Autographed by the author
By William A. Frassanito. Published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Hardcover with dust jacket, 304 pages, profusely illustrated. The dust jacket shows light discoloration and light wear. This book is from my own personal library and it has been autographed and presented to me by my old Gettysburg colleague, Bill Frassanito as follows, "Gettysburg, Pa., December 17, 1984, To Len- With best wishes, William A. Frassanito." My personal embossed library stamp is below the signature at the bottom corner of the page, "Library Of Leonard Rosa." The book is in excellent condition. An extremely desirable book which is a must have for any Antietam or Civil War Photographic library. This hardcover edition is long out of print.
In September of 1862, following Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's victory at Second Manassas, the Southern army turned northward in its first great invasion of the Civil War. The opposing Union army was commanded by Gen. George B. McClellan. In the battle that ensued in the fields and woods surrounding Sharpsburg, Maryland, and along Antietam Creek, 26,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed or wounded, making September 17, 1862, the bloodiest single day in American history- a distinction that has never been equaled.
Immediately following the battle two seasoned photographers, Alexander Gardner and James F. Gibson, recorded ninety five scenes of the freshly scarred battlefield and its environs. Their studies of dead soldiers were the first the American public had ever seen depicting the true carnage of war, and an exhibition of their work in a New York art gallery a month after the battle prompted a reporter to comment that if the photographers had not "brought bodies and laid them in our door-yards and along streets, they had done something very like it."
With the same analytical skill and meticulous historical research that earned his first book, Gettysburg, so much critical acclaim, William A. Frassanito re-creates the battle of Antietam through its photographs. By documenting the photographer, date, and camera location for each view, Frassanito provides a definitive report on the Antietam photographs and highlights Antietam's role as a landmark in the visual documentation of war.
Frassanito's treatment of the Antietam photographs, however, goes beyond the battle plan and the history of photography. To convey the personal tragedy that lies behind each photograph of the "Dead at Antietam," the talented author presents vignettes of some of the common soldiers who fought and died in the battle. Offering glimpses into men's private lives- their activities before the war, their military training and experiences, how their families coped with their deaths- Frassanito introduces us to the true subjects of Gardner's and Gibson's work at Antietam.
William A. Frassanito has been studying Civil War photography since the age of nine. He was educated at Gettysburg College and received his master's degree in American cultural history from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army in both Germany and in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star, he was assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff as an intelligence analyst. He is also the author of Gettysburg; A Journey in Time.
Front cover illustration: The grave of John Marshall, Company L, 28th Pennsylvania, by Alexander Gardner, September 19 or 20, 1862.
Back cover illustration: Antietam National Cemetery, Sharpsburg, Maryland.