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Thursday, September 26, 2013

NOT Lincoln at Gettysburg: One More Clue

      Click on these images for larger viewing.
     After another day of continued debate and further scrutiny, I will offer one more item that I think will help settle this. Let's look once more at the Gardner image that Christopher Oakley suggests shows Lincoln, seated, in his top hat. My post yesterday points out that this "Lincoln" is seated behind and to the left of the center stage where it is reasonable to assume the POTUS would be seated. I have indicated Oakley's "Lincoln" with the big red "O". Move your eyes up and to the left. I have placed a white arrow pointing down to a man standing on a higher elevation, wearing what is a more casual slouch style hat, compared to those seated and to his front in top hats. Make note of the top hat figure directly to his front. Also note the higher figures to his rear and right.

     Below, I have enlarged the slouch hat man a little more. His top hat wearing neighbor is partially cropped out of the view, to his left. Note a white shape that suggests an exposed shirt collar below the profile.

     Moving on now to a detail from the image taken from the approximate front of the speakers' platform by another photographer. I have placed a white arrow pointing down toward an elevated figure in a slouch hat and a largely exposed white shirt collar. Partially concealing him in front is one of numerous men wearing ceremonial sashes. He has taken his hat off at this time. I suggest he is the same man in the previous Gardner view that was to the front left of the slouch hat man. Notice to the right, seated, is one of what is a cluster of men in top hats, more clearly seen in the fuller detail below this one. I am suggesting that this cluster of top hatted men is the grouping seen in the Gardner image where the "Lincoln" is supposed to be seated. By seeing these two images, known to be taken at approximately 60 degrees from each other, we can place the slightly elevated figures in relation to the seated figures and in the larger detail, see where Lincoln truly is seated, further off to the left and in what would be the center of the platform.

     Below, the larger detail shows the cluster of men in top hats, off to the right, with our elevated friends rising to the left, and gradually sloping back down, all the while essentially forming a semi-circle around the President who is seated, bareheaded, to the left of center, above the heads of the audience in front.

      And in closing, to supply a few requests for some indication of the camera positions in relation to the speakers' platform, here is an aerial view with red lines from each camera position pointing directly to the platform. The yellow line indicates the approximate 78 yard separation between the two photographers.
The camera positions are placed according to the map created by William Frassanito in his book, Early Photography at Gettysburg, page 139, and are approximates.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Clue That Should End the "Lincoln at Gettysburg" Question

As with all images on this blog, please click them for larger, detailed viewing.

     Yesterday's hoopla regarding the supposed discovery of a new Lincoln image at Gettysburg is continuing to cause a stir along the media and blogosphere. One consideration that I realized I left out of my prior analysis, was the simple fact that Christopher Oakley's "Lincoln" is sitting behind other attendees, rather than sitting in the prominent front row where one would have to assume the President of the United States would justifiably be seated. Below, I present as I did yesterday, a detailed enlargement of the Alexander Gardner image, annotated with a red "O" over the head of Oakley's "Lincoln". The red X is the point of focus for the encircling spectators.

     An even further enlargement, below, shows quite clearly that the Oakley "Lincoln" is seated with head meekly bowed, at least one row behind what is the apparent stage front, mixed in with other similarly dressed men, all in tall hats and dark coats. Why would the POTUS be seated there in a subservient position? He would not.
     Now, let us look again at the other image taken that day by another photographer, from another angle, perhaps roughly 61 degrees, and about 78 yards slightly northeast from Gardner's camera platform. These estimates are based on mapping created by William Frassanito in his book, Early Photography at Gettysburg, page 139.
     Lincoln is clearly visible, and that has been long established. I have placed an "L" over his head for clarity. Notice if you will, to the far right of the cropped image, there are numerous rows of seated men wearing top hats, behind the two bareheaded gentlemen and a young boy. I submit that it is this grouping of men in hats that we are seeing in Gardner's images, elevated and behind the front row where the President is seated.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Another Grasp to Find Lincoln at Gettysburg Looks Questionable

Readers of this post will need to click the pictures below for detailed viewing.
     Former Disney animator Christopher Oakley has been recently written up in Smithsonian Magazine and in the USA Today. Both articles are publicizing his assertion that the distinct profile of Abraham Lincoln is now correctly "discovered" within Alexander Gardner's stereo views captured on November 19, 1863.
     Readers of this blog will recall my February post debunking the Center for Civil War Photography's claim to finding a "saluting" Lincoln within Gardner's views.
     I will go on record here, doubting just as strongly, Oakley's claim. In the detailed view below, I have annotated the location of the CCWP director John Richter's "Lincoln", with a red 'R". Oakley's with a red "O". And, to right of center, I have placed an "X" to indicate the apparent center of focus for the surrounding spectators. No one seems to be paying attention to either of the suggested Lincolns. Please click the images for larger viewing. 

Below, an even closer detail of the scene demonstrates the lack of attention to the Oakley "Lincoln",
 marked "O". The point of apparent concentration by the surrounding spectators is marked "X".

     Below, a detail from another photograph taken from a different angle, shows a much more focused attention by the crowd on a seated figure, long accepted as being President Lincoln, marked just above his head with a red "L". A stark contrast to the seemingly ignored figure seen in the above detail.

All images are available for even greater scrutiny on the Library of Congress website.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Harvest of Death - No "Third Corps badge" here folks

     I have no intention of rehashing all of my previous Harvest of Death material in this post, the reader can easily find that material here in my back catalog and review it themselves.. The purpose here today is to present a very simple visual dispelling of the long rumored suggestion that these dead are members of the Federal Third Corps. It is an issue that many continue to inject as "proof" that these honored dead are not members of the First Corps as Scott Hartwig, and myself, have demonstrated. It has even been suggested by William Frassasnito, in print, that the suspected "Third Corps badge" could very easily be something else, such as a cartridge box tin. Well folks, for your visual inspection and peace of mind, I shall illustrate that indeed, without a doubt, the item in question is a tin insert from a cartridge box. Take a look:
Here is the full plate image of A Harvest of Death.
Below, is a detail, with sharpened tones and contrasts,
showing at far left center, a diamond shaped item among
a pile of clothing and other debris. Click any of these 
images for larger inspection.
Now, below is another cropping of the suspect item,
seen at right of center. Note the clearly closed  
compartment of the upper tin, as well as the open lower half.
Here, look below at an actual cartridge box tin, 
positioned in pretty much the same orientation
as the one visible in the above image.
Also, for further size comparison, look at another item,
seen nearby in the detail below, an undisputed leather cap box.

See below, oriented in a similar fashion,
an actual cap box. Easy, right?
Next, let us compare the cap box in size relation to the tin.
Pretty similar in overall size. My point being here that, if
the diamond shaped item were a "third corps badge", it would
be the largest example, four inches across, point to point.
 Far larger than a regulation hat insignia.

Below let us look at the same bodies from the near opposite direction.
First from one stereo version by O'Sullivan...
...and in the other by Gibson. The suspect item is
at far right center now, among the assorted darker items.
Let's zoom in and take a closer look in Gibson's.
And now from O'Sullivan's below.
Be sure to click the images for
larger inspection.
Finally, see below the cartridge box tin,
oriented in the same fashion as the item
in question. Same features, closed upper
compartment, and open lower section.

Are we all comfortable on that question now?