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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.

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War Effort: 1865

War Effort: 1865

Circa 1865. "City Point, Virginia. Unloading Federal supplies from transports." Civil War glass negative collection, Library of Congress. View full size.

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I think the railroad was operating

It can bee seen in the background of this shot

General George Gordon Meade

I apologize if my English is not very good. I'm from Cádiz (Spain), where General George Gordon Meade was born in 1815. I am very concerned for his involvement in the American Civil War (it was a bit controversial) and especially by his father, Richard Worsam Meade, who died in 1828 in Philadelphia. Richard Worsam Meade had a large fleet of boats in Cádiz, but lost everything in the war against Napoleon for his generosity to the Spanish cause. Was imprisoned in the Castle of Santa Catalina in Cadiz due to debts contracted. When he was released back to the United States.

Primitive logistics

In examining this photo, it is useful to remember that the Federal army was operating in enemy territory; that the South's infrastructure had deteriorated; and a line route for the railroad was not available because Richmond had not been taken.
I suspect the size of the shipping was dictated by the James River and the decay of the docks.

I have not seen a good book on the logistics of the Civil War. Perhaps someone could suggest a title?

Walking Beam Engine

Love the walking beam engine on the Columb(ia?). I have always been impressed with how large they were.

Technology Moves Slowly

As in previous views of City Point (now Hopewell, VA, it appears from modern maps), one is struck by how primitive the operation was considering it was the main front in one of the biggest wars in US history. Contrary to the impression from history books, most of the logistsics ships are sail rather than steam (and this is some 50 miles up the James River from its mouth -- much more efficiently handled by a steam ship). On land, it's draft animals pulling wagons, not railroads, although the latter were common in the time period and actually did play a role at City Point.

Another peculiarity is the ramshackle appearance of the infrastructure -- no neatly organized piers with cranes on them, as we would expect in more recent conflicts, but a maze of pilings separating the berths for the ships from the shore, with no obvious way to get the cargoes across the shoals but lighterage, and what might be the decking of a pier being laid in the foreground.

SHORPY OLD 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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