Wheat–Field in Which General Reynolds Was Shot

Former Attribution: Formerly attributed to Mathew B. Brady (American, born Ireland, 1823?–1896 New York)

Date: July 1863

Medium: Albumen silver prints from glass negatives

Dimensions: Panorama: 15.7 × 40.9 cm (6 3/16 × 16 1/8 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1933

Accession Number: 33.65.352, .391


This atypical Civil War panorama shows the artist looking over a split-rail fence at the Gettysburg battlefield where one of America's greatest armed conflicts raged for three bloody days. Brady, America's self-appointed photographic "historian," arrived at Gettysburg several days after the battle had ended (July 3, 1863) and after the last of the 7,500 dead had been buried. The photograph's misleading title is derived from the image's reproduction in Harper's Weekly three weeks after the battle. Current scholarship now confirms that Union General John F. Reynolds was shot by a Confederate marksman beyond the visible tree line known as McPherson's Woods, not in the wheatfield. Nonetheless, the view offers a rare glimpse of Brady in the field.