Ruins of Mrs. Henry's House, Battlefield of Bull Run
George N. Barnard (American, 1819–1902)
Formerly attributed to Mathew B. Brady (American, born Ireland, 1823?–1896 New York)
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Image: 15.9 × 20.9 cm (6 1/4 × 8 1/4 in.)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1933
Not on view
Despite their preparations, Mathew B. Brady and his corps of field photographers did not return with a single photograph from the war’s first land battle, at Bull Run, Virginia, in July 1861. And no Southern photographers are known to have attempted to photograph the battle preparations or aftermath. Won by Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the Battle of First Manassas (as it is still known in the South) was fought along a creek near the farmhouse in this photograph. Made eight months after the battle, this landscape by Brady operative George N. Barnard shows the ruins of Judith Henry’s house.
According to contemporary reports, Mrs. Henry was an invalid octogenarian widow who, because of her infirmities, was unable to leave the site of the battle that took place surrounding her home along Bull Run Creek. By removing her to a gully nearby, her children helped her survive the first charge. But when the fighting increased in ferocity, they returned her to her residence, where she was later found dead of bullet wounds.
Loyal Legion, Boston Chapter, Commandery of the State of Massachusetts