Trestle Bridge, at Whiteside
George N. Barnard was one of several unacknowledged photographers who worked for Civil War photographer Matthew Brady before setting out on his own in 1863. Serving as official photographer for the Army of the Cumberland’s topographical branch of the Department of Engineers, Barnard documented notable battlefields, military works, bridges, and topographic views. His best-known works are his striking images of Sherman’s march to the sea. Barnard published sixty-one albumen plates from this project in 1866 as an album titled Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign.
The bridge at Whiteside was destroyed during the Civil War; the trestle bridge shwon here was built in 1863. The pairing of the debris scattered across the foreground and the newly constructed bridge in the background emphasizes both the devastation of the war and the necessity of continuation after its end.