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 (1863) Battle of Gettysburg
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Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5538
Joined: 2004
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/9/2021 2:35:03 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Very interesting thread. My question is if the HOD photo is in fact on the first day battlefield are there more identified photos from the photographer showing July-1 casualties or landmarks? It would seem the photographer would have taken more than one photograph before packing up and moving South.
Larry.

Larry,
You're far from the first to have raised that point. Perhaps, having come upon a burial party in the course of their (very unpleasant) labors, surrounded as they were by a bunch of rotting corpses on a hot day, they could only induce them to cease digging long enough for a couple of shots.
A related question might be, if these are indeed on the first day's field, why were all the other dead that were photographed on the southern end of the battlefield? Although that fact alone would not preclude the northern part of the field as a possible location.

Jim


Could it be that the southern end of the field presented the photographers with a preponderance of rebel dead, whereas in the northern sector, overrun and held by the confederates by the end of the first day, a large part of the southern dead had been cleared and interred by the rebels themselves ?

Please give me a timeline as to the arrival of the photographers, and the dates of their most famous vignettes of the battlefield dead.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Steve Clements
Toronto ON Canada
Posts: 845
Joined: 2004
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/9/2021 2:44:05 PM
Quote:
Also, with due respect to Ed, we don't know for a fact this IS on the first day's field. Since the location remains unproven, that's simply one possibility.


Jim (and anyone else that wants to jump in),

I understand that Scott Hartwig has proposed a somewhat similar location...

I did watch several Garry Adelman videos which argued against a number of suggested locations...but I did not see an "Adelman" video which actually proposed a location (although there are apparently a number of Adelman videos that I did not view).

My question is: Is there any kind of a general consensus that the location is probably/likely in any one part of the battlefield?.

Given the openness of the photo's background, intuitively, I can understand one wanting to start with either the fields involved in the first day's fight, or somewhere near the Emmitsburg Road, where a portion of the III corps was placed on Day Two.

s.c.
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/9/2021 4:52:10 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Also, with due respect to Ed, we don't know for a fact this IS on the first day's field. Since the location remains unproven, that's simply one possibility.


Jim (and anyone else that wants to jump in),

I understand that Scott Hartwig has proposed a somewhat similar location...

I did watch several Garry Adelman videos which argued against a number of suggested locations...but I did not see an "Adelman" video which actually proposed a location (although there are apparently a number of Adelman videos that I did not view).

My question is: Is there any kind of a general consensus that the location is probably/likely in any one part of the battlefield?.

Given the openness of the photo's background, intuitively, I can understand one wanting to start with either the fields involved in the first day's fight, or somewhere near the Emmitsburg Road, where a portion of the III corps was placed on Day Two.

s.c.


There was an extensive series on "Gettysburg Daily", back in 2012, on the Harvest of Death photos, including most or all of the various proposed locations. I have posted a link to part 10, which covers Scott Hartwig's location. This was from a location south of the Chambersburg Pike, near the 80th NY monument on Reynolds Avenue. (I had actually liked this location, although Gary Adelman and Tim Smith do not. Unfortunately, I believe they are correct.)

https://www.gettysburgdaily.com/harvest-of-death-part-10-licensed-battlefield-guides-garry-adelman-and-tim-smith/

To my knowledge, Gary has never proposed a location of his own, simply because he does not believe any such location has been discovered and proven. I personally do not believe any real consensus exists as to the likely location.
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/9/2021 8:36:13 PM
Quote:
Could it be that the southern end of the field presented the photographers with a preponderance of rebel dead, whereas in the northern sector, overrun and held by the confederates by the end of the first day, a large part of the southern dead had been cleared and interred by the rebels themselves ?

Please give me a timeline as to the arrival of the photographers, and the dates of their most famous vignettes of the battlefield dead.

Regards, Phil


Entirely possible. After the first day, the area north and west of town would not have been subject to Union small arms fire.

Frassanito had the first group of photographers arriving from Emmitsburg via the Emmitsburg Road early on the 5th, and exposing their first images on the Rose farm, essentially within sight of the road. In his opinion, this would have included the two Harvest of Death images, although their exact location was then a mystery, and, remains. Photography was done during the hours of best lighting conditions, roughly from 10:00 A.M. through 4:00 to 5:00 P.M.
On July 6 they relocated to the Devil's Den and Little Round Top area. The following day, July 7, a single image was recorded in the town itself, of the Sanitary Commission headquarters, after which they returned to Emmitsburg.
Keep in mind, as Frassanito puts it, this time line is somewhat conjectural.

Nothing in this necessarily rules out a first day location for the Harvest of Death images, although I do believe that Frassanito makes good points about all other images of dead at Gettysburg having been made on the southern end of the field, and, about the paucity of images from further north.
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Ed B.
Las Vegas NV USA
Posts: 25
Joined: 2021
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/10/2021 5:05:24 AM




His coat front is folded back and we a looking at the lining.





