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The Most Iconic Civil War Photos Turned Into Glorious Color …

Ian Smith
Petersburg, Va. Surgeons of 3d Division before hospital tent, Aug. 1864.

Humans are visual creatures and we tend to visualize things in the way they are presented to us. Therefore, when you look at monochromatic photo of an historic event you are imaging it in  black and white.

We are used to watching historic photos in monochromatic format, that’s why we  are always  filled with an extreme sense of fascination and wonderment whenever we encountered a historical image or video restored with color, especially if that historic image dates to 19th century from a iconic event such as The American Civil War. The photography was not invented until the 1820s,  so the American Civil War was one of the first wars to be photographed.

TIME commissioned Swedish artist Sanna Dullaway to restore and colorize some of the most important pictures shot, in black and white, during the  American Civil War. This is an interesting opportunity to try to reimagine the Civil war in lively and vivid colors.

 

Robert Smalls, S.C. M.C. Born in Beaufort, SC, April 1839 Summary African American legislator.

Robert Smalls, S.C. M.C. Born in Beaufort, SC, April 1839
Summary
African American legislator.

Robert Smalls, S.C. M.C. Born in Beaufort, SC, April 1839 Summary African American legislator.

Robert Smalls, S.C. M.C. Born in Beaufort, SC, April 1839
Summary
African American legislator.

 

Antietam, Md. Allan Pinkerton ("E. J. Allen") of the Secret Service on horseback, Oct. 1862.

Antietam, Md. Allan Pinkerton (“E. J. Allen”) of the Secret Service on horseback, Oct. 1862.

Antietam, Md. Allan Pinkerton ("E. J. Allen") of the Secret Service on horseback, Oct. 1862.

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand; another view. Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Battle of Antietam, September-October 1862. Date Created/Published: 1862 October 3. Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand; another view. Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Battle of Antietam, September-October 1862. Date Created/Published: 1862

 

1862. Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand at Antietam.

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Camp of Captain [John J.] Hoff., July, 1865Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Camp of Captain [John J.] Hoff., July, 1865

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Camp of Captain [John J.] Hoff., July, 1865

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

Petersburg, Virginia. Cock fighting at Gen. Orlando B. Willcox's headquarters, 1864.

Petersburg, Virginia. Cock fighting at Gen. Orlando B. Willcox’s headquarters, 1864.

 

 

Petersburg, Virginia. Cock fighting at Gen. Orlando B. Willcox's headquarters, 1864.

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. John L. Burns, the "old hero of Gettysburg," with gun and crutches

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. John L. Burns, the “old hero of Gettysburg,” with gun and crutches

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. John L. Burns, the "old hero of Gettysburg," with gun and crutches

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

 

Portrait of Maj. Gen. (as of Apr. 15, 1865) George A. Custer, officer of the Federal Army], 1865

Portrait of Maj. Gen. (as of Apr. 15, 1865) George A. Custer, officer of the Federal Army], 1865

 

Portrait of Maj. Gen. (as of Apr. 15, 1865) George A. Custer, officer of the Federal Army], 1865

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

 

Abraham Lincoln, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front. Date Created/Published: [photograph taken 1863 Nov. 8; printed later and c1900]. Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Abraham Lincoln, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front. Date Created/Published: [photograph taken 1863 Nov. 8; printed later and c1900].

Abraham Lincoln, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front.

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

 

Portrait of Rear Adm. David D. Porter, officer of the Federal Navy, 1860

Portrait of Rear Adm. David D. Porter, officer of the Federal Navy, 1860

 

Portrait of Rear Adm. David D. Porter, officer of the Federal Navy, 1860

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

 

Petersburg, Va. Surgeons of 3d Division before hospital tent, Aug. 1864.

Petersburg, Va. Surgeons of 3d Division before hospital tent, Aug. 1864.

Petersburg, Va. Surgeons of 3d Division before hospital tent, Aug. 1864.

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

 

Washington, District of Columbia. Tent life of the 31st Penn. Inf. (later, 82d Penn. Inf.) at Queen's farm, vicinity of Fort Slocum, 1861.

Washington, District of Columbia. Tent life of the 31st Penn. Inf. (later, 82d Penn. Inf.) at Queen’s farm, vicinity of Fort Slocum, 1861.

 

Washington, District of Columbia. Tent life of the 31st Penn. Inf. (later, 82d Penn. Inf.) at Queen's farm, vicinity of Fort Slocum, 1861

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

Gettysburg, Pa. Alfred R. Waud, artist of Harper's Weekly, sketching on battlefield, July 1863

Gettysburg, Pa. Alfred R. Waud, artist of Harper’s Weekly, sketching on battlefield, July 1863

 

Gettysburg, Pa. Alfred R. Waud, artist of Harper's Weekly, sketching on battlefield, July 1863

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

Capt. Custer of the 5th Cavalry is seen with Lt. Washington, a prisoner and former classmate

Capt. Custer of the 5th Cavalry is seen with Lt. Washington, a prisoner and former classmate

Capt. Custer of the 5th Cavalry is seen with Lt. Washington, a prisoner and former classmate

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

 

Powder monkey by gun of U.S.S. New Hampshire off Charleston, S.C., 1860

Powder monkey by gun of U.S.S. New Hampshire off Charleston, S.C., 1860

 

Powder monkey by gun of U.S.S. New Hampshire off Charleston, S.C., 1860

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress

 

Antietam, Md. President Lincoln and Gen. George B. McClellan in the general's tent, Sept. - Oct. 1862

Antietam, Md. President Lincoln and Gen. George B. McClellan in the general’s tent, Sept. – Oct. 1862

 

Antietam, Md. President Lincoln and Gen. George B. McClellan in the general's tent, Sept. - Oct. 1862

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME; Original image: Alexander Gardner—Library of Congress