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Brady Visits Burns

Discussion in 'Battle of Gettysburg' started by Gettysburg Greg, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Gettysburg Greg

    Gettysburg Greg Corporal

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    burns.jpg

    After Mathew Brady and his crew had finished exposing several plates on the McPherson farm and Lee's HQ, they moved about a half mile down the Pike to the John Burns house. Burns' heroic actions on Day 1 must have already been well known for Brady to stop at Burns' house and record at least two exposures of Burns from the Chambersburg Pike. For this post, I am focusing on the one in which Burns and his wife are seen on the upstairs porch. Burns sits in his rocker with his wife at his side and his crutches leaning against the house. You may notice two figures sitting on the side stairs that when highly magnified, reveal some interesting detail. Sitting on the top step is Brady's vested assistant who is seen in other photos taken that day. Sitting on the third step and facing the camera (a rare view) is Mathew Brady. Notice that behind Burns' covered well is Brady's portable dark room, no doubt where this very plate was exposed. Once again, its thanks to the high resolution downloadable format that these kinds of detail can be seen clearly

    brady2.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2017

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  3. JohnW.

    JohnW. First Sergeant

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    Outstanding!!!! I have never seen this photo before.
     
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  4. Bee

    Bee 2nd Lieutenant

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    I love this new approach of analyzing overlooked details in these photos. Enjoyable! I was just looking at the colorized version of Burns last night, so this sort of brings it full circle. I definitely would have overlooked the portable dark room. Sort of feel like Brady and his assistant are an inseparable part of my Gettysburg world, now.
     
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  5. Gettysburg Greg

    Gettysburg Greg Corporal

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    Always look forward to your comments, Bee. Brady didn't get to GB in time to photograph any bodies, but his photographs contain some of the most interesting detail among the post battle images. Some great panoramas. Glad you are enjoying some of my musings.
     
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  6. Bee

    Bee 2nd Lieutenant

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    Your posts are a very important part of my Forum experience. Without your pictures to look forward to, I fear that I may have burnt out on all of the adversarial encounters experieced elsewhere.

    EDIT: in case you have not noticed: you are getting a collection of groupies, @Gettysburg Greg :smile:
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
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  7. EJ Zander

    EJ Zander Sergeant

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    Was his house near the corner of West St and Chambersburg St?
     
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  8. Pvt.Shattuck

    Pvt.Shattuck First Sergeant

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    What is the large crank for in the small shed at the bottom of the side steps? It must be a well house.
     
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  9. Pvt.Shattuck

    Pvt.Shattuck First Sergeant

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    Apparently he was able to hobble downstairs for thisclose up with musket.

    Pennsylvania-Gettysburg-006.jpg
     
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  10. LoyaltyOfDogs

    LoyaltyOfDogs Sergeant

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    I believe it was at the southeast corner of that intersection. A later house (shown below) currently occupies that site.

    West and Chambersburg Streets.jpg
     
  11. PeterT

    PeterT 2nd Lieutenant

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    I'm a fan!! Keep them coming Greg!
     
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  12. Pvt.Shattuck

    Pvt.Shattuck First Sergeant

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    I am always struck by the ramshackle tumbledown appearance of the wooden structures from that era. Deeply rutted dirt road, no electricity or indoor plumbing or central heat, of course. Every last board in the house and shingle on the roof was sawed by hand. What on earth is hanging in those upstairs windows. Rugs?
    The down stairs with double doors and missing window panes looks like it was used for storage or maybe animals. There is hardly a straight line in the whole place. The drain spout ends in a large barrel. What did they use the water for?
    Yet I imagine this was a perfectly respectable middle class home of the day. Boy would I love to walk inside and have a look around! What would I find? Rope bed, chamber pots, bowl , straight razor, and mirror, Bible, fireplace, cookstove, perhaps a print of Washington Crossing the Delaware over the mantle? What would be in the cupboards? Is there a piano? Harper's Weekly open on the table, a copy of Godey's on the shelf?
     
  13. JohnW.

    JohnW. First Sergeant

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    I believe it is a crank for the water pump.
     
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  14. JohnW.

    JohnW. First Sergeant

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    I'm a big fan too. Really adds to the experience. :smile:
     
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  15. EJ Zander

    EJ Zander Sergeant

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    Was thinking the same thing. The large basement doors and watch out for that first step if your coming out that side door. My guess is that the side door used to be the entry door and the door they are standing infront of was converted from a window opening. The landing (porch) being built over the double doors really limit their usefulness in getting things or animals in and out of which would further indicate the buildings change from its original purpose or design.
     
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  16. Gettysburg Greg

    Gettysburg Greg Corporal

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    Agreed, I try to avoid any controversies if possible.
    Here is an interesting detail found in this photo that is only visible under very high magnification-two Gettysburg flies on Burns' knee. I have read many accounts of the "2nd invasion" of Gettysburg by swarms of flies following the battle.
    two flies.jpg
     
  17. JohnW.

    JohnW. First Sergeant

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    That is very cool....2 flies out 2 trillion that showed up after the armies left.
     
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  18. JohnW.

    JohnW. First Sergeant

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    It also looks like Mr. Burns has a few more flies on his left leg.
     
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  19. motorstreet

    motorstreet Private

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    Now that is awesome! I also would have never been able to tell that the pants Burns is wearing are actually pinstripes. Original pic looks like a solid light color.
     
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  20. Sbc

    Sbc Sergeant

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    Always remember the chapter entitled "Three Men Named John" in Bruce Catton's work on Gettysburg.
     
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  21. AndyHall

    AndyHall Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    Printed hangings in the windows?

    01662a.png
     

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