The belt loop of he frog and the butt end of the bayonet are visible. Most of the frog is under the folded down coat front and all we can see is the outline of the frog under the coat.



I'll leave some things to ponder:

Socket bayonet or sword bayonet? OR... is this just the top end of the empty scabbard?

Frog: Patent leather or white leather? (Suede is a type of white leather.)

Be careful not to be confused by the weeds. Timothy grass, oats, wheat, , or just random grass? I don't know; so I'm just calling them weeds.
Ed B.
Las Vegas NV USA
Posts: 25
Joined: 2021
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/10/2021 6:45:34 AM
Reproduction "Saber Bayonet For Two Band Enfield" sold through Dixie Gun Works Catalog. Sold in patent leather frog. Is patent leather correct?


Turned 180 degrees. The shape should look more familiar this way.
Notice the specular reflections in the polished steel pommel. The bright lights are reflected as in a mirror. The black leather is also reflected.



A real British Pattern 1853 Saber Bayonet. The rare cutlass bayonet has the (original?) white leather frog.


The 2 band Enfiled could fit only a cutlass or saber bayonet. The earlier 3 band Enfield could fit the socket and (I think) the cutlass and saber.


Reproduction Enfield socket bayonet sold in patent leather frog.


Real Enfield pattern 1853 socket bayonet.

Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5538
Joined: 2004
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/10/2021 7:59:50 AM
Quote:
Quote:
Could it be that the southern end of the field presented the photographers with a preponderance of rebel dead, whereas in the northern sector, overrun and held by the confederates by the end of the first day, a large part of the southern dead had been cleared and interred by the rebels themselves ?

Please give me a timeline as to the arrival of the photographers, and the dates of their most famous vignettes of the battlefield dead.

Regards, Phil


Entirely possible. After the first day, the area north and west of town would not have been subject to Union small arms fire.

Frassanito had the first group of photographers arriving from Emmitsburg via the Emmitsburg Road early on the 5th, and exposing their first images on the Rose farm, essentially within sight of the road. In his opinion, this would have included the two Harvest of Death images, although their exact location was then a mystery, and, remains. Photography was done during the hours of best lighting conditions, roughly from 10:00 A.M. through 4:00 to 5:00 P.M.
On July 6 they relocated to the Devil's Den and Little Round Top area. The following day, July 7, a single image was recorded in the town itself, of the Sanitary Commission headquarters, after which they returned to Emmitsburg.
Keep in mind, as Frassanito puts it, this time line is somewhat conjectural.

Nothing in this necessarily rules out a first day location for the Harvest of Death images, although I do believe that Frassanito makes good points about all other images of dead at Gettysburg having been made on the southern end of the field, and, about the paucity of images from further north.


Many thanks for this, Jim.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/10/2021 9:11:12 AM
Ed,
First, I realize that I misspoke about how the scabbard and frogs were one piece. The imported Enfield scabbards were indeed a separate piece from the frog.
That said, I am still not seeing an Enfield bayonet or scabbard in the image. Too much is hidden, and what's visible is too indistinct. What you have labeled "outline of frog under coat" looks to me like simply another fold in a fabric. And as I said earlier, even if a bayonet was clearly present, that wouldn't necessarily help much as far as pinning down either the location, or, any specific regiment.
The feature labeled "what is this" is likewise unclear. As with many of the dead, especially when bloated, the trousers are undone. I suspect this may be simply folded or bunched fabric, possibly part of the man's undergarments. Hard to tell.

As far as the Enfields themselves, while it's not impossible that some two band rifles were present on the field, along with their sword bayonets, these were far less common than the three band rifle musket, and relatively few were imported.
For one thing, the two band rifles didn't work well in a two rank line of battle. The men in the rear rank had trouble getting their muzzles out past the heads of the men in the front rank. The gun was apt to go off right in the front man's ear. The longer, three band rifle muskets had been designed for infantry use, and got the muzzles out far enough to clear the front rank. The two band rifles were more for skirmishers, much like the U.S. 1841 Mississippi rifles, which by 1863 were also scarce on the battlefield, for much the same reason.
Also, the sword bayonets were heavy and badly unbalanced the rifle when fixed. One man described them as, "so called because they were equally useless as either a sword or a bayonet." Sword bayonets would show up, but most of the bayonets in use would have been the socket type. The three band rifle muskets would only accept the socket bayonet.
The photo you posted showing showing Company A of the 16th ME clearly shows socket bayonets, on what appear to be three band rifle muskets. The photo isn't entirely clear, but the muskets appear to be fitted with slings running to the upper barrel bands, typical of the long Enfield rifle muskets.

