Collection of Civil War photographs including war casualties photCL 307

Suzanne Oatey
The Huntington Library
April 2021
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library Photo Archives
Title: Collection of Civil War photographs including war casualties
Identifier/Call Number: photCL 307
Physical Description: 1 Volume (63 photographs)
Date (inclusive): approximately 1863-1865
Abstract: A group of 63 Civil War photographs, including views of war dead at Gettysburg, officers and soldiers at camp, battlefields, and others, approximately 1863-1865.
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

photCL 307, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Gertrude M. Nicholson, through the agency of Robert O. Schad, September 1922.

Scope and Contents

A collection of 63 Civil War photographs compiled by John P. Nicholson, Civil War veteran and collector. The albumen photographs are mounted on boards that had been bound into an album (now disbound). Most are undated and have little identification, though some have faded pencil writing on back. Many images depict battlefields, primarily in Gettysburg, such as Little Round Top, Devil's Den, and others. Of particular note are photographs of war dead on the battlefield by Mathew B. Brady and Timothy O'Sullivan (1863); and an image of a dead young man, labeled a "rebel sharpshooter," by Alexander Gardner. Another image shows Brady overlooking "The Wheat Field" at Gettysburg, July 1863, attributed to Egbert Guy Fowx. There are several group portraits of soldiers and officers, often at camp, sitting or standing in front of tents; one features officers with women, presumably their wives or family members. Those identified include General Francis Preston Blair Jr. and staff; soldiers of the 8th New York State Militia at camp; 1st U.S. Cavalry at Brandy Station, Virginia; musical band of the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry (Zouaves); and artillery of the Army of the Cumberland near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Other subjects are: General George G. Meade's headquarters; men building fortifications; a government coal wharf and the Orange and Alexandria Railroad roundhouse in Alexandria, Virginia; a bird's-eye-view of Washington, D.C. with the Capitol and Smithsonian Institute Building "The Castle"; and a panoramic image of "the field over which Pickett charged" by photographer William Bell. A few images include Black men in civilian clothing. The album is disbound, and three photographs have been matted and housed in Box 2.

Processing Information

Processed by Huntington Library staff, mid-20th century. In 2021, Suzanne Oatey created a finding aid.


Title supplied by cataloger. Binder's title on spine: "War Photographs."


Former call number: 56387.

Custodial History

This album was received as part of the Nicholson collection of papers, manuscripts and books related to the Civil War.

Related Materials

John Page Nicholson papers and Civil War collection, mssNI 1-990. Additional volumes of photographs from the Nicholson collection: photCL 302, photCL 303, photCL 304, photCL 305, photCL 306, photCL 308, photCL 309.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Gettysburg, Battle of, Gettysburg, Pa., 1863
Soldiers -- United States -- Civil War, 1861-1865
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- African Americans -- Sources
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Battlefields
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Casualties
Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Campaigns
Photograph albums
Bell, William, 1830-1910
Brady, Mathew B., approximately 1823-1896
Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
O'Sullivan, Timothy H., 1840-1882
Nicholson, John P. (John Page), 1842-
Blair, Frank P., Jr. (Francis Preston), 1821-1875
Meade, George Gordon, 1815-1872
United States Capitol (Washington, D.C.)

Box 1

Photograph album (disbound)

Box 2

Matted photographs from album

Scope and Contents

  • Three photographs:
  • 13. Wheatfield in which General Reynolds was shot, Gettysburg, July 1863. Photographer: Attributed to Egbert Guy Fowx, for Mathew B. Brady studio.
  • 15. View of Mathew B. Brady at the Gettysburg battlefield, July 1863. Photographer: Attributed to Egbert Guy Fowx, for Mathew B. Brady studio.
  • 51. Battle-Field of Gettysburg. View on the Field after Fight of First Day, July 4, 1863. Photographer: Timothy H. O'Sullivan