In the predawn hours of May 4, the Federal 5th and 6th Corps began their way across two pontoon bridges at Germanna Ford, on the Rapidan River. Photographer Timothy O'Sullivan, an employee of Alexander Gardner, was perched on the Orange County side to record the movement, standing where a previously destroyed bridge had brought travelers across in a more peaceful time. The stone abutments of that bridge are visible at left of center. In post-war years other bridges would be built and replaced several times. Today's double span of State Route 3 was completed 1987, providing an interesting contrast to the two, temporary canvas pontoon bridges that spanned the space below them, a century and a half before.
O'Sullivan created a triptych of sorts, forming a panoramic view. The video below focuses on the left most image of the three.
January 18, 2009
O'Sullivan's other two exposures, looking gradually more north and northeast.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.
A similar view to O'Sullivan's northeast view, January 18, 2009.
Click any of the images for larger examination.
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