By the way, here's a link to Gary Adelman's recent Zoom presentation on Gettysburg photography. His comments on the Harvest of Death photos start at 1:07:57.
https://www.facebook.com/100044534825272/posts/375291287298696/
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
GregT
Three Rivers MA USA
Posts: 139
Joined: 2013
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/11/2021 1:31:27 PM
Whether Ed's proposed site is right or not, it's nice to see there's still interest in finding it.

Will it ever be found? Who knows. It's nice to see some are still trying.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5538
Joined: 2004
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/11/2021 2:21:25 PM
Quote:
Whether Ed's proposed site is right or not, it's nice to see there's still interest in finding it.

Will it ever be found? Who knows. It's nice to see some are still trying.



It becomes a great test for our ability to maintain discipline in the pursuit of objectivity, doesn’t it ?


Once conviction grows that it’s likely to be in a certain sector of the battlefield, the thing assumes the danger of confirmation bias, and that must be a threat to our endeavours.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/11/2021 4:00:24 PM
Phil,
True indeed. A site on the first day's field, associated with Reynolds, was given as the location as far back as when the Harvest of Death photos were first published. For many years, this was repeated in book captions and treated as a given. Likewise, the dead on the Rose farm were were cited as on the first day's field, even, in at least one case, specifically from the Iron Brigade.
I have personally gone back and forth on the north versus south question. As I said earlier, I had liked Scott Hartwig's location on Reynolds Ave., and in some ways, still do. I thought he made a good argument for it. OTOH, Garry Adelman and Tim Smith discount it, for what seem like equally valid reasons.
Of late, I would have to say that I've swung back, although not firmly, to favoring a southern sector location. If only because that's where all the other dead were photographed. But that's merely suggestive, not firm proof. I remain open to evidence for a site on the northern part of the field.
----------------------------------
Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/11/2021 4:02:48 PM
Quote:
Whether Ed's proposed site is right or not, it's nice to see there's still interest in finding it.

Will it ever be found? Who knows. It's nice to see some are still trying.


It is frustrating! Too bad the background in both photos isn't equally clear.
----------------------------------
Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 152
Joined: 2020
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/11/2021 6:33:12 PM
Group,

HOD photos, I have been trying to follow these while out of action so sorry if not to clear on discussion so far.
But general comments. 1) I cannot see the “double image” of one man. Looks like they are two men standing near & I see no blurring so looks like two men.
2) I finally catch on that the discussion is about a single image from a stereo pair from and old stereo camera – that right?
Well, the best way to analyse a stereo image is in stereo (3-D) this technique loses two thirds of the data vs a stereo image. Yes control and reference points needed but even so the 3-d image will be much more useful than a half image IMHO.
3) found HOD photo at Encyclopedia Virginia(see below) Yes its not same photo but,
Appears to be made with similar box camera. Clearly no tilt in image. Ground slopes significantly to left but horizon looks level and man on horseback in distance is up straight. So I dont follow idea of tilt?
This image with similar camera was set up with no tilt. Why other camera have tilt again?
Idea of tripod is level instrument (camera) on rough unlevelled ground.

Photo is credited as :
A Harvest of Death, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Credit: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division
Original Author: negative by Timothy H. O'Sullivan; positive by Alexander Gardner
Created: negative July 1863; print ca. 1865
Medium: Albumen silver photographic print
Publisher: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

https://encyclopediavirginia.org/1050hpr-cf098226fcc7d5c/

Thanks, Mike_C.
mikecmaps
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/11/2021 7:13:30 PM
Quote:
Group,

1) I cannot see the “double image” of one man. Looks like they are two men standing near & I see no blurring so looks like two men.


I agree entirely.

Quote:
2) I finally catch on that the discussion is about a single image from a stereo pair from and old stereo camera – that right?


Agree, although it really needs to include both images in the pair.

Quote:
3) found HOD photo at Encyclopedia Virginia(see below) Yes its not same photo but,
Appears to be made with similar box camera. Clearly no tilt in image. Ground slopes significantly to left but horizon looks level and man on horseback in distance is up straight. So I dont follow idea of tilt?
This image with similar camera was set up with no tilt. Why other camera have tilt again?
Idea of tripod is level instrument (camera) on rough unlevelled ground.


Nor do I. The first image in the thread shows no tilt to the left that I can discern. Everyone in the image, and the trees in the background, is perfectly straight. If anything, the "corrected" version which has been spliced into the modern view appears to have everyone leaning slightly to the right. I don't understand the logic. Splicing slices from the "corrected" photo into a modern photo completely negates any value it may have had as evidence. All it does is distort the background.
----------------------------------
Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 152
Joined: 2020
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/11/2021 7:34:50 PM
Jim,
Yes, jim
It needs both images and in stereo to make good analysis. example; in stereo image likely to clearly see two men distinctly due to parallax view.
I am not sure about relation between image I found and image posted here looks like taken by same people? Yes?? stereo image would add much to analysis IMHO.

