Civil War photo book is a window to the past
By Bob Karlovits
Published: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 8:59 p.m.
Brian Butko says “The Civil War in Pennsylvania: A Photographic History” is letting him ward off one of the fears that haunted him.
“I keep looking at it and I am not disappointed,” says the editor of the 312-page collection of images that depict the variety of ways the Civil War affected the state. The book was published by the Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District as part of the Pennsylvania Civil War 150 initiative examining the sesquicentennial of the war.
Butko, who is the director of publications for the history center, says the book — a nearly five-year project — is the first photographic history of the conflict in the state.
He is proud of the collection of images that deal with the battle of Gettysburg as well as events and their participants elsewhere in the state.
The book is the work of authors Michael G. Kraus, curator of collections at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum; David M. Neville, publisher of Military Images magazine; and Kenneth C. Turner, a Civil War historian and author with one of the largest private collection of Civil War material.
The book consists of nearly 500 images, Butko says, which presented a challenge to organize.
Obviously, he says, it would be easy to do the work chronologically. But that does not quite get the job done.
So, each year-oriented section is divided into sub-sections, such as looks at battle flags, arsenals, Medals of Honor winners and chaplains.
Some pictures have been seen often in other publications, such as Alexander Gardner's photos of bodies on Gettysburg fields. Others, Butko says, have never been seen, such as one of a Philadelphia militia unit.
“I just love that muddy street,” he says.
He says the work of organizing the book and designing it — done by Pammy Pieretti of PARK Creative Design from Washington County — created the need for many “15- to 17-hour days” as they all worked on ways of presenting information and images.
The book is the first of three publications the history center will be involved in. In May, it will present “The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience” and then be involved in a magazine focusing entirely on the war also put together with the state Historical and Museum Commission and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7852.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ Adams gets 2nd chance
- Fleury, Crosby lead Pens past Sharks
- Pitt’s Dixon discusses local signees
- Ex-Penguins winger Kennedy ‘emotional’ about return
- Steelers notebook: Woodley practices but unsure where he’ll play
- Penguins notebook: Injury keeps Malkin out against Sharks
- With Pitt ahead, gauntlet continues for Loyola Marymount
- WVU struggles offensively during 1st half in loss to Missouri
- Blairsville girls, boys expected to lead pack in Heritage Conference
- Mt. Lebanon native, actor Manganiello: Mind focus is the key to fitness
- Dark Braddock setting of ‘Out of the Furnace’ reflects a dying way of life