Images of the Month Gallery
August 2003
140 years ago this month the nation was in the midst of the Civil War. Though the conflict would continue for another twenty months, the Confederacy had already suffered serious defeats that would prove too much to overcome. The great battle of Gettysburg, a monumental victory for the Union army, had been fought early in the previous month, and more than a year had passed since the fall of New Orleans had made it possible for federal forces to gain control of the Mississippi River.

We present this month a dozen images from a small collection of hand-colored lantern slides housed in the Louisiana Photograph Collection. These slides comprise photographic reproductions of a number of chromolithographs depicting battle scenes, along with photographs taken of battle sites long after Appomattox. Some of the slides were produced by Philadelphia photographer William H. Rau while others are the work of the Philadelphia firm of Williams, Brown & Earle. We present them in chronological order by date of the respective battles. For battle scenes we've included the date(s) of each battle; for the site photographs we've guessed ca. 1885 as about the time that they were taken.

Click on the images below to see a larger version and accompanying text.

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