The Dead of Antietam

8/17/2012 • America's Civil War

In 1862 Matthew Brady exhibited a series of photographs taken by Alexander Gardner and James Gibson immediately after the Battle of Antietam. Gardner and Gibson, two of the many photographers Brady hired to document the war, produced at least 95 images at Antietam. Their images were the first to show dead bodies on the field.

 

1. Confederate dead on the Miller Farm, possibly from Starke’s Louisiana Brigade, with the North Woods in the distance and the Hagerstown Pike to the right
1. Confederate dead on the Miller Farm, possibly from Starke’s Louisiana Brigade, with the North Woods in the distance and the Hagerstown Pike to the right
2. At the center of the Rebel line at Bloody Lane, a burial detail—likely from the 130th Pennsylvania—pauses for a moment from burying enemy dead
2. At the center of the Rebel line at Bloody Lane, a burial detail—likely from the 130th Pennsylvania—pauses for a moment from burying enemy dead
3. Bloody Lane victims, probably from the 14th North Carolina, beyond the Roulette Farm lane
3. Bloody Lane victims, probably from the 14th North Carolina, beyond the Roulette Farm lane
4. An unidentified Confederate, and the fresh grave of Lieutenant John A. Clark, 7th Michigan, near the West Woods
4. An unidentified Confederate, and the fresh grave of Lieutenant John A. Clark, 7th Michigan, near the West Woods
5. Dozens of soldiers lie gathered for interment on the Miller Farm
5. Dozens of soldiers lie gathered for interment on the Miller Farm
6. Louisianians, members of Starke’s Brigade await burial. “The contest at this point had been very severe,” photographer Alexander Gardner wrote
6. Louisianians, members of Starke’s Brigade await burial. “The contest at this point had been very severe,” photographer Alexander Gardner wrote
7. Victims along the Hagerstown Pike, with the East Woods in the distance
7. Victims along the Hagerstown Pike, with the East Woods in the distance
8. Confederates near Burnside Bridge, with pockets turned inside-out by pillagers
8. Confederates near Burnside Bridge, with pockets turned inside-out by pillagers
9. A Union burial detail on the Miller Farm prepares to inter Federal dead
9. A Union burial detail on the Miller Farm prepares to inter Federal dead
10. A lone Confederate, found “on a hill-side”
10. A lone Confederate, found “on a hill-side”
11. One of the best known of Alexander Gardner’s Antietam photograph shows Confederate victims at the Dunker Church
11. One of the best known of Alexander Gardner’s Antietam photograph shows Confederate victims at the Dunker Church
12. A Rebel colonel’s horse (possibly belonging to Colonel Henry B. Strong, 6th Louisiana, who died in fighting near the Cornfield), killed near the East Woods
12. A Rebel colonel’s horse (possibly belonging to Colonel Henry B. Strong, 6th Louisiana, who died in fighting near the Cornfield), killed near the East Woods
13.  Confederate dead on the Sherrick Farm, near Burnside Bridge on the southern portion of the battlefield
13. Confederate dead on the Sherrick Farm, near Burnside Bridge on the southern portion of the battlefield
14.  Dead Confederates, most likely Louisianians from Starke’s Brigade, on the north end of the battlefield
14. Dead Confederates, most likely Louisianians from Starke’s Brigade, on the north end of the battlefield

 

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