Sunday, September 23, 2012

Antietam Trip - Part Two

In spite of researching and researching there are still resources I overlooked.  I found that out a few nights ago as I read William A. Frassanito's classic book "Antietam, The Photographic Legacy of America's Bloodiest Day." 

I had known of this work for a long time but never checked it out until now.

I work as an artist so the study of the artist correspondents and Civil War photographers is of great interest to me.  I try to match images to the narratives on my website to provide a visual idea of location and action that the soldiers of the actual 13th experienced during their service.  I was looking at the same images used in this book via the Library of Congress image database, so I didn't think I was missing anything, which is one reason I delayed getting the Frassanito book.

     I read in the book that one particular landmark was photographed near the cornfield where the "13th Mass." fought, and had one of those 'Eureka' moments  -  Wait, I photographed that!

Those stacked rifles with the kettle hanging down is a monument placed by re-enactors of the 90th PA Vols, Christian's Brigade, the replaced the original in  a ceremony a short while back.

Taking pictures during my guided tour was really an afterthought the morning in July when I toured the battlefield.  I knew there were lots of pictures on line, and that if I wanted to take more pictures, I'd be back later in the week.  But I took another guided tour, this time with a group and never took pictures.

So, during that first tour, photos were an afterthought, but during a pause on the line where Hartsuff's Brigade fought, I thought I'd snap a few photos.  The idea was to 'stitch' the images together in photoshop when I got home, so I could have a panoramic view of what the men in Hartsuff's Brigade saw.  But I was too close and this darn tree was in the way !

After looking through the above book, I realized this was the same spot!  Look closely at the rock outcropping.  I've since added these images to my website page about the battle.

This is near the spot where the right of the 13th Mass. would have joined with the left of the 11th PA.  The 90th PA was in Christian's/Styles Brigade protecting Capt. Ezra Mathews 1st PA Battery, Co. F.  When Hartsuff's line thinned, Coulter ordered the 90th to come forward.  The 13th Mass. was the last regiment of the Brigade to retire, so perhaps they fought along side the 90th for a short while ?

Here's the panoramic on the other side of the tree.
The Visitor Center, near the Dunker Church, is just right of center on the horizon.  The high plateau of ground crowned by Confederate Batteries, that was Gen. Joseph Hooker's military objective the morning of Sept. 17.  The Confederates in the field in this photo, were protecting the artillery.

William Frassanito has dated the Alexander Gardner photograph above, to September 19, 1862; just two days after the battle.

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