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Alexander Gardner's Photographs of Antietam


Photographer Alexander Gardner reached the battlefield at Antietam in western Maryland two days after the great clash of September 17, 1862. The photographs he took, including iconic shots of dead soldiers, shocked the nation.

Gardner was in the employ of Mathew Brady while at Antietam, and his photographs were shown at Brady's gallery in New York City within a month of the battle. Crowds flocked to see them.

A writer for the New York Times, writing about the exhibition in the edition of October 20, 1862, noted that photography had made the war visible and immediate:

Mr. Brady has done something to bring home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war. If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our dooryards and along the streets, he has done something very like it.

This photo essay contains some of Gardner's most striking photographs from Antietam.

Images 1-12 of 12
Dead Confederate soldiers near the Dunker Church at AntietamDead Confederates By the Dunker ChurchConfederate dead along the Hagerstown Pike at AntietamBodies Along the Hagerstown PikeConfederate dead at Antietam, group of bodies along the Hagerstown PikeDead Confederates By a Rail FenceThe Sunken Road at Antietam, filled with bodies following the battle.The Sunken Road at Antietam
A burial detail beside the spectacle of the Sunken Road at AntietamThe Horror of Bloody LaneDead Confederate soldiers gathered for burial at AntietamBodies Lined Up for BurialA young Confederate dead on the field at AntietamBody of a Young ConfederateA group of Union soldiers burying their dead comrades at AntietamBurial Detail at Antietam
A grave and soldiers at AntietamA Grave at AntietamThe Burnside Bridge at AntietamThe Burnside BridgePresident Lincoln and Union officers near AntietamLincoln and GeneralsPresident Lincoln meeting with General McClellan in the general's tent.Lincoln and McClellan
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