\"High

High Command. Massaponax Church, Virginia. ‘Council of War’, General Ulysses S. Grant examines a map held by General George Gordon Meade, May 21, 1864. Photo by: Library of Congress

The American Civil War through the eyes of an Irish photographer

\"High

High Command. Massaponax Church, Virginia. ‘Council of War’, General Ulysses S. Grant examines a map held by General George Gordon Meade, May 21, 1864. Photo by: Library of Congress

Timothy O’Sullivan was one of the best known and most prolific documenters of the American Civil War.

Photo Gallery - Timothy O'Sullivan's photogtaphs of the Overland Campaign.

Born in Ireland, he and his parents immigrated to New York when O’Sullivan was two years old (though some differing accounts of his life say he was born in New York). As a teenager, he was an apprentice to the Irish American photographer, Matthew Brady.

For the first year of the Civil War, O’Sullivan worked with Brady, and then in 1862 became assistant to colleague Alexander Gardner when Gardner moved to set up his own studio. Garder and O’Sullivan were among the first photographers to arrive at Gettysburg, and O’Sullivan, often traveling with the Union army, bore witness to many other key points in the war.

After, he journeyed west on a number of geological survey expeditions, and even led his own expedition in 1873. In 1882 O'Sullivan died of tuberculosis. He was just 42 years of age. He is buried in St. Peter's Catholic Cemetery on Staten Island.

Some of O’Sullivan’s most famous images turn 150 this month. In May of 1864, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Army began the Overland Campaign, which aimed to wedge Union forces between the troops of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.

The Library of Congress has a plethora of O’Sullivan’s images, recently highlighted by archaeologist Damian Shiels, who writes for the Irish in the American Civil War site. Click through to the gallery to see his captures of Grant and his officers as they set out on the campaign, Union High Command base at Massaponax Church, the aftermath of fighting at Spotsylvania, and more.

Photo Gallery - Timothy O'Sullivan's photogtaphs of the Overland Campaign.

COMMENTS

Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:


Already have an account ?

For Newsletter Subscribers – Draw for 1 Prize on December 31st.

Prize: Your Piece of Ireland – a Square of Land in the heart of the Glens of Antrim, Ireland

More details here (or you can buy a little piece of Ireland directly): http://bit.ly/1zew9ox

Terms & Conditions

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.


Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: