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  • Civil War photos gave carnage a wide view, but also aided the grieving

    Photos of the carnage from Gettysburg and other Civil War battles shocked many who saw them, but also provided a way to manage grief and trauma, says communication professor Cara Finnegan. At left, dead Confederate soldiers in the "slaughter pen" at the foot of Little Round Top at Gettysburg.

    Photos of the carnage from Gettysburg and other Civil War battles shocked many who saw them, but also provided a way to manage grief and trauma, says communication professor Cara Finnegan. At left, dead Confederate soldiers in the "slaughter pen" at the foot of Little Round Top at Gettysburg.

    Photo courtesy Library of Congress

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      Photos of the carnage from Gettysburg and other Civil War battles shocked many who saw them, but also provided a way to manage grief and trauma, says communication professor Cara Finnegan. At left, dead Confederate soldiers in the "slaughter pen" at the foot of Little Round Top at Gettysburg.

      Photo courtesy Library of Congress

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      Communication professor Cara Finnegan, who is working on a book about ways in which people encountered and interpreted photography in its earlier decades, comments on how photography was useful during the Civil War, and Gettysburg, in particular.

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      Soldiers of the 79th New York at camp.

      Photo courtesy Library of Congress

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      Sgt. Cornelius V. Moore of Company B, 100th New York Volunteers; a sergeant of 39th Illinois Regiment; a corporal of 106th New York Volunteers; and a private of the 11th Vermont Regiment in camp scene poses in front of painted backdrop showing military camp.

      Photo courtesy Library of Congress

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  • To reach Cara Finnegan, call 217-333-1855; email caraf@illinois.edu.
    Finnegan will be unavailable between June 22 and July 6. Finnegan’s book, tentatively titled “Reading Photography’s Viewers,” is under contract with the University of Illinois Press. A wide collection of Civil War photos are maintained by the Library of Congress, and available through this link: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/cwp