Battlefield Guide Services

Monday, July 1, 2013

Podcast: The Battlefield Photography of Dr. Reed B. Bontecou

     Earlier in the year I gave a talk on the post-war battlefield photography of Union Surgeon, Dr. Reed Brockway Bontecou, in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is material I have been working on since 2004, revealing the origins of a stereoview series previously credited to a mysterious Baltimore photographer, G. O. Brown. Click the link to listen to a podcast recording made that evening. 
link - The Battlefield Photography of Dr. Reed B. Bontecou
There is an audio flaw at 12:36 minutes into the program. Not certain what happened there.
Below are a few of the images discussed during the presentation.
Click on the images for larger viewing.

     One of eight images of Dr. Bontecou within the series. Detail from a stereo card in the collection of Robin Stanford, with permission. Bontecou is standing in front of Confederate breastworks near the Orange Plank Road.
A later, published portrait of Dr. Bontecou for comparison purposes. Note the distinctive beard.

The sign on the "hacked and barkless trunk". Note the bullet holes peppering the surface.
April 1866.

The detail from the left horizon line revealing the McCoull House on the Spotsylvania Battlefield.
The discovery of the structure in the image was vital to locating the series on the ground
The other view of the same sign and tree creating the triangulation that helped locate the original camera positions. April 1866.

The same view today, showing the earthen parapet extensively eroded.

One of the "G. O. Brown" stereoviews, showing skeletal remains in the Wilderness. April 1866.
Collection of the author.

Shallow graves of dead Confederate soldiers beside the Orange Plank Road.
April 1866. The skull at center resides in the Armed Forces Museum of Pathology Collection,


John Heiser said...

Excellent entry on Bontecou's photographic work in the Wildernes, John! His series of post-war images have not been fully explored and though they do not get as much attention as wartime photographers, his photographic records on the Wilderness, Chancellorsville and Spotsylvania battlefields are invaluable in understanding wartime landscape features. A+!

Anonymous said...

More links to Bontecou photographs

Anonymous said...

ANy Idea where the Steroviews of remains was made?