Monday, February 2, 2009

Picture of the Week

Starting today, I will try to be posting one picture a week of something Gettysburg related. Of course, I will attempt to find interesting and little seen images that convey something which might not be usually seen. These images will include black and white photos from different eras, both old and contemporary art, and other images as well.

This first photo is entitled "Gettysburg camp of Captain Huft" and was taken by famed photographer Alexander Gardner. (Click on it to enlarge.) It was taken in July of 1865 when the cornerstone of the Soldiers National Monument in the National Cemetery was dedicated. The road behind them would almost have to be the Taneytown Road looking southward. This photo was most likely taken in the area of what is now the soon-to-be demolished old visitor center. The cemetery would be to the rear left of the photographer's point of view.

As to this Captain Huft, who I assume is the prominent figure on the right center, I really do not know who he is or what his official position was. Did he have some official part in the creation or construction of the monument? If you know the answer to this question, please feel free to leave me a message below.

The African-Americans in the photo pose an even more interesting question: Who are they? Since Gardner took a photo of Huft and these gentleman, one would assume they had some significance or relevance in the ceremony proceedings. I would guess that they are paid laborers and possibly even laid the cornerstone itself for the monument. Either that or they played some important part in getting things started. Regardless, it looks as if they are enjoying a good meal! Ah, the mysteries of history. Anyway, it is a great photo that many I'm sure have not seen. Enjoy.

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