Photography and the U.S. Civil War (1861 -1865)


Matthew Brady

This section examines the societal, historical, aesthetic, and cultural  factors contributing to advances in  press photography and documentary photography as legitimate forms of visual reportage in America.

For Covkin, “Perhaps even more than ordinary Americans, photographers grasped the historical significance of the conflict and the acute need to document it for the future.”  This observation reveals how photography’s influence goes much deeper than providing evidence. Instead photography can been seen as having a wide reaching influence in shaping the historical memory as well as  national identity of Americans.


Photography and the Civil War by Covkin


After reading Covkin discuss the impact  Mathew Brady and his photographers had on society at the time. Discuss any, ethical or moral issues related to Brady’s work

Additional  Sources

Matthew Brady

Alexander Gardner 

Timothy H O’Sullivan  Sullivan’s work (2)