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This set of half steroes is titled 'American Civil War - Ruins of Richmond, Virginia, 1862.' However we have a second identical set marked 'Ruins of the Fire in Chicago.'  Can any-one confirm which is correct and give any other information such as the photographer? Many thanks!

 

PS I've identified upper left as ruins of Spotswood Hotel, Richmond, Virginia, following fire in 1870 by Anderson & Ennis.

 

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The Library of Congress has a group of Richmond images from the civil war which you can compare to your images. You can check here:

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=Richmond&sp=1&co=cwp&...

If they are from the burning of Richmond, then you are looking at a date of 1865, not 1862.

As for The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, you might want to check the Chicago History Museum which has a large of collection of images:

http://www.chicagohistory.org/research
Thanks for the tips, Mark, I'll follow up woth both sites. Very best, Sarah

Hi Sarah,

 Just a couple of things

(1) The date is wrong (if it's Richmond).  Lee did not abandon Richmond till early April 1865 and Grant's troops did not begin their "improvements" of the city till after that date.  Richmond had not been much damaged prior to this.

(2) It is known that Matthew Bradty was in the area at the time of the fall of Richmond.  He took photos of Lee following the surrender at Appomattox.  So either he or some of his staff photographers could have also taken photographs of the ruined capital of the Confederacy. I have some books on Brady which show ruined Richmond but none of the images matches yours.

(3) Timothy O'Sullivan was with the Army of the Potomac, eventually Grant's army , until the surrender. He is credited with almost half the images in Alexander Gardner book, "The Photographic Sketch Book of the War"as well as many others.  So both he and Gardner would be contenders as the photographer.  The book was mainly for Unionist consumption (proving the rightness of their cause).

(4) You might try the Museum of the Confederacy which is in Richmond - www.moc.org.  They appear to have a fairly comprehensive collection of Civil War photos.

Hope this gives you at least a few new lines of enquiry. Good luck

Donald Stewart

Thanks Donald - lots of good info here and I'll follow up on this. Very best, Sarah

Donald Stewart said:

Hi Sarah,

 Just a couple of things

(1) The date is wrong (if it's Richmond).  Lee did not abandon Richmond till early April 1865 and Grant's troops did not begin their "improvements" of the city till after that date.  Richmond had not been much damaged prior to this.

(2) It is known that Matthew Bradty was in the area at the time of the fall of Richmond.  He took photos of Lee following the surrender at Appomattox.  So either he or some of his staff photographers could have also taken photographs of the ruined capital of the Confederacy. I have some books on Brady which show ruined Richmond but none of the images matches yours.

(3) Timothy O'Sullivan was with the Army of the Potomac, eventually Grant's army , until the surrender. He is credited with almost half the images in Alexander Gardner book, "The Photographic Sketch Book of the War"as well as many others.  So both he and Gardner would be contenders as the photographer.  The book was mainly for Unionist consumption (proving the rightness of their cause).

(4) You might try the Museum of the Confederacy which is in Richmond - www.moc.org.  They appear to have a fairly comprehensive collection of Civil War photos.

Hope this gives you at least a few new lines of enquiry. Good luck

Donald Stewart

With thanks to the Chicago History Museum  who have confirmed the other three images are indeed from the Chicago Fire of 1871.

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