The American Civil War through the eyes of an Irish photographer

Paul Yancey

Jan 13, 2019
O'Sullivan took some great photographs during the war. I found this interesting piece of information regarding O'Sullivan while reading "Silent Witness - The Civil War Through Photography and Its Photographers" by Ron Field.

"On arrival at the Navy Yard, Booth's body was transferred to the monitor USS Montauk, which had been assigned as a prison ship, where Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes conducted the autopsy on April 27, 1865. Present during the procedure were Alexander Gardner and Timothy O'Sullivan, who took one photograph of Booth's remains before they were removed from the Montauk. According to a report in the "Boston Traveller" two days later, the body was "then placed in an ordinary gray army blanket, in which it was sewed up. A plain, casket shaped box measuring 6 feet by 2 had been previously made in a joiner's shop...but it was not used." The negative plate and print produced on this occasion was passed to Colonel Baker and never seen again, probably for fear its publication might have gifted martyrdom to the conspirators and glorification to the lost Confederate cause."

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