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Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War

During the American Civil War (1861-1865) vast numbers of photographs were taken but there are few illustrated works as well known as highly regarded as Gardner‘s Photographic Sketchbook of the War compiled by Alexander Gardner. The two volume album contained 100 albumen prints in total with 50 tipped in plates in each volume accompanied by a descriptive text possibly by Alexander Gardner. The book was published by Philp & Solomons (Washington) in two editions, one thought to have been published in 1865 and the other in 1866. More recent research by Anne E. Peterson (Curator of Photographs, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University) now indicates that both editions came out in 1866.
Within public collections the same plate can have different photographers assigned to it and a level of confusion can occur. This is partly because of the way the work was created with the negative being taken by one photographer, the print made by another and the copyright registered by a third. The text printed on the first plate "Marshall House, Alexandria, Virginia" highlights this:
"Negative by Wm. R. Pyrell. August 1862. Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1865, by A. Gardner, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Columbia. Incidents of the War. Marshall House, Alexandria, VA. Published by Philp & Solomons, Washington. Positive by A. Gardner, 511 7th St., Washington"
These original records are not always accurate and to find the actual photographer who took the negative it is advisable to check with:
E.F. Bleiler (1959) Gardner‘s Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War (New York, Dover Publications)
The solid introduction by E.F. Bleiler and reproductions of all the plates makes this the most authoritative source on this series. Where there are discrepancies between different sources I have attempted to highlight them but I always welcome additional research to ensure accuracy and completeness.
The exact number of copies of the Photographic Sketchbook of the War sold is not known but is thought to be between 125 and 200 copies and there are complete sets at George Eastman House and Cornell University Library both of which have copies on the Internet. Because there was no way of printing the photographs directly onto the pages the 100 photographs for each set were made individually and then affixed to the pages. This was both laborious and expensive and the two volume sold for $150 a set when they were published in the 1860s a vast sum of money at the time.
List of plates at George Eastman House
1Pywell, Wm. R.Marshall House, Alexandria, Virginia.
2 Pywell, Wm. R.Slave Pen, Alexandria, Virginia
3 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Fairfax Court-House
4 Barnard & GibsonStone Church, Centreville, Va.
5 Barnard & GibsonFortifications on Heights of Centreville, Virginia.
6 Barnard & GibsonQuaker guns, Centreville, Virginia.
7 Barnard & GibsonRuins of Stone Bridge, Bull Run.
8 Barnard & GibsonMathews‘ House, Battle-Field of Bull Run.
9 Barnard & GibsonRuins at Manassas Junction.
10 Barnard & GibsonManassas Junction.
11 Barnard & GibsonFortifications at Manassas
12 Wood & GibsonBattery No. 1, Near Yorktown, Virginia
13 Wood & GibsonBattery No. 1, Near Yorktown, Virginia
14 Wood & GibsonBattery No. 4, Near Yorktown, Virginia
15 Wood & GibsonMoore House, Yorktown, Virginia
16 Wood & GibsonInspection of Troops at Cumberlanding, Pamunkey, Virginia.
17 Woodbury, D.B.Military Bridge, Across the Chickahominy, Virginia.
18 Gardner, JamesRuins of Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia.
19 Gardner, AlexanderAntietam Bridge, Maryland
20 Gardner, AlexanderBurnside Bridge, Across Antietam Creek, Maryland
21 Gardner, JamesDunker Church, Battle-Field of Antietam, Maryland
22 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Signal Tower on Elk Mountain, Maryland, Overlooking battlefield of Antietam.
23 Gardner, AlexanderPresident Lincoln on Battle Field of Antietam
24 Gardner, AlexanderScene in Pleasant Valley, Maryland.
25 Gardner, AlexanderPontoon Bridge Across the Potomac, at Berlin.
26 Gardner, JamesMeeting of the Shenandoah and Potomac at Harper‘s Ferry
27 Gardner, AlexanderWhat Do I Want, John Henry?
28 Gardner, AlexanderScouts and guides to the Army of the Potomac.
29 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Lacy House, Falmouth, Virginia
30 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Fredericksburg, Virginia
31 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Battery D, Fifth U. S. Artillery, in Action, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
32 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Pontoon Bridge across the Rappahannock.
33 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Evacuation of Aquia Creek.
34 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Group of Confederate Prisoners at Fairfax Court-House.
35 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
36 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.A Harvest of Death, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
37 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Field where General Reynolds Fell, Gettysburg
38 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Interior of Breastworks on Round Top, Gettysburg.
