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The View From Here: 1864

1864. "Nashville, Tennessee. View from Capitol." Wet plate glass negative by George N. Barnard. View full size.

1864. "Nashville, Tennessee. View from Capitol." Wet plate glass negative by George N. Barnard. View full size.


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Almost existentialist.

Every time I see these two remarkable photographs I think of how modern their composition is. For me, they're an inseparable pair which should be viewed sequentially, as here. (I'd have been most proud if I'd taken them).

For the period -- hardly 30+ years since the invention of photography and barely having emerged from slow poisonous daguerreotype era -- these photographs, especially the second one, are just wonderful. Composition, lighting, photographic technology, happenstance, a first rate photographer and even a ladder have all combined to make what we today would understand as iconic prizewinning photos.

The inclusion of the ladder is masterful, 'tis a mindbogglingly modern touch for 1864.

Is that George N. Barnard himself holding the statues up (I wouldn't be s bit surprised)? Does anyone know for sure?

Civil War

My great-grandfathers died n this war. My grandfather saw feathers n the air n Atlanta and at age 5, found it amazing. He learned later that Sherman and troops were splitting all feather beds looking for hidden treasures.

[How nteresting. - Dave]

Five blocks away

Sit I in my office (which was used as a hospital during the Civil War)

Men In Black

Take the clothes off the guy on the right and it would almost look like he belongs there, however I wouldn't want to see it.

Battle of Nashville Preservation Society

"During the Union occupation of Nashville (1862-65), the Capitol was transformed into Fortress Andrew Johnson. The artillery located there never had to be fired in battle, but were used for drills and celebrations."

That would explain the massive timbers blocking the steps.


An alternate view, along with a link (in the comments) to the story of the statues.

In Union hands

If you were Sesech, it didn't look good for you in Nashville either. When this photo was taken, Nashville was already under Union control as it was the first Confederate capital to fall to Federal troops in February 1862.

Doesn't look good.

When I look north I see Grant marching to Virginia, and to the south I see Sherman marching to the sea.

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