Time you enjoy wasting: Go ahead and spend 10 minutes to see these amazing Civil War photos brought to life with color.
Here's a good way to spend 15 minutes of your day.
There is a community of online photo enthusiasts dedicated to colorizing historic photos for modern eyes. Working in the Reddit community, these colorizers have recently brought civil war photographs into vivid detail.
If the images were amazing in black and white, they stand ever more boldly in full color. Two particular users have been identified by the Daily mail and Business Insider as being "particularly prolific," Mads Dahl Madsen, 19, from Denmark and Jordan J. Loyd, 27, from England.
The two men have worked together obtaining images from the U.S. Library of Congress and colorizing them. The work is very painstaking requiring that each blade of grass be individually treated.
Have a look at the images below, they're a real treat to all, and doubly so to Civil War buffs.
A comparison to show the quality of the work.
This is an enlargement of the previous image. Shown are three Confederate prisoners captured after the battle of Gettysburg. By mid-war, Confederate gray uniforms were giving way to the cheaper, dyed-brown "butternut" uniforms.
General Robert E. Lee, one of the most beloved commanders in American history. Lee freed his slaves before the war and fought for his home. He was widely considered to be a fair and merciful man.
Union dead were buried in Lee's rose garden (technically property belonging to his wife) as a punishment for his service to the Confederacy. Later, the improvised cemetery expanded. Today, Lee's former residence is known as Arlington National Cemetery. Lee made no objection to the seizure of his land for a military cemetery although Lee's son (Custis Lee) later filed suit for illegal seizure of the property. He sold the land back to the government afterwards.
Union staff officers in front of their command tent.
General Burnside was a kindly gentleman who made sideburns notable. Burnside commanded the Army of the Potomac at the battle of Fredricksburg after privately complaining to Lincoln that he lacked confidence. Lincoln did not remove him and Burnside ordered two days of futile attacks against a strong Confederate position, much to Lee's surprise and the deaths of many. This ended Burnside's career as an army commander, and he was relegated to lower command.
General Joseph Johnston was an early Confederate war hero and regarded as one of the South's better commanders.
General Longstreet whose defensive talent led to the development of trench warfare. The end of the Civil War looked much like World War I and for the same reason --the deadliness of the weaponry favored defense.
Confederate General Braxton Bragg who was regarded as moody, sickly, and infamously argumentative. He was a difficult man to get along with and once when he filled posts as a commander and quartermaster simultaneously, he argued with himself --in writing.
General Thomas Jackson. A religious Southern firebrand, he marched his men hard and fought harder. Yet, he would not mail a letter that would be in transit on a Sunday. He sucked on lemons, even during battle. He died from an infected wound suffered from friendly fire after a late-night reconnaissance of Union lines at the battle of Chancellorsville. His loss may have cost Lee dearly at Gettysburg since he was replaced with a much less aggressive corps commander.
General Joshua Chamberlain, who made his name at Gettysburg. Chamberlain was (just) one of the commanders whose troops held the Union position at Little Round Top, a height overlooking the Union lines. His staunch defense and counterattack --made without ammunition, earned him a Medal of Honor and saved the Union at Gettysburg.
General George Pickett for whom Pickett's Charge is named. His division was the only fresh division Lee had on the third day of Gettysburg. Augmented with brigades borrowed from other divisions, Pickett sent his 15,000-strong command forward under Lee's orders, only to see them bloodily repulsed.
General George Armstrong Custer made his reputation as a young cavalry commander during the Civil War. His garish and dashing appearance and his aggressive attitude made him famous. He later met his end fighting Native Americans in the west at the Battle of Little Big Horn.
General Ulysses S. Grant is credited with bringing the Confederacy to its knees. By applying superior resources, including manpower, Grant was able to whittle down the Confederacy in a protracted war of attrition. Within just two year's time, the Confederacy crumbled under his methodical approach. Grant would later become president.
Grant with staff officers during the war. Grant was famously unkempt and made a stark contrast to his chief adversary, Robert E. Lee. Lee once famously chided Grant during the Mexican American War when Lee was a superior officer and found Grant's uniform unacceptable. Years later, when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, Grant wore a mud-splattered, improvised uniform.
A personal friend of Grant, General William T. Sherman pioneered the modern total war approach in Georgia by burning houses and destroying infrastructure between Atlanta, Georgia and Savannah. He remarked, "War is Hell." Although he was ruthless in war, he later became good personal friends with General Longstreet.
Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain served in the Confederate army for two weeks before deserting. He became a prolific journalist and writer, penning Tom Sawyer among his many famous works. His brief Civil War experience also inspired several short stories.
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