Behind the Scenes - Time Exposure

Antietam, Sharpsburg, Maryland

Dunker Church, famous scene of battle at Antietam, Sharpsburg, Maryland, 1863

Bloody Lane, Sharpsburg, Maryland

Bridge at Antietam Creek

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Devil’s Den, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Napoleon at Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg

Gettysburg Cemetery

Manassas, Virginia

Stone Bridge at Bull Run Creek, Manassas

I became interested in Civil War photography when I was a museum director in San Diego.  We had a visiting speaker from the National American Museum of History, Smithsonian Institution, who presented an illustrated talk of Civil War images.  I was hooked.  I couldn’t believe the photos taken in the mid-nineteenth century could be so clear and sharp.  One of the greatest photographers of the time was Alexander Gardner and I used him to befriend and mentor my fictitious photographer, Joseph Thornhill.  Together they had many adventures on the battlefield.

When I visited Antietam, I tried to envision what the now pristine green fields would’ve looked like then.  Amidst the chaos and bodies strewn everywhere, I could see in my mind an odd sight – a civilian steps out of the mist to greet Joseph. The mystery begins.