Thanks, Jim & All, Mike_C
mikecmaps
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 152
Joined: 2020
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/11/2021 8:03:07 PM

Group,

so after downloading both left and right image I think, again IMHO, “single” figure is in fact two men. Even with out stereo, its clear second man on right is actually a couple of feet farther back than left man.
I searched for LC-B811-243A right image.

Notes
- Stereo filed in LOT 4168.
- Photographer name from negative sleeve: Jas. F. Gibson.
- Caption from negative sleeve: View in field on right wing, at battle of Gettysburg, July 1863.
- Two plates form left (LC-B811-243B) and right (LC-B811-243A) halves of a stereograph pair.
- Corresponding print is in LOT 4168.
- Credit line: Civil war photographs, 1861-1865, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
Right image

https://www.loc.gov/item/2018670733/

- General information about Civil war photographs is available at https://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.cwp
- Forms part of: Civil war photographs, 1861-1865 (Library of Congress).

Thanks, Mike_C.
Mikecmaps
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/11/2021 9:11:58 PM
Quote:

Group,

so after downloading both left and right image I think, again IMHO, “single” figure is in fact two men. Even with out stereo, its clear second man on right is actually a couple of feet farther back than left man.



Mike,
It's clearly two men. The one to the right is about half a head shorter than the one on the left, and his right leg can easily be distinguished.
It was argued that he only appears shorter because he spread his legs apart while the image was taken. But I don't see any motion blur. Also, by the admittedly unscientific method of standing in front of a mirror and spreading my legs about as far apart as the guy on the right, my head didn't drop anywhere near enough to account for the difference in height between the two men.
Jim
----------------------------------
Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5538
Joined: 2004
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/12/2021 7:29:18 AM
Quote:
Phil,
True indeed. A site on the first day's field, associated with Reynolds, was given as the location as far back as when the Harvest of Death photos were first published. For many years, this was repeated in book captions and treated as a given. Likewise, the dead on the Rose farm were were cited as on the first day's field, even, in at least one case, specifically from the Iron Brigade.
I have personally gone back and forth on the north versus south question. As I said earlier, I had liked Scott Hartwig's location on Reynolds Ave., and in some ways, still do. I thought he made a good argument for it. OTOH, Garry Adelman and Tim Smith discount it, for what seem like equally valid reasons.
Of late, I would have to say that I've swung back, although not firmly, to favoring a southern sector location. If only because that's where all the other dead were photographed. But that's merely suggestive, not firm proof. I remain open to evidence for a site on the northern part of the field.


For the likes of me, enjoying contemplating Gettysburg from the comfort of an armchair, it matters little but excites the interest. For those who have a professional reputation to sustain, it's damned important to establish their credentials : especially when it comes to being accurate about location. I want to cite some eye witness testimony from the battlefield, and see how reliable that might - or might not - be. More to come.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5538
Joined: 2004
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/12/2021 3:12:04 PM
Looking at the stories of eye witnesses to the aftermath of the battle, and then comparing them with other sources, has left me intrigued as to how the soldiers worked hard to inter their dead in a manner that would afford a degree of decency and recognition.

Here's an interesting account as related by a Union soldier named John Linn who surveyed the field near the Codori Barn on July 8, where he encountered significant numbers of unburied rebels. He then writes ;

We proceeded about 1/2 mile beyond to [the] farm of Mr [George] Rose.....Here to the North of his barn we counted 33 graves of the 12th South Carolina Volunteers. They were only slightly covered with earth and you could feel the body by pressing the earth with your foot...

This inspired me to cross check with Busey's research. First task is to establish how many of the 12th South Carolina were killed or died of wounds. According to his study, the regiment lost 25 killed in action, and an additional 16 who died from wounds. Of the mortally wounded, 7 died in confederate care. This very much endorses the accuracy of Linn's account....interrupted by important phone call. Will edit and return.

Back on parade ! The location of these South Carolina dead surprises me. These were men of Perrin's Brigade, who fought in a very intense and bloody encounter on the first day. Isn't the Rose Farm in the southern/central sector of the battlefield ? That seems to me to be at some remove from that nasty fight that wrought such havoc with Perrin's command on Day One. More than that, it's significant that the entirety of the regiment's dead were interred together before Lee had retreated. This would have entailed quite a lot of moving of the regiment's dead further south, where, I suppose, there was a hospital established for the brigade. This must have been accomplished in difficult circumstances, with the battle raging for a couple of days after the big fight on 1 July, not to mention dangerous sharpshooting on 4 July.

Does this account of the location ring true ?

