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Witness To An Era

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Circa: 1991
ISBN: 1-55853-742-2

The Life And Photographs Of Alexander Gardner

The Story Of Abraham Lincoln's Photographer, Who Changed The Way America Viewed THE CIVIL WAR


By D. Mark Katz. Published by Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville, Tennessee, 1991. Hard cover, 9 x 12, with dust jacket, 305 pages, index, illustrated. Long out of print. Brand new condition. A truly magnificent book; a must for every Civil War photograph enthusiast.

"This album of Gardner's work is nothing less than sensational." Booklist

Alexander Gardner, an artist with a camera and America's first photojournalist, photographed American history from the time of the Civil War through the settlement of the wild West. Gardner's photographs show the fatigue and emotion in Abraham Lincoln's face, the gruesome reality of battlefield death, and the starkness of the execution of the conspirators in Lincoln's murder. In later years Gardner took portraits of many Indian delegations visiting Washington, D.C.

Initially a student and partner of Mathew Brady, Gardner broke away in the middle of the Civil War to found his own studio and to become a covert operative for the new Secret Service under fellow Scotsman Allan Pinkerton. Mathew Brady developed a reputation for chronicling the Civil War by placing his name on photographs taken by others, but it was Alexander Gardner who took many of Brady's most famous pictures. Gardner's pictures from the battlefields were the basis of the engravings in Harper's Weekly and it was these images that brought the horror of the war home to the American people. His photographs (many attributed to Brady) are among the most memorable images of the war.

Gardner photographed leading public figures of his day and took more portraits of Abraham Lincoln than any other photographer. Gardner's photographs were used in apprehending and identifying the conspirators in Lincoln's assassination. Gardner documented their execution as well as the execution of Captain Henry Wirz, commander of the Andersonville Prison camp.

After the war, Gardner traveled west with the Kansas expedition, recording the construction of the railroads and railroad towns, and was asked by government officials to accompany the Fort Laramie Councils delegation in 1868.

This fascinating volume is filled with powerful, memorable images, many reproduced directly from original Gardner prints. Library Journal says, "As these photographs demonstrate, Gardner's genius was truly extraordinary: photographing the Civil War, the assassination of President Lincoln, the Indian delegations to Washington, the Fort Laramie Treaty Council, the West, and the Union Pacific Railway Expedition of 1867, he gives us painstaking records of a most significant era in American history."



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