Skip to Content

Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War

8 Favorites 3 Copies (view)
Visual Arts +2 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary

This is a collection of photographic plates from Alexander Gardner's Civil War Sketchbook that can be used for teaching about the Civil War in a number of ways. Students can explore the collection and look for images that help them learn about one of the following themes:

1) Technology

2) Military Strategy

3) Life in Military Camps

4) Death and Destruction

5) Photography as Art and Communication

The plates are in order as they appeared in the book, although some have not been included in order to limit the size of the collection. Note that some of the images have additional information linking to external websites with lesson ideas or simply more background on the particular photograph. In addition, be aware that each plate has two images, the first showing the photograph and the second showing Gardner's caption. The three final photos are not from the sketchbook, but show some of Gardner's more famous images and reveal more about the man himself.

WARNING: Some of the images in this collection include pictures of the dead on the battlefield, which some viewers may find disturbing. Please carefully consider whether use of this collection is appropriate for your specific audience.

Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of War, Volume 1

National Museum of American History

Plate 5. Fortifications on Heights of Centreville

National Museum of American History

Plate 7. Ruins of Stone Bridge, Bull Run

National Museum of American History

Plate 10. Ruins at Manassas Junction

National Museum of American History

Plate 14. Battery No. 4, Near Yorktown

National Museum of American History

Plate 17. Military Bridge Across the Chickahominy

National Museum of American History

Plate 18. Ruins of Norfolk Navy Yard

National Museum of American History

Plate 28. Scouts and Guides to the Army of the Potomac

National Museum of American History

Plate 50. The Halt, scene near Culpeper

National Museum of American History

Plate 52. Residence of Quartermaster Third Army Corps

National Museum of American History

Plate 57. Camp Architecture

National Museum of American History

Plate 58. Pontoon Boat

National Museum of American History

Plate 62. U.S. Military Telegraph Construction Corps

National Museum of American History

Plate 63. Breaking Camp

National Museum of American History

Plate 73. U.S. Military Telegraph Battery Wagon

National Museum of American History

Plate 76. A Fancy Group - Scene in Front of Petersburg

National Museum of American History

Plate 89. Libby Prison, Richmond

National Museum of American History

Plate 90. Old Capitol Prison, Washington

National Museum of American History

Plate 91. Ruins of Arsenal, Richmond

National Museum of American History

Plate 97. Appomattox Station, Virginia

National Museum of American History

Plate 98. High Bridge, across the Appomattox

National Museum of American History

Abraham and Tad Lincoln

National Portrait Gallery

Abraham Lincoln

National Portrait Gallery

Alexander Gardner Self-Portrait

National Portrait Gallery