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Battle Ground of Resacca [Resaca], GA., No. 4 [Resaca, from the Rebel Works]

The military practices of the American Civil War—exemplified by General W. T. Sherman’s devastating march through Georgia and the Carolinas in 1864-1865—illustrated a new kind of warfare, more deadly and relentless, less sparing of civilians. The results of these tactics were meticulously recorded by an equally modern invention: photography. Although seemingly objective, these photographs expressed ideology in every frame. Produced for a Northern clientele, Barnard's views of a devastated Confederacy suggested that victory was near at hand. Although he sought vengeance against wealthy Southern planters (whom he blamed for instigating the war), Sherman also hated war and wanted it to end quickly, through the destruction of everything in his path, including means of transportation and civilian properties (particularly plantations). More than simply Union propaganda or photojournalism, Barnard's pictures document Sherman's anti-war warfare, employed in the hopes that the South would never rise to make war again.

Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection includes three additional images from this series (Ruins in Charleston, S. C., Eskenazi Museum of Art 81.50.1; Ruins of the R. R. Depot, Eskenazi Museum of Art 81.50.2; and The Potter House, Eskenazi Museum of Art 81.24.1).

George N. Barnard
American, 1819–1902
Battle Ground of Resacca [Resaca], GA., No. 4 [Resaca, from the Rebel Works], Plate 22 from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign
1866
Albumen print
Image/sheet: 14 1/8 x 10 1/8 in. (35.9 x 25.7 cm); mount: 16 1/8 x 20 1/8 in. (41.0 x 51.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 78.72.1