Bearing in mind the wish to concentrate the dead into their respective regimental burials, I'm reflecting on those dead yankees in the HOD and wondering if they were being collected and moved away to rest with their comrades, if their identity could still be established. If the defeated rebels could do it, then surely it was in the remit of the victorious yankees to do likewise.

Regards, Phil

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/12/2021 5:05:06 PM
Phil,
It would seem unlikely in the extreme that dead from Perrin's brigade would have ended up buried near the Rose barn. My only thought is that perhaps Linn misread a grave marker, and that the graves contained dead from one of the regiments in Kershaw's brigade, also SC troops.
Jim
----------------------------------
Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Ed B.
Las Vegas NV USA
Posts: 25
Joined: 2021
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/12/2021 11:27:49 PM
Let's see how good people here are at photo analysis. We'll start slow.




What happened here? A detailed analysis please, using your knowledge of wet plate photography.





What is this?


And a question. Without looking it up... what kind of shutter did these wet plate cameras use? Focal plane shutter? Simple leaf shutter? Rotating shutter? Another type?

After picking a type of shutter, what would be the effect of that type on the photos these cameras were taking?
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5538
Joined: 2004
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/13/2021 6:04:51 AM
Quote:
Phil,
It would seem unlikely in the extreme that dead from Perrin's brigade would have ended up buried near the Rose barn. My only thought is that perhaps Linn misread a grave marker, and that the graves contained dead from one of the regiments in Kershaw's brigade, also SC troops.
Jim


Jim,

The location in the Rose Farm certainly brings Kershaw's Brigade to mind. Furthermore, Linn alludes to another grisly relic, the left hand of John B Robbins, Co I , 8th South Carolina, protruding from the grave in the same place. The 8th S.C was one of Kershaw's regiments. Reference to the 12th S.C. might well be a transcription error, with a very bona fide account from an on the spot witness being subjected to a nineteenth century typo ! 12th and 15th is easily mixed up.

Another account from a civilian touring the same area in late August alludes to the graves of 35 confederates of the 15th S.C. regiment, so I reckon we've got the gist of this sorted.....they were Kershaw's boys.

The point here is how location can be easily misconstrued, even by eye witness narrators, who act in good faith and record details meticulously, only to have the account distorted by error in transcription.

Edit : Uncanny to relate, the 15th and 12th S.C. regiments suffered exactly the same battle fatalities 41 killed or died from wounds in each unit. I do find it notable that rebel regiments were able and willing to inter their dead , even imperfectly, in a situation that must have been pretty desperate for the AoNV. I wonder if the rebels had been more assiduous in collecting and interring their dead than the yankees. The HOD might serve to endorse that suggeston.


Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/13/2021 12:35:44 PM
A "detailed analysis", using our "knowledge of wet plate photography?" Including what type of shutter?
Well, thanks for starting slow.
Honestly, if this is by way of establishing your superior knowledge as to the technical aspects of CW photography, I freely admit my woeful ignorance. All I can say is that it's a photo taken outside the Christian Commission headquarters late in the war, showing assorted types and the unusual motion blurs. The other image shows an eagle sitting on a cannon with some guy in the barrel.
Does this mean that the rest of us are unqualified to question your proposed location? Because, frankly, the evidence and interpretation you have offered thus far is unconvincing. Starting with the inescapable fact that there is simply NO road in either of the original images. You have yet to post, or discuss, a copy of the companion HOD image, which shows even less sign of deep ruts than your "Oak Ridge view." Or any ruts for that matter. More important, BOTH images must support your proposed location. If only one does, then neither one does. That the camera was tilted is not a "settled issue". The men in the burial party are not leaning oddly to the left. Inserting slices of the "corrected" image into the modern view only distorts the background. Likewise, how the "ruts" line up in the "then" and "now" views. The 16th ME wasn't engaged as far out as the Forney buildings. There's nothing to indicate Enfields, or Enfield bayonets, and it would prove nothing if there was. Nothing to rule out the dead as being from the 3rd Corps. There's no orchard being planted. The Warren map doesn't show specific, individual trees. (BTW, Frassanito used similar symbols to show woodlots in his Early Photography at Gettysburg.)
----------------------------------
Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Ed B.
Las Vegas NV USA
Posts: 25
Joined: 2021
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 10:39:08 AM
Can't be an eagle. There's no head. Case closed.


Just pulling your leg of course. But I see a mistake I'm making. I'm not giving enough explanation on some things. I'm making the classic mistake of assuming too much knowledge.

What shutters did these cameras have? Trick question. They had no shutter at all. The photographer removed the lens cap to begin the exposure, counted out seconds, and then replaced the lens cap to end the exposure. Through experience and science, the photographer made an estimate of how many seconds to count to expose the particular emulsion he was using.