39 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Gateway of Cemetery, Gettysburg.
40 Gardner, AlexanderA Sharpshooter‘s Last Sleep, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
41 Gardner, AlexanderHome of a Rebel Sharpshooter, Gettysburg.
42 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Trossell‘s House, Battle-Field of Gettysburg
43 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Head-Quarters Major General George C. Meade, During the Battle of Gettysburg.
44 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Slaughter Pen, Foot of Round Top, Gettysburg.
45 Gardner, AlexanderStudying the Art of War, Fairfax Court-House.
46 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Provost Marshall‘s Office, Aquia Creek.
47 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Castle Murray, near Auburn, Virginia.
48 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Culpepper, Virginia.
49 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.General Post-Office, Army of the Potomac, Brandy Station, Virginia.
50 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.The Halt
51 Gardner, JamesThe Shebang, or Quarters of U. S. Sanitary Commission, Brandy Station.
52 Gardner, JamesResidence of Chief Quartermaster Third Army Corps, Brandy Station.
53 Gardner, JamesHeadquarters Christian Commission in the Field.
54 Gardner, JamesField Hospital, Second Army Corps, Brandy Station.
55 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Guard Mount, Head Quarters Army of the Potomac.
56 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Head-Quarters New York Herald, Army of the Potomac, Bealton
57 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Camp Architecture, Brandy Station, Virginia.
58 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Pontoon Boat, Brandy Station, Virginia.
59 Gardner, JamesBattery A, Fourth U. S. Artillery, Robertson‘s Brigade.
60 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Head-Quarters Army of the Potomac, Brandy Station, Virginia.
61 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Commissary Department, Head-Quarters Army of the Potomac.
62 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.U. S. Military Telegraph Construction Corps.
63 Gardner, JamesBreaking Camp, Brandy Station, Virginia.
64 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Wagon Park, Brandy Station, Virginia.
65 Gardner, AlexanderJericho Mills, North Anna, Virginia.
66 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Chesterfield Bridge, North Anna, Virginia.
67 Gardner, AlexanderQuarles‘ Mill, North Anna, Virginia.
68 O‘Sullivan, T.H.Charles City Court-House, Virginia.
69 Gardner, JamesPontoon Bridge Across the James.
70 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Army Repair Shop
71 Reekie, JohnAiken House on Weldon Railroad, Virginia
72 Reekie, JohnMedical Supply Boat, Appomattox Landing, Virginia.
73 Knox, DavidField Telegraph, Battery Wagon.
74 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Poplar Grove Church
75 Knox, DavidMortar Dictator, in Front of Petersburg.
76 Knox, DavidA fancy group, in Front of Petersburg.
77 Knox, DavidArmy Forge Scene, in Front of Petersburg.
78 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H."Three First Traverses on Land End, Fort Fisher, N. C."
79 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.The Pulpit, Fort Fisher, N. C.
80 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Johnson‘s Mill, Petersburg, Virginia
81 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.View of the Petersburg Gas Works
82 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.View on the Appomattox River, near Campbell‘s Bridge, Petersburg, Va.
83 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Quarters of Men in Fort Sedgwick, generally known as Fort Hell.
84 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.View of the Interior of Fort Steadman.
85 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Blandford Church, Petersburg, Virginia
86 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Interior view of the Confederate Line, at Gracie‘s Salient.
87 Reekie, JohnDutch Gap Canal, James River, Virginia.
88 Gardner, AlexanderRuins of Petersburg and Richmond Railroad Bridge, Across the James.
89 Gardner, AlexanderLibby Prison, Richmond, Virginia.
90 Pywell, Wm. R.Old Capitol Prison, Washington.
91 Gardner, AlexanderRuins of Arsenal, Richmond, Virginia.
92 Gardner, AlexanderView on Canal, near Crenshaw‘s Mill, Richmond, Virginia.
93 Reekie, JohnRuins of Gaines‘ Mill, Virginia.
94 Reekie, JohnA Burial Party, Cold Harbor, Virginia
95 Reekie, JohnMechanicsville, Virginia.
96 Reekie, JohnExtreme Line of Confederate Works, Cold Harbor, Virginia.
97 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.Appomattox Station, Virginia.
98 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.High Bridge Crossing the Appomattox, near Farmville, on South Side Railroad, Va.
99 O‘Sullivan, Timothy H.McLean‘s House, Appomattox Court-House, Virginia. Where the Capitulation was Signed between Generals Grant and Lee.
100 Smith, W. MorrisDedication of Monument on Bull Run Battle-Field.



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