George N. Barnard was one of the most skilled and versatile cameramen of the Civil War, photographing in the Virginia area, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. He worked independently and for E. & H.T. Anthony & Co., Brady & Co. and Alexander Gardner.
More mobile than many operators, in late 1863, Barnard was hired by the Topographical Branch of the Department of Engineers, Army of the Cumberland to make photographs in the West. Barnard worked in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville and from there went to Atlanta. He documented the destruction in Atlanta and then followed General William Tecumseh Sherman to the coast. Barnard personally found the destruction of the Atlanta disturbing.During the war, Barnard conceived the idea of a photographically illustrated book similar to Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War. Barnard realized he needed more plates for his publication having been slowed during the war by the rapid movements of the army and went back out in the field to photograph areas he missed.
His resultant book, Photographic views of Sherman’s campaign, from negatives taken in the field is held by SMU’s DeGolyer Library and now available online in SMU’s CUL Digital Collections in the Civil War: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints collection.
Exterior view of Fort Sumpter [sic].[/caption]The volume of 61 stunning albumen silver prints taken between 1864 and 1866 starts in Nashville and ends in Charleston. It is accompanied by a booklet, also online, with information about the plates and related Civil War battles.
After the war, Barnard continued his photographic work in Charleston, Chicago, Alabama and New York.