Confederate Soldier [on the Battlefield at Antietam]
Alexander Gardner (American, Glasgow, Scotland 1821–1882 Washington, D.C.)
Brady & Co. (American, active 1840s–1880s)
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Image: 6.1 x 9.8 cm (2 3/8 x 3 7/8 in.)
Purchase, Florance Waterbury Bequest, 1970
Not on view
The Battle of Antietam (named after a creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland) occurred on September 17, 1862, and was known as the "bloodiest single day of the war." More than 26,000 soldiers on both sides were wounded or killed, including this Confederate soldier, who, according to the caption added by the Mathew Brady studio, "after being wounded, had dragged himself to a little ravine on the hillside, where he died." It is generally agreed that Brady and his photographers, who at this time still included Alexander Gardner, repositioned some of the recently dead at Gettysburg, and one may question the ultimate, artful arrangement of this Confederate soldier as well. With or without the physical intervention of Gardner, the photograph remains a heartbreaking testament to the victims of war. The image was published by Brady as a carte-de-visite-a small, inexpensive, and extremely popular format for portrait photographs during the 1860s and 1870s.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: Printed on mount, verso OA: "BRADY'S ALBUM GALLERY. // No. 554. // CONFEDERATE SOLDIER, // Who, after being wounded, had dragged himself to a little // ravine on the hill-side, where he died. // The Photographs of this series were taken directly from nature, at con- // siderable cost. Warning is therefore given that legal proceedings will // be at once instituted against any party infringing on the copyright."
[...]; Sidney R. Strober, New York; (Parke-Bernet PB 84, New York, February 7, 1970, Lot 388); [Harvey W. Brewer, Closter, NJ]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Photograph: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions".
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photographs from the Museum's Collection," December 4, 1984–March 17, 1985.
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.