The Civil War and the Changing American Landscape.
Photographs by John Huddleston.
Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2002. 192 pp., 86 black-and-white and 77 color illustrations, 11x9".
The Civil War and the Changing American Landscape
photographs of 62 Civil War
battlefield sites as they look
today paired with historic
black-and-white images of
the same sites taken
during the war.
In Killing Ground, John
Huddleston embarks on a photographic odyssey through the
modern-day landscape of the Civil
War. He pairs historical images
of the conflict from sixty-two
battle sites across the nation-
battlefield scenes, soldiers living
and dead, prisoners of war, civilians, and slaves-with his own
color photographs of the same locations a century and a half later,
always taken at the same time of
year, often at the same hour of the
day. Sometimes Huddleston's lens
reveals a department store or fastfood restaurant carelessly built on
hallowed ground; other images
depict overgrown fields or well-manicured parks. When
contrasted with their mid-nineteenth-century counterparts, these indelible images challenge the
meaning of place in American
culture and the evolving legacy of
the Civil War in our national
'Killing Ground is a significant
contribution, a new way of looking at highly familiar images. '
'These haunting photographs of
then and now offer a new and
powerful perspective on the tragedies and triumphs-above all
the human cost-of the Civil
War. John Huddleston s photographs of selected spots on dozens
of battlefields of that war,
juxtaposed with photographs of
soldiers killed or wounded there
and other contemporary illustrations, make telling points in a
unique manner. This book does
more than prove the old adage
that a picture is worth a thousand words; it tells the poignant
story of the Civil War in a way
that goes beyond words. '
'Killing Ground situates us uncomfortably in a terrain where
living memory has only recently
completed its transformation
into history. John Huddleston
has photographed the scenes of
this vast communal hurt, from
the mightiest battles to obscure
actions involving a few combatants; in every instance he asks
the land itself to yield up what
traces it may hold of the mortal
issues contested there. Suburban
intersection, brushy tangle,
murky pool, well-tended battle
park-all are joined by a
commonality that Huddleston
insists we not forget: Americans
died here, killed by other
John Huddleston is a professor
of art at Middlebury College. His
photographs have been widely
exhibited and have appeared in
Harper's, Preservation, Worth,
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