The civil war was one of the most astonishing and longest wars of all times, It spanned over eight years and had approximately more than a million casualties. People of all ages and generations lost their lives in this war. One thing that makes this war so unforgettable is the fact that it was the first war with photography available. Many people and armature photographers were sent out to take pictures of the war’s destruction and aftermath. What these photographers took pictures of were not just of fallen soldiers, or destructed land nor were these pictures just to be used for historical reference or educational purposes but these photographs were going to be imprinted in the American heart and mind forever
One imparticular photographer that was out taking picture during the war, was Timothy O’Sullivan, he brilliantly depicted the battle of Gettysburg with very graphic, uncensored, motivating pictures. One imparticular picture that caught my eye, was the one that showed the aftermath of the battle of Gettysburg.
There lie in the center of the photograph three fallen union soldiers they all have some things in common in that they all fought for a better America, and that they all moved onto a better life in heaven. They all differ in age one looking like the grandfather the other a father and a son it very well could have been three generations of a family. The soldiers all lay face up looking into the dead sky over the battle field in full uniform and weapons exposed. The surrounding areas consist of some eerie dead trees and some dead blood stained grass.
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At first glance my response to the picture would have been just a normal, “Oh well, who cares? I didn’t know them anyways.” type of response. But after studying it a little bit and examining what was truly in the picture I came up with a totally different response, one that I think O’Sullivan wanted many others to feel as well. “Far more than rifles and bullets were carried into battle. There were memories. There were promises. There was love. And far more than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields. Shattered futures, forgotten innocence, and crippled beauty were also the casualties of war.” this quote from an unknown soldier during the civil war best describes my response to the picture of the fallen soldiers of Gettysburg.