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Herbert William Singleton Collection of Civil War Photographs: Finding Aid
photCL 445  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Herbert William Singleton Collection of Civil War Photographs
    Dates (inclusive): approximately 1861-1890s
    Collection Number: photCL 445
    Extent: 392 photographs in 14 boxes : albumen prints on mounts ; 33 x 19 cm and smaller.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo Archives
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection consists of Civil War photographs that include the work of noted photographers Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, William H. Tipton, and George S. Cook. Lindsey M. Gould, a Civil War veteran, acquired the photographs in the late 19th century as a keepsake of his war experience.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    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

    [Identification of item], Herbert William Singleton Collection of Civil War Photographs, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Partial gift and purchase from John Singleton and Joan Prestine, May 2001.

    Custodial History

    Lindsey M. Gould, a Civil War veteran, acquired the photographs in the 1880s as a keepsake of his war experience. At Mr. Gould's death around 1919, the entire collection went to his close friend Herbert W. Singleton. The collection remained in the Singleton family until May 2001 when the Huntington Library acquired it through a gift and purchase arrangement.

    Scope and Content

    The Herbert William Singleton Collection is a group of Civil War photographs acquired by Civil War veteran Lindsey M. Gould in the late 19th century as a keepsake of his war experience. The collection includes the work of noted photographers Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, William H. Tipton, and George S. Cook.
    The collection is organized into four discrete yet interrelated units. The first consists of 79 photographs by Mathew Brady (1823-1896) and Alexander Gardner (1821- 1882) of scenes of the Civil War taken between 1861 and 1865. Included are group portraits of generals with their staffs, important wartime sites and activities, and photographs of paintings depicting various skirmishes. While the photographs were taken by Brady and Gardner during the war, the images were printed around 1885 by John Taylor and marketed by the firm of Taylor & Huntington. These photographer-entrepreneurs hoped to capitalize on twenty-fifth anniversary war reunions and commemorations by reissuing the once-familiar views. On the verso of each image is a partial list of the photographs sold by Taylor & Huntington for 75 cents a piece.
    The second grouping of photographs depicts two views of Abraham Lincoln and portraits of the Lincoln conspirators and their execution. These were also taken by Brady and Gardner during the war and, as with the first group, printed and issued around 1885 by Taylor & Huntington. Of particular rarity are the fourteen photographs of the Lincoln assassination conspirators including portraits of David Herold, George Atzerot, Edward Spangler, two views of Lewis Payne, two views of Michael O’Laughlin, and an unidentified conspirator. Additionally, there is a complete set of three images depicting the execution of Mrs. Surratt and the conspirators taken by Alexander Gardner on July 7, 1865, as well as three of the five known images documenting the execution of Captain Wirtz, the notorious Keeper of Andersonville Prison.
    Eighty-three cabinet portraits of Confederate Generals and other Southern leaders by George S. Cook (1819-1902) comprise the third section of the collection. Cook was a friend and former employee of Mathew Brady, and he provided E. & H.T. Anthony Co. with portraits from the South, including the first portrait of Colonel Robert Anderson. These portraits may come from sources other than Cook as he purchased competing photographers negatives, issuing them on his mounts. These portraits were taken in the 1860s but printed between 1880 and 1890 when Cook operated his Richmond, Virginia studio at 913 East Main Street.
    The last grouping of photographs contains 210 images by William H. Tipton (1850- 1929), the self-described “Battlefield Photographer.” The imperial-sized photographs depict the numerous monuments erected on the Gettysburg battlefield to honor the soldiers who fought and died in this decisive battle. The photographs date from the 1880s. The Singleton Collection constitutes of one of the most complete historic archives of the Gettysburg monuments.
    An item-level description for all the images follows in the container list. The Huntington item number appears in the left margin beside each photograph. Where applicable, the photographer’s original negative number appears in parentheses at the end of the description. Descriptions appearing in brackets were assigned by the cataloger.


    Selected sources consulted for preparing this finding aid include:
    Catalogue of Stereoscopic Views of the Battle-field of Gettysburg, Photographed and Published By William H. Tipton & Co., Gettysburg, PA (Gettysburg: J.E. Wible, Printer, 1873).
    Darrah, William C. The World of Stereographs (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: W.C. Darrah, 1977).
    Panzer, Mary. Mathew Brady and the Image of History (Washington & London: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Portrait Gallery, 1997).
    Ramsay, Jack C., Jr. Photographer Under Fire: The Story of George S. Cook (1819- 1902) (Green Bay, Wisconsin: Historical Resources Press, 1994).

    Related materials in the Huntington Library


    The collection is arranged in the following 4 series:
    • I. Matthew Brady and Alexander Gardner Photographs/Issued by Taylor & Huntington (Boxes 1-3, Items 1-79)
    • II. Views of President Lincoln; the Execution of the Lincoln Conspirators; and Portraits of the Conspirators by Mathew Brady & Alexander Gardner/Issued by Taylor & Huntington (Box 4, Items 80-95)
    • III. Portraits of Confederate Officers and others by George S. Cook (Box 5, Items 96-181)
    • IV. Gettysburg Battlefield Monument Photographs by William H. Tipton (Boxes 6-14, Items 182-392)
    Note: Forty photographs from Series IV were matted in 2012 and moved to oversize boxes listed at the end of the container list Goerg(Boxes 10-14).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 -- Photographs.
    Atzerodt, George A., 1835-1865 -- Photographs.
    Herold, David E., 1844-1865 -- Photographs.
    O'Laughlin, Michael, d. 1867 -- Photographs.
    Spangler, Edward -- Photographs.
    Payne, Lewis, 1845-1865 -- Photographs.
    Surratt, Mary E. (Mary Eugenia), 1820-1865 -- Death and burial -- Photographs.
    Wirz, Henry, 1823?-1865 -- Death and burial -- Photographs.
    Hanging -- Photographs.
    United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Monuments -- Photographs.
    United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Photographs.


    Albumen prints.
    Portrait photographs.


    Gould, Lindsey M., collector.
    Singleton, Herbert W., former owner.
    Brady, Mathew B., approximately 1823-1896, photographer.
    Tipton, William H., 1850-1929, photographer.
    Cook, George S. (George Smith), 1819-1902, photographer.
    Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882, photographer.
    Taylor & Huntington, publisher.