“Dead Rebel” and Nearly 900 Other Newly Digitized Stereographs in The American Civil War Collection
The June release of The American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society features an extensive accumulation of images created throughout the conflict and into its aftermath. They are presented as a single work of 1,756 pages entitled "Civil War Stereographs, 1865-1900." Its citation reads, in part,
The American Antiquarian Society's collection of Civil War stereographs includes more than 800 examples, some that were published during the war years, 1861-1865, and others that were published as memorials towards the end of the nineteenth century. Includes cards published by many publishers from the works of many photographers. Included are works by Matthew Brady and W.H. Tipton…
The collection includes many views from the major battlefields during the war, including Antietam, Battle of the Wilderness, and the Battle of Gettysburg, shown after the destruction, some with the dead on the fields. There are images of the Boston Light Infantry, soldier camps, families, and the cities of Charleston, S.C., Nashville, Tenn., Richmond, Fredericksburg and Petersburg, Va. Also includes images of the monuments erected and dedicated to those lost at the Battle of Gettysburg. Includes views of the Washington Navy Yard, Libby Prison, Fort Marion in Florida, Lookout Mountain and cemeteries of dead soldiers.
There are 879 images within, many of which are presented in the stereographic format that was popular in the latter half of the 19th century. The photographer would take two essentially identical pictures which would be printed side by side and viewed through specific lenses known as a stereoscope. This made the images appear to be three dimensional. Throughout, the images appear on card mounts, often with brief explanations and additional information on the back, as seen in the example below:
Some of the images are gruesome, many of them are haunting, all of them are compelling.