Alexander Gardner took 70 photographs of the battlefield starting just two days after the battle. This was the first time an American battlefield had ever been photographed before the dead had been buried. Gardner returned in early October when President Lincoln visited General George McClellan and the Army of the Potomac and took another series of images. Gardner, 41 years old at the time of the battle, was employed by Mathew Brady who owned of a photography gallery in Washington, D.C. during the Civil War. - nps.gov
After the war, Brady established a gallery for Gardner in Washington, DC. In 1867, Gardner was appointed the official photographer of the Union Pacific Railroad, documenting the building of the railroad in Kansas as well as numerous Native American tribes that he encountered.In 1871, Gardner gave up photography to start an insurance company. He lived in Washington until his death in 1882. Regarding his work he said, “It is designed to speak for itself. As mementos of the fearful struggle through which the country has just passed, it is confidently hoped that it will possess an enduring interest.” - civilwar.org
Alexander Gardner (October 17, 1821 – December 10, 1882) was a Scottish photographer who immigrated to the United States in 1856, where he began to work full-time in that profession. He is best known for his photographs of the American Civil War, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, and the execution of the conspirators to Lincoln's assassination.
Both ... served our schools for many years. Both were role models for our youths and well liked by our community.
We as a community, as the district, should show how much we appreciate them. I can't think of a better way to recognize them than in this way.
Verbal representations of such places or scenes may, or may not, have the merit of accuracy; but photographic presentments of them will be accepted by posterity with an undoubting faith.
Such a picture [A Harvest of Death, Gettysburg battlefield, July, 1863] conveys a useful moral: It shows the blank horror and reality of war, in opposition to the pageantry. Here are the dreadful details! Let them aid in preventing such another calamity falling upon the nation. (1866)
My work is designed to speak for itself. as mementos of the fearful struggle through which the country has just passed, it is confidently hoped that it will possess an enduring interest.