Very briefly, in the wet plate collodion process the photographer, acting as a chemistry technician, compounded chemicals, coated a clear glass plate, placed it in a light proof frame, placed the frame in the camera, opened the frame, removed the lens cap, counted seconds, and replaced the lens cap. (Hence the use of the word "plate" used to mean negative or photograph.)


This was a very "slow" emulsion. Exposure time in noontime daylight was measured in seconds. I estimate the exposure time for this photo as 3 to 5 seconds. The eagle's body was still, but it was moving its head, which only leaves the vague blurry effect. Not the kind of blur we are used to seeing in mid to late 20th century high speed photos.


I also estimate the exposure time here as 3 to 5 seconds. When it comes to wet plate photography I'm a dilettante, so this estimate is the estimate of a dilettante. I'll accept a correction from someone who knows more about the subject.


The detail on the bedroll is very sharp. The sharpness of the adult images varies from pretty good to really good. It depends on how disciplined they were; how still they wanted to be and how well they could carry out that action. The soldier had a lot of discipline. Note that the adults have carefully chosen a dignified "portrait pose." Or more likely, the photographer has arranged everyone in a pose. A long, time consuming process. By the end of that process the kids were getting twitchy.

Not surprisingly the kids were the least disciplined. The little girl held a good position for some time looking at the camera, then turned her head to our right and held that position for some time. You can see a ghostly image of her profile to our right.



"Spanky" swayed one way or the other; it's impossible to tell.

The incredible four handed boy... There are two scenarios:

-He was looking down when the lens cap came off and held that position for a good time, then abruptly lifted his head, and held that position for a good time.

-Vice versa.

He moved his hands, which are holding something or other, at the same time.

Why is there no blur between his two sets of hands? Because the motion was too fast for the emulsion to record any image at all.

This is an effect you see in many period wet plate photos. Subject held one position for a good time and a reasonably sharp image of that position was recorded by the emulsion; then the subject made a swift motion and settled into a second stable position, and a reasonably sharp image of that second position was recorded by the emulsion. There is no blur between the two images, because the movement was too fast for the emulsion to capture.

Getting deeper, notice that the boy's fingers on his "top left hand" are reasonably detailed, while his thumb is a blur. His fingers were reasonably still... his thumb was moving. Evidence of a 19th century smart phone?

To get even deeper, this photo is in good deep focus, which leads me to wonder if this lens had a diaphragm and was stopped down. I don't know if any period lenses had a diaphragm. I'll have to find out.

This is not just idle chatter. The photos we are concerned with here show a shallow focus. Only a small part these photos are in good focus.

I estimate the exposure time for this photo at 10 seconds plus. (It's early morning with a light overcast. Which is about a stop and a half less light than with a clear noonday Sun. One stop less light doubles the exposure time.)


What happened here?


This man wanted to strike a dignified portrait pose. He chose to stand with feet together, with his body turned so that his right shoulder is pointing to the camera. He turned his head to look at the camera across his right shoulder. This was an unstable position and you can see by the way his body is bowed that he was straining against the slope. He held this position well enough and for long enough for a good image to be recorded by the emulsion.

But his position was unstable. Somewhere about half way through the 10+ seconds of this exposure, he was forced to take a step to his left with his left foot, while his right foot stayed in the same position. The movement was too fast to be recorded by the emulsion. His new stable position has his body more square to the camera and his neck is much less twisted as he looks at the camera. He held this position reasonably well, and a second reasonably clear image was recorded.

The coat is the same, the hat is the same, and there is the same white V shape where his white shirt is showing between his coat lapels.

The second image is lower. Notice that his left knee is bent in the second image. You stand lower when your legs are spread and at least one knee is bent. His left foot is partially hidden behind... something. I don't know what.

Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5538
Joined: 2004
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 11:31:07 AM
Nearly half of all the union soldiers killed at Gettysburg fell on the second day ; and of those, ninety percent were victims of the fighting in the union right and right centre. That’s where all the rebel dead were photographed. If that area was thick with southern dead, it was even more burdened with northern corpses. It’s my suggestion that the dead yankees had been dealt with : or, at least, the great majority of them by the time the photographers had arrived. We’ve already mentioned the significant numbers of rebel graves there : the South Carolina dead, for example. If the confederates, in their straitened circumstances, had managed this, then surely the yankees would have done a more thorough job.

On the field of the first day, though, wouldn’t the union dead have been left until later ?

The condition of one or two of the bodies in HOD suggests more recent death, but I reckon we can attribute that to the two days or so before of lingering that some of the soldiers of the I and XI Corps might have suffered as they had been abandoned in retreat.

Regards, Phil





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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 12:04:48 PM
Phil,
I suspect you mean Union left and left center.

