McPherson's Woods
Wheat Field in Which General Reynolds was Shot
Mathew Brady arrived at Gettysburg several days after the battle ended on July 3, 1863, and posed for his portrait along a graceful, curving rail fence, staring out at McPherson's Woods, where Union General John F. Reynolds had fallen to a Confederate sniper's bullet. When Brady instructed the camera operator to expose a series of negatives to create this wide panorama, he was striving for an emotional effect that would transcend the simple record of an early casualty in an important battle. Nearly all of Brady's views of Gettysburg depict significant battle sites as empty landscapes, inviting melancholy speculation without the painful intrusion of shocking detail.

Mathew Brady Studio
Albumen print
38.7 x 45.7 cm (15 1/4 x 18 inches)
1198.0005 (165-B-263)
National Archives & Records Administration