There's something about black and white photography from certain eras. It condemns its subjects to be seen as items of historical interest rather than allowing them to be seen as real people.
Most of the time this is OK, but when it comes to understanding war, it's often best to put a human touch to it.
That's what we have here. 15 shots of the Civil War which have been colorized by reddit contributors. They bring their subjects to a life in a way that you simply will not be able to forget. These images are quite remarkable.
1. Sad Scene
These are confederate soldiers laying where they fell in front of Dunker Church, in the West Woods, following the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1872.
2. Bringing Out The Big Guns
As you might expect, these are artillery officers. They are pictured in Fair Oaks, Virginia at some point in June 1862 following the Battle of Seven Pines.
3. Prison Fare
This photo has three Confederate prisoners standing on Seminary Ridge near Gettysburg in 1863. The war would have nearly been at an end when this was shot.
4. Sketching Conflict
This chap would have been what's known as an "artist correspondent." Photography was simply too expensive and slow to use to capture combat. This photo was taken at Gettysburg in July 1863.
5. Chilling Out
This is the complete staff of Andrew Porter along with General George A. Custer all having a relaxing time (along with a dog) in 1862.
6. Captain Cunningham
Captain Cunningham served in the Union Army as part of the Irish contingent and this photo was taken at some point in 1863. He cuts a dashing figure here.
7. This Is The End
This is a photograph of Robert E Lee, a week after he and his men had surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant. The war was officially over.
8. Captain And Lieutenant
This is Captain George A. Custer (who would become Major General Custer later in the war) and Lieutenant James Washing in Fair Oaks, Virginia in 1862.
9. The Man Himself
This is General Ulysses S. Grant, the man who won the war, and his friends Brigadier General John Rawlins and a Lieutenant Colonel whose name is not known. This was at Grant's HQ in City Point in 1865.
10. Officers Together
This was a group of Union Officers who were part of the 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry. They're taking some time out at Westover Landing in the August of 1862.
11. Serious Surgeons
This is a group of surgeons gathered together near a hospital tent in July of 1864. They would have served the 3rd division which was stationed at Petersburg, Virginia at that time.
12. A General Approaches
This was General William T. Sherman. The photograph is of him riding a horse near the Federal Fort No 7. The date is roughly November 1864.
13. The Powder Monkey
A powder monkey's job was to ensure the firing of shipborne artillery went without a hitch. This powder monkey was photographed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865.
14. Soldier And Sling Cart
A sling cart would have been used to haul heavy guns into position on the field. This soldier is pictured next to a sling cart at some point in 1865.
15. A Great Man
Here we have the man behind it all, President Abraham Lincoln, meeting with the General George McClellan on October 3, 1862. The meeting took place in the fields near Antietam.
Isn't the use of color a real change from the usual images of the Civil War? It sure helped us see things more clearly.
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