You're probably correct that each side would have tended to their own dead first. Much would depend on how accessible the dead were, enemy activity, manpower available for burial parties, and the like. Then again, even enemy dead may have been given at least a cursory layer of dirt just to keep them from stinking in the hot sun. Either way, most graves visible in photos appear to have been none too deep.
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 12:22:59 PM
Incidentally, The Center For Civil War Photography just posted a copy of the Christian Commission photo on their Facebook page, along with a companion view of the same crowd of people. Most of them moved around from one picture to the other, and somebody took the time to identify and chart all the people who did. Fascinating!

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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5538
Joined: 2004
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 2:12:53 PM
Quote:
Phil,
I suspect you mean Union left and left center.



Damn my bloody eyes ! What a silly mistake I’ve made there , Jim !

Mortifying.


It’s always troubled me that I adopt the southern point of view !

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 4:15:46 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Phil,
I suspect you mean Union left and left center.



Damn my bloody eyes ! What a silly mistake I’ve made there , Jim !

Mortifying.


It’s always troubled me that I adopt the southern point of view !

Regards, Phil


Don't worry. We've all done it.
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 152
Joined: 2020
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 4:52:38 PM
HOD 081421
Jim,
“Honestly, if this is by way of establishing your superior knowledge as to the technical aspects of CW photography”

Jim, Thanks for saying it ‘cause I sure thought it. all my comments on this thread I try to make to the image I see, not to other folks comments. I generally find when comments are made to the person it’s a concession that the responder is wrong but feels must continue the argument none the less. I don’t see point in dragging in random images. The image I found is on topic is titled HOD and taken by same folks at what looks like the same time. The late image shows bluring and double exposure not seen in “single man” HOD image. That’s what I see in image.
This approach is interesting but difficult since the image is not viewed in stereo and shows so little of battle field. To deal with this needs rigorous and objective analysis.
Thanks Mike_C.
mikecmaps
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 5:35:12 PM
Mike,
Yeah, well, I was trying not to be snide, but...
In point of fact, whether the image shows one man or two is really a red herring as far as proving the location of the photo. Whether it shows two men standing next to each other, or one man blurred by movement, simply doesn't matter. Just like it doesn't matter if there's a bayonet under the dead guy's coat or not.
Jim
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Ed B.
Las Vegas NV USA
Posts: 25
Joined: 2021
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 5:48:06 PM
Yes it does. It shows that the man was standing on a slope. Just as the others were.

But I see the mistake I've been making.

-Identify the site first. Use the landscape features only, and don't try to use History to prove or disprove the site.

-After the site has been identified, then start talking about History.
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 152
Joined: 2020
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 6:08:03 PM
Jim, Ooops sorry no you missunderstand my comment was not about you but the original poster, sorry my mistake i was trying to agree with you my bad. but disagree with random photo poster with "detail analysis" of shutter etc comment. which apparently is meant to discredit other folks comments.

Sorry Jim i agree with you sorry for clumsy comment
thanks Mike_C
mikecmaps
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 6:59:32 PM
Quote:
Jim, Ooops sorry no you missunderstand my comment was not about you but the original poster, sorry my mistake i was trying to agree with you my bad. but disagree with random photo poster with "detail analysis" of shutter etc comment. which apparently is meant to discredit other folks comments.

Sorry Jim i agree with you sorry for clumsy comment
thanks Mike_C
mikecmaps


No, I understood your intent entirely. And am in complete agreement.
Jim
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Ed B.
Las Vegas NV USA
Posts: 25
Joined: 2021
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 7:07:26 PM
Discredit or gently educate?
Ed B.
Las Vegas NV USA
Posts: 25
Joined: 2021
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 7:13:25 PM
-How to determine the focal length of the lens on the camera which took a particular photo?
One useful technique is to look at the apparent size of objects of consistent size, and how the apparent size of these objects changes as they become more distant from the camera.



Using what I know about perspective, I can tell that this lens is neither a wide angle (short focal length) or telephoto (long focal length). It's what we modern folk would call a "normal" lens. So called because the perspective looks more "normal" to us than wide angle or telephoto lenses. Why is this important? Because it makes it possible to judge distances and absolute sizes. In the past people have judged features in these photos to be at much greater distances than they really are; notably Oak Hill.

Don't like this?

I don't think you're going to like this next one either, but that's okay. I'm still trying things out.

To identify the site, you've got to listen to what the photo is telling you. What is the HOD photo telling us? Look at the land.


This is not meant to be a real contour map. The red lines are there to get a rough idea of what the land is telling me.

The green line represents what I'm calling Ridge Alpha. It's not really a ridge. It's a line where our line of sight meets the area where a downslope starts to become invisible.

The blue line represents the top edge of a very small rise in the land. I'm calling this Ridge Baker.

There's a low spot between Alpha and Baker. Alpha is not distant or large features. They're just a few feet high. I'm still working out how far away Baker is.

