George Tillotson from Greene, New York, enlisted with the 89th New York Infantry in November of 1861. This ambrotype (photograph made on glass) and a series of letters from the summer of 1862 remind us that soldiers and their families faced hardships on the home front as well as on the battlefield. George had been in the army for five months and was stationed at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, when his wife, Libby, sent him the photograph featured here. The photograph was damaged in the mail and began a heartbreaking series of...
- ›› Keywords : photography
by Elena Colón-Marrero, Christopher Newport University Class of 2014
One would think that growing up in a town rich in colonial and Civil War history would inspire an appreciation for that history. My experience living in Fredericksburg, Virginia, was quite the opposite. Fredericksburg’s history as a home for the Algonquian-speaking peoples, a port city in colonial Virginia, and a strategic location during the Civil War was all around me. However, I became desensitized due to numerous field trips to battlefields; constant references...
In October 1862, Mathew Brady opened a photography exhibition at his studio in New York City. Entitled The Dead of Antietam, the exhibition attracted large crowds and brought the war home in a way that news articles and casualty listings could not. On October 20, 1862, an editorial in the New York Times explained that “the dead of the battle-field come up to us very rarely, even in dreams. We see the list in the...
Carol Quirke examines the photography of Dorothea Lange and how her work has influenced our understanding of the Great Depression.
A tree falls on a shed and all but destroys it. A passing student notices that from a certain angle the portion of the shed still standing looks just like a man on horseback. It is uncanny; a talented artist could hardly do...
Harold Holzer discusses the careers of the famous Civil War photographers Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner.
Glossary Term – Person
Jacob Riis (1849–1914) was a New York journalist and reformer. In 1890, Riis published How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York, an exposé describing the terrible living conditions in New York City’s poorest neighborhoods. The successful book inspired public outcry for urban reforms.