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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Gettysburg - Field Where Reynolds Fell - Stereoview Then and Now, and more...

     I am now two weeks away from the fourth anniversary of my initial investigations into the location of Gettysburg's "Harvest of Death", and "Field Where Reynolds Fell" photo series. Over the four years I have made some early adjustments as to the camera position on the field, but have not wavered from the one key element of my work, that the Thompson House is sitting in the upper right horizon of the O'Sullivan view titled, "Gettysburg, Pa. Bodies of Federal soldiers, killed on July 1, near the McPherson woods". This has been fought tooth and nail by the Center for Civil War Photography's co-founder and vice-president, Garry Adelman. In late October this year, he showed a giant anaglyph of the "Federal dead on the right of the Federal lines, killed on July 1" variation, taken by James Gibson, while telling a walking tour he was conducting about the "importance of seeing these images in stereo" when attempting to find their location. Yes, yes indeed Garry, it is vital. Below, I provide stereo pairings from the original O'Sullivan negatives, and a modern stereo pair I made in September. I don't make anaglyphs so pull out your real viewers, such as those issued with the first two Bob Zeller books, or old CCWP seminars, and take a look. Click on the images to see them in larger format as well, especially if the right hand column of this blog interferes with your viewing from the home page.
Get your viewers ready!

     If you are new to all this hubbub, take time to review some of the more recent postings I have made here, especially the ones featuring videos with overlays. Please read my dissection of the actual Harvest of Death photograph companion image as well. In four years I have provided plenty of evidence that the location is found, yet the steadfast denials still spill forth. How many supposed coincidences of "similar ground" but not "the" place can be asserted before it gets ridiculous? All the logic in the world, and the topographic evidence, along with the ORIGINAL CAPTIONING for Pete's sake! Let's see where this goes! 

Here is a little video to lay out the location of this series. Enjoy.


Dwayne said...

John, my observation on this is that(if I can explain it clearly) the ground in the original appears more undulating, you can see with the tree to the left that its trunk is hidden in this undulation if you will. Or perhaps the original was taken further, deeper, in the swale. There appears to be more of a rise in the original leading up to your proposed Lees HQ than in your image if that makes since.

John Cummings said...


Thank you for your comments. I suggest you take a look at the previous material, particularly the video posts in October.
Also, let me point out, when I went to my site in September to take this stereo image, I made no effort to be 100% precise, something impossible to do without more sophisticated equipment than my eyes. I only sought to demonstrate the effect, and after reviewing my other material you should have a clearer perspective of the ground. Your points are all covered in those postings.

Jim Beeghley said...


Nice work on the Google Earth tour. From your video I was able to recreate the lines and angles.

Have you looked into software to record your screen? I personally use Camtasia, however Screencast O Matic ( is free and would provide better quality for your viewers.

Thanks for all you do.


Dwayne said...

Will do, thanks

John Heiser said...

John, I appreciate the fact that you have to once again defend your thesis, it seems, over and over again. I'm coming to the conclusion that this series has been over analyzed for landscape features versus the location of Federal dead still being exposed on the battlefield as late as July 6 when Gardner & crew most likely made this series of images. The landscape where this series was taken has undergone numerous changes with time, both natural and man made, though as you point out, the general features such as ridges, etc., have remained yet altered by natural conditions and ground cover. The primary focus of this series is simple; this is the result of a fight on an established battle line where the dead lie as they fell from that line, the bodies altered only by the robbing of their shoes and personal belongings. It is one of the few series taken during the war that reveals the reality of such a case, similar to the images taken of the dead of Starke's brigade along the Hagerstown Pike at Antietam, where neither friend nor foe had any time or inclination to gather the bodies for burial. As we have discussed before, there were few other sites on the field where Federal dead remained unburied by the time of Gardner's arrival and the first day's field, this location, is the best candidate so far. Viewing the images as stereoviews presented by the CCWP and as you have presented here has added greater weight to this location but only in combination with the historic record of after action reports, historical base maps, and surveys, which you have strived to add to the weight of your blog posts on this subject. There may always be doubt in what you've presented but be assured that to this point, I've not seen any other candidate locations on the field where the evidence is so much in favor of this site. Good job.

D said...

John Cummings, on page 146-147 in "A Strange and Blighted Land" by Gregory Coco there is an entry about remains that were discovered.
August 1927-....The other was found in the field bordering Reynolds Avenue on the East, a short distance South of the Chambersburg Road. The latter was found while excavating for the foundation of a monument. Both were believed to be Union dead, and were reburied as "unknown" in the National Cemetery.
Sounds like the area of the photo.

Anonymous said...

As a personal friend of some of the naysayers I will remain anonymous, I have been following this photo, story, and debate for years. About 41 years to be exact. I believe when Gardner got to Gettysburg on the evening of July 6th it is entirely possible that he was anxious to use the remaining light in the evening to travel out to the Chambersburg Pike and capture these images. I believe you have done an excellent job and although I am not trained as a historian, I am convinced. Hope to meet you someday.