Ever since 1914, we have been used to seeing images of wars. Soldiers, battles, and the mechanical weapons of war too. More recently, we can watch modern wars ‘live’ with reporters bringing us footage of battles as they are happening, in Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan.
But war photography goes back much further than that. In The Crimean War of 1853-1856, intrepid photographers travelled to Russia with the armies, to try to capture the life of the Victorian soldier.
A British Guards Sergeant, proudly posing in his uniform.
From 1899-1901, The British Empire fought the army of Dutch settlers in Africa, known as The Boers.
Both sides wanted to retain their influence in two areas of South Africa.
But no war was ever previously photographed as much as the US Civil War, from 1861-1865.
The body of a dead confederate after the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 1863.
It was later discovered that many such photos were ‘staged’ by some photographers.
The bodies would be moved into specific locations, or arranged in the pose of a supposedly ‘heroic’ death.