One of the most famous landscape photographs showing the horrible aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg.
- war photography
- collodion process
- The Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg
This photograph was included in Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War (1866). Each photograph had a lengthy caption that explained what was captured in each scene.
For the “Harvest of Death” photo the caption read: “It was, indeed, a ‘harvest of death.’ . . . Such a picture conveys a useful moral: It shows the blank horror and reality of war, in opposition to its pageantry. Here are the dreadful details! Let them aid in preventing such another calamity falling upon the nation.”
The Gettysburg Address—setting and context, with Dr. Kimberly Kutz Elliott
The Gettysburg Address—full text and analysis, with Dr. Kimberly Kutz Elliott
See more photos from Alexander Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War at the Met
Learn more about the wet plate photography process from PBS
William A. Frassanito, Gettysburg: A Journey in Time (Scribner, 1975), and Early Photography at Gettysburg (Thomas, 1996).
D. Mark Katz, Witness to an Era: The Life and Photographs of Alexander Gardner (Rutledge Hill Press, 1999).
Richard S. Lowry, The Photographer and the President: Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Gardner, and the Images that Made a Presidency (Rizzoli, 2015).