Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

Matthew Brady

Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

Matthew Brady

Article excerpt

He took the camera

to the battlefield,

didn't hesitate to take

pictures of a bloody ditch,

mangled bodies draped

over a stone wall.

And he captured a tall

pile of severed legs, arms-

the doctor in his black

apron, black saw in hand.

Last, he got close enough

to frame a dead boy's

face, his eyes wide

with disbelief, his chest

tom apart by a minie ball.

But he was a hundred

years ahead of himself;

the papers had no way of

printing his photographs,

selling them to the public.

And they might have called

for a truce, an end to the

war if they had seen its

true horror, stark,

disturbing pictures.

After the war, few came to

his exhibits, wanted to forget

the war, the carnage at

Antietam, fields

of bloated corpses. …

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