The reason the green line is forked is because I'm still trying to work out where it should be. This is a small feature. You can see the edge of Able mostly because the trash and the bodies suddenly stop. Any bodies or trash farther from the camera are invisible on a downslope.

Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 7:49:08 PM
Quote:
Yes it does. It shows that the man was standing on a slope. Just as the others were.

But I see the mistake I've been making.

-Identify the site first. Use the landscape features only, and don't try to use History to prove or disprove the site.

-After the site has been identified, then start talking about History.


Yes. The slope.
As I said, the one man or two part means nothing. But, I think - can't be certain without more precise measurements than my tablet will allow - that in splicing your slices of the "corrected" or "leveled" image into the modern view of the Peace Light, you may have managed to over correct the "correction." I said previously that if anything, the men in the burial party in your combined image appear to be leaning not to the left, as you describe it, but to the right. More so than in even the "corrected" image, and certainly more than in the original. This is particularly so with the one/two guys we've been debating.
I suspect - again, perhaps I'm wrong - that in trying to line up the distant wood line and ridge, you may have inadvertently given your slices a slight extra twist by way of making them line up better with the terrain in the modern view. That's why I say that what you have done distorts the background - it also throws off the angle of your "ruts" - and effectively renders you "evidence" useless. As they say on the cop shows, "the scene has been disturbed."

But yes, identify the location with the landscape only. I suggest that you start with the HOD image (104b in Frassanito's "Early Photography at Gettysburg"), which, despite repeated requests, you have yet to do.
A detailed analysis, please.
1. Does the landscape, near and background, support your proposed location?
2. Are the "ruts" visible in your "Oak Ridge View" evident in the HOD image?
3. Is anything identifiable as a road visible in the image?
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Ed B.
Las Vegas NV USA
Posts: 25
Joined: 2021
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/14/2021 8:00:57 PM
Full disclosure, What you're saying about the shape of Oak Hill is exactly right. Well done.

If you go back to the beginning of this thread... I deleted the original overylays and put in new ones earlier this week. I think it was Sunday. I noticed they were somewhat off. Then I did exactly as you say. Listen to what the features on the ground are saying.

Oak Hill was altered when the Peace Light was constructed. If you look at period maps, there was a gap between Oak Ridge and Oak Hill. That was filled in to build the section of Confederate Ave. that runs from Mummasburg Road to the Peace Light. As a matter of fact I was just reading somewhere recently that Civil War Veterans in the late 19th century couldn't recognize where they'd fought on Oak Ridge near the Mummasburg Road because it had changed. So the alteration of that area may have started in the 19th century.




-This man is leaning on a spade.
-Notice his feet are not visible. Which means he's standing in a rut or pothole. We don't know what the ground his feet are on looks like.
-Notice the slope of his local area, marked in green. The surface is uneven. There are areas of more and less slope. Most of his lean to our right is because he's leaning on the spade really hard and got his pelvis cocked to the side; our left. Comfortable position to hold still in. Instead of two feet, he's got three... like a three legged stool.






Same thing. No feet.
Guy on right is slouching.



These figures are indistinct and there are two big photo artifacts in this area of the print. But the guy on the right looks pretty "ghostly."


Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/15/2021 11:08:06 AM
Quote:
This is not meant to be a real contour map. The red lines are there to get a rough idea of what the land is telling me.


Thank you for posting the HOD image, and, for the lesson on focal lengths. But we're still waiting for you to discuss how the various features in the image support the accuracy of your proposed location. In particular, where is the Mummasburg Road, and the deep ruts, in which you said that some of the dead in the image are actually laying? I see no sign of either.
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Proposed Site - The Harvest of Death
8/15/2021 12:02:55 PM
Quote:
This man is leaning on a spade.
-Notice his feet are not visible. Which means he's standing in a rut or pothole. We don't know what the ground his feet are on looks like.
-Notice the slope of his local area, marked in green. The surface is uneven. There are areas of more and less slope. Most of his lean to our right is because he's leaning on the spade really hard and got his pelvis cocked to the side; our left. Comfortable position to hold still in. Instead of two feet, he's got three... like a three legged stool.


It's hard to be sure, because the resolution of your blow up is so low (a blowup from a high resolution scan of the original might be more revealing), but his feet do appear to be visible, or at least, discernable, due to the way be bottom of his legs seem to protrude forward. Unfortunately, his shoes or boots are indistinguishable from his trousers.
Apart from the fact that his hand is resting on the handle of his shovel, I see nothing to indicate that he's leaning on it heavily. Or to suggest that his pelvis is cocked to one side. If anything, he appears to have a slight lean away from the shovel, not using it to help maintain his balance. Not unlike the man further to the right in the image, standing with one foot up on the blade.
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
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