Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Dutch Gap Canal Combat Photograph

Before (left) and after (right) the Confederate shell exploded.

A better version of the photograph on the left before the shell exploded. The smoke coming from a fire in the shelter built into the canal in the background is obviously different from the smoke said to be coming from the exploding Confederate shell.

Animated stereoview that looks like it was taken during the same photo shoot as the other two photographs.
An image taken during the Dutch Gap Canal photographic sequence was possibly the first combat photograph to be taken during fighting on land (top right). According to the stereocard it was released on: “The mist rising against the bank is caused by a rebel shell, which exploded just as this view was being photographed, December, 1864.” Unfortunately, this is the best quality image of the photograph so far released online. The CCWP web post says that Union soldiers can be seen moving away from the smoke in the background to the right, inferring that they are escaping the shell explosion. It appears they are emerging from digging in a deeper section of the canal. The officer in the right foreground is said to look quite unfazed by the whole ordeal, merely turning his head towards the commotion. The image said to be taken right before the shell exploded is on the top left and a better resolution version is below it. . The animated stereoview photograph at the bottom looks like it was taken during the same photo shoot as the other two and portrays the same main subjects but from a greater distance away. Possibly taken by A.J. Russell.

Source 1.
Source 2.
Source 3.

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