Why couldn't this be Gettysburg?

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Robert Gray

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
This stereoview, "Battle Grounds of the Potomac Valley", by William Moody Chase has always intrigued me. The original is in the collections of the New York Historical Society and is identified as a Memorial Day observance at Antietam. If only a Gettysburg photographer had been this close to the speakers' platform on the day of the cemetery dedication. Let's hope that a discovery like this may someday be made.

William Moody Chase.jpg
 

CowCavalry

Corporal
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Interesting! Only comment otherwise is I'm not seeing men in uniforms? They're around in some images we have of the crowd that day. Still, really, really intriguing.

mystery photo platform.jpg

Platform- unsure all the poles are flags?

mystery photo1.jpg


Mountains, tree line.
mystery photo mountains.jpg
 
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connecticut yankee

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Mountains, treeline, poles. Thank you @JPK Huson 1863 for the enlargements. The "Lincoln in Photographs" book stating this is a photo taken at Gettysburg is in error.

The OP photograph was taken by W. M. Chase on September 17, 1867 at the dedication of the Antietam National Cemetery exactly 5 years after the battle. Fifteen thousand were in attendance. Notice the lack of the pivotal Soldiers Monument which itself wasn't dedicated until 13 years later when it was erected and dedicated in the cemetery in 1880.

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The cemetery was dedicated on the fifth anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. (Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War, 1896)

In the OP steroview enlargements and the lithograph above notice the many umbrellas as storm clouds threatened the festivities that day. Also notice what appears to be two grandstands, each demarked by a U.S. flag behind them. From the treeline/mountain you can see the OP stereoview depicts the grandstand area on the right. W. M. Chase's camera in the OP was set up to the left and forward of what is shown in the lithograph. Notice the carriages in the foreground that lie outside the picket fence which appears in all the photos. And of course the poles, poles, poles.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
In the OP steroview enlargements and the lithograph above notice the many umbrellas as storm clouds threatened the festivities that day. Also notice what appears to be two grandstands, each demarked by a U.S. flag behind them. From the treeline/mountain you can see the OP stereoview depicts the grandstand area on the right. W. M. Chase's camera in the OP was set up to the left and forward of what is shown in the lithograph. Notice the carriages in the foreground that lie outside the picket fence which appears in all the photos. And of course the poles, poles, poles.

Ah HA! Thank you! Intended to have a shot at trying to match backgrounds, etc- plain old ' busy ' with Christmas orders. Work sure gets in the way of fun. :angel: THAT makes sense. like you said poles poles poles- what in blazes are they and there's not as many in the Gettysburg pics. Some ( which is another question for the experts ), not a small forest. There was also the lack of uniforms.Set up is different, too- I realize this is not a photo but Becker as eye witness seems safe.

cemetery ded becker left.jpg


cemetery ded becker right.jpg
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Ah HA! Thank you! Intended to have a shot at trying to match backgrounds, etc- plain old ' busy ' with Christmas orders. Work sure gets in the way of fun. :angel: THAT makes sense. like you said poles poles poles- what in blazes are they and there's not as many in the Gettysburg pics. Some ( which is another question for the experts ), not a small forest. There was also the lack of uniforms.Set up is different, too- I realize this is not a photo but Becker as eye witness seems safe.

View attachment 338360

View attachment 338359
The "poles between the two grandstands appear to be furled flags, while the poles to the rear and sides of the grandstands appear to integral to the stands themselves. Quite possibly they wanted the various regimental or state flags to fly from them and decided that the veterans would form up between the grandstands. Could be that they were going to erect a covering in the case of inclement weather.....
 
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