"These photographs... surpass any other photographic views which have been produced in this country - whether relating to the war or otherwise" - Harper's Weekly, December 8, 1866
[Civil War Photography]. George N. Barnard.
Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign,
Embracing Scenes of the Occupation of Nashville, the Great
Battles around Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain, the Campaign of
Atlanta, March to the Sea and the Great Raid through the
Carolinas. [New York: Press of Wynkoop & Hallenbeck, 1866].
First edition. Oblong Folio. Complete with sixty-one albumen
prints (each approximately 10 x 13 inches) on original publisher's
two-tone mounts, with printed captions and credits. With
title-page and contents leaf, lacking the text booklet (which is
most often lacking). Original full black morocco, covers ruled and
paneled in blind, gilt central titles to front board, white ceramic
grommets in corners on each board (seven of eight grommets
present). Rebacked in black morocco, later endleaves. Some wear to
binding, some restoration to mounts as well as some wear, staining
and foxing. First two leaves creased. Still, a very good copy of
this excellent item.
Barnard's Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign is one of the two greatest photographic monuments to the Civil War (the other being Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook). Within its sixty-one original mounted photographs, one finds some of the most famous images from that war. The photographs poignantly document the trail of destruction left by General William Tecumseh Sherman's army as they swept from Tennessee to Georgia and South Carolina. Subjects include public and private buildings, encampments, artillery positions, bridges, fortifications, battlements, ruins, depots, railroads, and, of course, battlefields. George N. Barnard (1819-1902) was a giant in the history of American photography. He was one of the first to open a daguerreotype studio in America. At the inception of the Civil War, he worked with Matthew Brady's studio, alongside Alexander Gardner and Timothy O'Sullivan. In December, 1863, he was hired by the Topographical Branch of the Department of Engineers of the Army of the Cumberland to run the army's photographic operations in Nashville. When Atlanta was captured in 1864, Barnard was sent to Georgia, and he then accompanied Sherman's army on their March to the Sea, taking a series of magnificent photographs to document the devastation. In 1865, he went to South Carolina to photograph the destruction of Columbia, Charleston, and Fort Sumter. He spent the remainder of 1865 and most of 1866 preparing sixty-one of his best photographs for publication. Sherman's campaign proved to be one of the major factors in the Northern victory, but it was also bloody and unforgiving. Barnard's photographs unflinchingly capture this, incorporating his artistic gifts as well as his incredible skill. When Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign appeared Harper's Weekly wrote: "These photographs... surpass any other photographic views which have been produced in this country - whether relating to the war or otherwise" (December 8, 1866). Due to the lavish and costly nature of this book, few copies were made; fewer still have survived intact (most surviving copies have been broken up) and exceedingly few appear on the market as most surviving copies are in institutions.
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