bounced back, eh?"

The sad thing about the Atlanta picture is that the buildings that are still standing are probably now an Applebees, a Sharper Image, a Starbucks and a A&F outlet.

Stunning photos (the larger ones anyway). Great link.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:35 AM on November 19, 2008

And of course thanoptopsis, my comment isn't an indictment of Atlanta particularly but of historical America being lost.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:37 AM on November 19, 2008

Cool. I'd seen all those before (still neat to see them all in one place) except #1. I had read about it, and thought for some reason it was at the visitor center at Antietam but it wasn't there when I was there a few weeks ago. Pity they couldn't get a higher res version.

I've always loved #8 too, just a bunch of guys sitting around.
posted by marxchivist at 11:29 AM on November 19, 2008

Very appropriate for the 145th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address (pdf to original NYT article).
posted by caddis at 1:11 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks for linking these.
posted by starman at 1:40 PM on November 19, 2008

I think you got it one thanotopsis. That street running along the bottom, the one with the train tracks, is probably Alabama Street. Which means that's a photo of Five Points, the heart of Downtown Atlanta.

Very interesting. Thanks for the link lobstah.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 3:35 PM on November 19, 2008

There's a torrent out there in internet land that has a thousand-plus Civil War photos along with a bunch of cartes de visites. I found it searching "civil war photos cartes de visites" on one of the main trackers. A bunch of it is just portraits of officers from both sides, but there's also a lot really moving photos from the field as well.
posted by not_the_water at 10:20 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

I found that #10 Atlanta photo strangely compelling, perhaps because I walked past that exact spot every day for almost four years while a student at Georgia State.

As far as I can tell, this is almost exactly the location of that photo on Google Street View (very close to what thanotopsis and GalaxieFiveHundred already said).

The photo is plate 46 from a book called "Photographic Views of the Sherman Campaign", published in 1866 by photographer George N. Barnard. The picture is in the National Archives as "Peachtree Street with wagon traffic, Atlanta, Ga., 1864" (#104), with the original photograph given the ARC Identifier 533419.

A better, high-res and cleaned-up version of the photo is available on a page at ancestry.com called "Yankee Occupation of Atlanta", which does exactly this - looks for the locations of old photos (their version of the picture on the bottom right of the page). On the high-res version, you can make out that the ruined building in the foreground is the Georgia RR Bank, and the building in the background right says "Phoenix".

It looks like the Georgia Railroad Bank building was ruined during Sherman's occupation of Atlanta: "A hand-drawn map (now at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts) indicates the buildings that were destroyed, including ... a bank at the railroad and Peachtree Street". [source] Looking even closer at the bank building, it was located "on the corner of Wall and Peachtree streets" [source].

The Phoenix Building, bordering Decatur Street on the south side, didn't stand much longer either, looks like. It is probably the building that collapsed in 1868 (PDF), almost burying four people in the rubble.

I was a little hesitant on the location at first, as the railroad doesn't seem to cross Peachtree at the correct spot - at Wall Street. But the MARTA station is supposed to be located about a block south of the original terminus stations for the railroads, which I think makes up for being slightly north of the railroad tracks on the Google map.
posted by gemmy at 12:16 AM on November 20, 2008

Heh...in some of those portraits, Abe has a Keith Richards vibe going on.
posted by lobstah at 3:48 PM on November 20, 2008

« Older AP Calls Alaska Senate race for Begich.   |   NYC Rooftop Beekeeper Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments