SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

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Army of the James: 1865

Army of the James: 1865

April 1865. "James River, Virginia. View of the completed Dutch Gap canal." From photos of the main Eastern theater of war, the Army of the James, June 1864- April 1865. Wet-plate glass negative, photographer unknown. View full size.

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Different course now

Here's a satellite view of the modern result:

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Another learning experience

Y'know, besides just enjoying the heck out of the Shorpy photos, I'm also learning so much about our great nation by checking in daily. Today I add the Dutch Gap to my gray cells!


The work of the Army of the James still stands today.

Brand new

Right behind the group of men to the right is where the bulkhead was. This picture was probably taken moments after the bulkhead was blown up.

Dutch Gap Canal

Union troops began digging the Dutch Gap Canal in 1864 to bypass a bend in the James River dominated by Confederate forts. The effort failed, but the canal was later completed and now is the main channel of the James River.

There's a great deal more information here.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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