Today in Civil War History: Atlanta Falls to Union Forces, Syracuse Photographer Documents Destruction

Barnard - Rebel Works in Front of Atlanta, GA after Union takeover

As per the History Channel, “On this day in 1864, Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman lays siege to Atlanta, Georgia, a critical Confederate hub, shelling civilians and cutting off supply lines.” Documenting the journey was one time Syracuse resident George N. Barnard. Here’s his bio, via the J. Paul Getty Museum:

“One of the first persons to open a daguerreotype studio in the United States, George Barnard set up shop in Oswego, New York. In 1854 he moved his operation to Syracuse, New York, and began using the collodion process, a negative/positive process that allowed for multiple prints, unlike the unique daguerreotype.

Along with Timothy O’Sullivan, John Reekie, and Alexander Gardner, Barnard worked for the Mathew Brady studio and is best known for his photo-documentation of the American Civil War. In 1864 he was made the official photographer for the United States Army, Chief Engineer’s Office, Division of the Mississippi. He followed Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s infamous march to the sea and in 1866 published an album of sixty-one photographs, Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign. After the war he continued primarily as a portrait photographer in Ohio, Chicago, Charleston, South Carolina, and Rochester, New York, where he briefly worked with George Eastman, the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company.”