Ruins in Charleston, S.C.
George Barnard—widely considered one of the most important documentarians of the Civil War—began working with photography only several decades after its invention. The limitations of this burgeoning technology influenced how, when, and where Barnard shot his images.
At the time, it was essentially impossible to capture quick motion, so Barnard primarily documented the effects of the war on landscapes and architecture. His richly detailed images are filled with anecdotal details that help tell the story of the Civil War and Sherman’s massive campaign through the South.