With wars around the world on television and print media, it is hard to imagine a time when photography was in its early stages of development. Before the mid 19th century, war was portrayed in paintings and engravings. The American Civil War was the first war in America’s history that was widely photographed. Alexander Gardner was one of the great photographers of the American Civil War. His photography portrayed the gritty horror, devastation and desolation of war in a manner that had never been done before.
Photographs at that time could not capture motion. A photographer of the 19th century was challenged with providing a glimpse into the heat of battle with still shots that captured the soul of frantic and desperate moments.
Following is a documentary about his work and its place in the history of photography, as well as collective national memory.