Exhibitions/ Art Object

Corporal Hiram Warner, Company C, Second United States Sharp Shooters

Unknown (American)
Plate: 8.9 x 6.4 cm (3 1/2 x 2 1/2 in.) Case: 9.4 × 8.5 cm (3 11/16 × 3 3/8 in.)
Credit Line:
The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fund, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2012
Accession Number:
Not on view
One day along a small creek in Sharpsburg, Maryland, the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac met; by nightfall some twenty-six thousand Confederate and Union soldiers had been killed, wounded, captured, or gone missing. One of those who died in action at Antietam was Corporal Hiram Warner, a sharpshooter. Born on New Year’s Day, 1833, he was twenty-eight years old and unmarried when he enlisted on April 24, 1861, for three months in Company I of the Eighth Pennsylvania Infantry. After reenlistment he joined the Second United States Sharpshooters. Warner died just after dawn on September 17, 1862, along the Hagerstown Pike in fierce fighting against the Second Louisiana Brigade. What resonates in this sixth-plate tintype is the sitter’s direct stare at the camera and the simplicity of the composition. Warner’s slightly tinted, “sunburned” cheeks and vacant look—as if he has been to the abyss and back—strongly suggest that he has already witnessed firsthand the killing fields. In period jargon, he had “seen the elephant.”
Inscription: Inscribed in ink and pencil on small paper note found behind image inside the case: "Hiram Warner, // Son of Henry and // Perrulla Cox [crossed out] Warner; // Laura Agard // Killed at the Battle // of Antietam"
Medhurst & Company, Kansas City, MO

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photography and the American Civil War," April 2, 2013–September 2, 2013.

Gibbes Museum of Art. "Photography and the American Civil War," September 27, 2013–January 5, 2014.

New Orleans Museum of Art. "Photography and the American Civil War," January 31, 2014–May 4, 2014.

Per the vendor, Hiram Warner was killed on September 17, 1862 at the battle of Antietam. He was in Company C, 2nd U.S.S.S., and a member of Berdan's Sharpshooters.
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