Inscriptions: u.r.: II. Tom. II.; l.r.: Gio. Batta. Piranesi inv. dis. e incise Signed and dated on sarcophagus in l.c.: I. BAPTIS. PRIANESI. ARCHIT.V. ROMAE. AN M.DCC.LVI Various inscriptions on other sarcophagi Watermark: fleur-de-lys
A group of soldiers stand and sit in a landscape; some face the camera while others are posed engaged in conversation. Behind them stand several tall trees and between them a tent with the flaps decorated with an American flag. Seated alone to the left is a young African-American man holding a broom.
Mathew Brady was a successful photographer with studios in both Washington, DC and New York City. When the American Civil War broke out, Brady sought permission to travel with the Army to document the war. After securing permission, he trained and stationed teams of photographers equipped with mobile darkroom wagons throughout the areas of fighting. As he said, "I had men in all parts of the army, like a great newspaper." Brady covered all the expenses out of his own funds.
Although other photographers, notably Roger Fenton in the Crimean War (1853-56), made photographic records of battlefields, Brady's effort with his teams of photographers made the Civil War the first protracted war that was comprehensively documented through the new medium of photography.