Civil War photography talk prelude to Hanna’s Town encampment
The presentation is set for 7 p.m. in the Westmoreland Historical Society’s History Education Center at 809 Forbes Trail Road, Hempfield. It is linked to an ongoing exhibit of local photography at the center as well as a Civil War encampment slated July 27-28 at Hanna’s Town.
The U.S. Civil War is considered the first major conflict to be documented through photography. At the time, creating photographs was a time-consuming process involving heavy cameras, portable darkrooms and toxic chemicals.
The works of prominent photographers such as Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner and Timothy O’Sullivan showed many civilians the horrors of war for the first time.
Gardner’s photos of the gruesome aftermath of the 1862 Battle of Antietam, near Sharpsburg, Md., shocked New York City residents when they were displayed in Brady’s gallery there. The New York Times wrote: “If [Gardner] has not brought bodies and laid them in our door-yards and along streets, he has done something very like it….”
Admission to the Hanna’s Town program is free for society members. Cost is $8 for non-members.
“Scenes of Westmoreland: Visions of Light” is the center’s collaborative photography exhibit, curated with the Westmoreland Photographers Society. It features the work of 10 local photographers whose images evoke Westmoreland County’s history, culture, architecture and scenery.
Encampment, mock battles
The Civil War encampment will be open to the public 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 27 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 28. It will include a battle reenactment, military drills and artillery demonstrations; a display of Civil War weapons; a Civil War post office; and a surgeon’s tent and demonstration illustrating period medical practices.
Talks in the History Education Center will cover topics including women in the Civil War, the Zouave Light Infantry, medicine in the Civil War, and narration by a reenactor portraying Gen. George Meade of Pennsylvania, who led Union forces at Gettysburg.
Children age 6 or older can participate in a “mock battle” led by reenactors.
Admission for the encampment is $12 for adults, $6 for children age 6 or older, $5 for active Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and leaders who attend in uniform.
For more information, visit westmorelandhistory.org or call 724-836-1800.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .