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George N. Barnard

The "Hell Hole", New Hope Church, Georgia, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, plate 27
about 1866
albumen print
10 1/8 x 14 1/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase from the Charles Isaacs Collection made possible in part by the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

George Barnard, a young daguerrean from Oswego, New York, received orders to become an official Union Army photographer while he was working for Mathew Brady. Barnard received “two mules, a covered wagon and a negro ” for his assignment to record William Tecumseh Sherman’s 1864 “bloody march to the sea.” This image was made after the fierce battle between Sherman and General Johnston’s southern forces near New Hope, Georgia. Barnard focused on ravaged ground and broken trees as symbols of the devastation and appalling losses of the Civil War.